Things to do
Gulmarg has some of the world's amazing treks.
You can do mountain biking from June to September and enjoy some of the best downhill mountain biking in the world.
The main activity for tourists is skiing (December till early April). One can enjoy skiing in the long and high slopes of the snowy mountain ranges and experience a difference. Snow conditions are really good and you can get deep powder in Gulmarg ski resort every winter. The skiing infrastructure is generally lacking. There are no proshops and most of the rentals are of incredibly shoddy quality. There is no map available.
There are two areas for skiing: the high mountain/off piste areas served by the gondola; and a beginner's area near the hotels on the hills of the Gulmarg golf course. The high mountain ski lift is open from approximately 8:30 to 3:30 daily. However, ski rentals are not available before about 10:00, and the equipment is very low quality, so if you are an excellent/off piste skiier who wants to ski all day, bring your own equipment. The beginners area is open from 10:00-13:00, then closes for lunch until 14:30. Lifts reopen 14:30-16:00
Skis and snowboards are available for rent from a government-owned shop for ₹300 per day. The equipment is shoddy and there is a lack of skipoles.
Ski lift ticket prices for Gulmarg are as follows:
₹600 (Jan 2016) per first stage gondola ticket,
₹250 (Jan 2012) per second stage gondola ticket,
₹1250 (Jan 2012) for an unlimited gondola day pass.
With its gondola accessible ski area on Mount Apharwat, 4,124 m it offers many possibilities for descents of up to 1,800 m.
Heli-skiing is available, which opens up far more off-piste opportunities than the one-lift resort that Gulmarg otherwise offers. The heliski operators are Australian and qualified. They offer rental of good quality deep powder skis but you must have your own boots.
Sound skiing skills and good health are prerequisites for skiing in Gulmarg. Note that only the main bowl to the skier's left of the gondola is avalanche-blasted and patrolled - all other areas are considered out-of-bounds.
Golfing, sledging, and horse riding are other activities (best enjoyed in the summer).