The Ski Guru Blog

Baba Rishi


By Sam Lozier, Correspondent

Ski blogger Sam Lozier is spending a chunk of this winter in Kashmir, India at Gulmarg.

The other day, I wrote about skiing down to Tangmarg. Today, I got a chance to experience an even better run by skiing down to Baba Rishi, another nearby town.

With high winds in the forecast this morning, we were quite confident that the gondola wouldn't be opening, so we decided to hire one of Gulmarg's omnipresent Sumo?s (a model of Tata-brand SUV). After haggling with a few drivers, we finally found one we liked at a good price. Sweetening the deal was the fact that he had two snow chains instead of the normal, and completely inexplicable, one.

Standard practice is to meet your Sumo at the taxi stand in the center of town, have them drive you to the top of the run, and then ski down to the Baba Rishi road while the cab drives down to meet you. After we'd collected our gear and waved goodbye to our driver, we set off down an unplowed road looking for an untracked place to begin our descent.


The first run went very well. We found some great pillows to jump off of and some nice soft snow up high. After about a thousand vertical feet of amazing tree skiing, we found ourselves at the Baba Rishi road, chomping at the bit for another lap.



Soon, our sumo arrived and we were careening back up the road to Gulmarg, passing busses, other taxis, and pedestrians at distances that required the mirrors to be folded in.


Before we knew it, we were hiking out the unplowed road again. This time, however, we pushed much further out, and I'm very thankful we did, as we discovered one of the most fun places I've found in all of Gulmarg. Along the road, we found a series of easily hike-able, short, and minimal consequence cliffs to play on. Careful route selection allowed us to spend a significant portion of the second decent in the air and bouncing off pillows, wind lips, and snow-covered trees before re-joining the road for the second time.



At this point the rest of my group headed out for a second lap, while Matt and I, both nursing nagging knee injuries, headed in for lunch and early quits.



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