Heli-skiing attracts skiers, tourists for unforgettable mountain adventures

Suhail Bhat
Srinagar, Mar 1: Gulmarg’s ski scene has soared to new heights with the introduction of heli-skiing, drawing in seasoned skiers eager to carve fresh slopes in the heart of the Himalayas, a feature that has been missing for the past four years.
Heli-skiing entails using helicopters to access remote and pristine powder-covered slopes, offering skiers an unparalleled experience far from traditional ski resorts. This unique attraction not only entices seasoned skiers but also beckons adventure seekers, elevating the resort’s status as a premier ski destination.
Ameer, an Iranian skier, learned about Gulmarg’s slopes from fellow enthusiasts and has since eagerly anticipated the thrill. “I have been planning this trip for four months. I heard about Kashmir five years ago, and I am having the best experience of my life,” he said.
Having skied around the globe, Ameer lauded Gulmarg’s skiing standards. “The heli-skiing here is exceptionally organised, on par with European standards. The people here are amazing. They are incredibly friendly. This place is truly a paradise,” he said.
While professionals like Ameer revel in skiing untouched slopes, tourists seek joyrides for a bird’s-eye view of the snow-clad mountains, describing the experience as unprecedented. “It is out of this world as the helicopter glides between mountains. You must try it. The view is breathtaking,” shared Ganesh Jain from Mumbai. He described the rush of cold, chilly bout of fresh air upon landing, transporting passengers to another realm. “It is worth every penny, and next time, I will opt for a longer ride,” he added.
Urvi from Pune, revisiting the hill station, found the joyride offering a fresh perspective. “I visited here long ago. The joy ride is incredible. It is a must-try. I have never experienced anything like it. It is utterly unique. Anyone visiting Kashmir should include this ride,” she said.
As tourists express interest in these thrills, operators emphasised safety measures, with experienced guides and rescue teams ensuring secure and enjoyable adventures.
Majeed Bakshi, the visionary behind heli-skiing at the hill station, assures visitors of an unforgettable experience, prioritizing safety.
“We conduct thorough snow profiles and inform clients about avalanche risks. This year, we have heightened our focus on avalanche stability. Our clients, seasoned skiers, understand and appreciate our efforts,” he said.