Srinagar skiers carry exploratory skiing on Mount Mahadev

By: Peerzada Salman

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The group Srinagar based winter sports enthusiast recently carried out skiing and snowboarding on Srinagar’s highest peak, Mount Mahadev as part their exploratory skiing venture.

The local adventure club, Silk Route Exploits that sponsored by Kashmir Ski Tours and was supported by Islamia College Mountaineering Club carried out skiing and snowboarding on Mount Mahadev that has an elevation 3966m (13,012 ft) and is part of Zaberwan range in Srinagar district.

The aim of the trip to highest peak of Srinagar and conduct skiing and snowboarding there was to look into the opportunities of winter sports in Srinagar.

Mt. Mahadev is part of the Zabarwan mountain range overlooking Srinagar,the capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the highest mountain range of srinagar. It has an elevation of approx. 3966 mts. The trek starts from Scholar School, Darah. It is near about  20km from the main city Srinagar and it takes 1 hours to reach scholar school, Darah.

“We started our trek from scholar school, Darah on 31-03-19. On our 1st day we hiked upto 2800m which took us 7 hours to reach our 1st base camp. Our 1st base camp was in middle of forest so, our 1st night was very frightening as we had earlier encountered with leopard and bear foot prints,” said member of the club.

On our 2nd day we hiked upto ledwas valley which took us 5-6 hours of challenging snow trek. As we were gaining the altitude by hiking up so was the snow quantity rising up. At some places on our 2nd day snow level rows upto 8-10 ft. After the challenging snow hike up to the ledwas valley we went to the nomadic huts to pitch our camps inside. As we had approached these huts which are above 3000m we found foot prints of leopard everywhere even inside the hut. So, we approached another hut which was on the extreme end of the valley and to our surprise the inside hut was full of bear and leopard foot prints. We took a decision and inspected the strong and safe hut and finally one hut was selected of which we took some extra safety precaution. We filled some gaps with snow and used our skies and snowboard to cover the entrance.

“On our 3rd day we started our hike to base of the Mahadev summit. It took us 3 hours. The snow condition was good to ski and snowboarding. So, we took a safe line and decided to ski/ride it and thus our exploratory Skiing/ride phase began. As soon as we started our decent down from the base of the Mahadev summit on our skies and snowboard the joy of exploring these ski lines felt real,” he said.

Mahadev has the same potential of skiing as gulmarg does but it lacks basic infrastructure.

The exploring skiing event began in two phases. The first phase was held in mid winter in gulmarg. Sahil khan Director of Kashmir Ski Tours provided equipments, food, accommodation and ski passes to the members of Slik Route Exploits and trained them for the 2nd phase of the event which was going to be held on Mahadev. We had to skip our dated of Mahadev due to the bad weather condition and finally dates were set when the weather window was perfect for executing our 2nd phase of exploring skiing event.

The Exploratory team was led by Kashmir Ski Tours senior member Aga Ashtar (Skier)

The other Exploring members were

Shabib Hyder (Skier)

Hasnain Khan (Snowboarder)

Qasim Bazaz (Photo/video Documentation)

Nadeem Hussain (Supporting Crew/Medical Assistance)

Aqib Ayash (Supporting Crew/Medical Assistance)

Our club Silk Route Exploits was sponsored by Kashmir Ski Tours and was supported by Islamia College Mountaineering Club.

The valley has so much adventure tourism potential and our club (Silk Route Exploits) have more plans of exploring events in coming future but we lack proper support from proper channels.

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