Gulmarg avalanche: Fresh SOPs put in place, skiing resumes
Skiing resumed in Gulmarg on Thursday with fresh standard operating procedures (SOPs) a day after two skiers from Poland were killed when an avalanche hit a group of skiers at Hapatkhud Kangdori in the upper reaches of Kashmir’s resort town.
Skiing resumed in Gulmarg on Thursday with fresh standard operating procedures (SOPs) a day after two skiers from Poland were killed when an avalanche hit a group of skiers at Hapatkhud Kangdori in the upper reaches of Kashmir’s resort town. Wasil Krzysztof Jerzy and Grzech Adam Roman, both in their early 40s, were part of three teams of 21 foreign skiers and two local guides when the avalanche hit. They were killed while 19 others were rescued.
Farhat Naik, an ace skier, said that skiing has resumed. Mehraj Ahmad, who is head of ski patrol team based in Gulmarg, said, “We have resumed skiing in the area and also issued fresh SoPs for the skiers.”
Assistant director (tourism) Javaidur Rehman said the 21-member skier group was beyond the marked area when the avalanche hit them even as the Jammu and Kashmir Disaster Management Authority issued an avalanche warning.
“There was an avalanche warning and these skiers went beyond the marked area at their own risk, “ he said, adding that there are at least 300 skiers in Gulmarg presently.
In January, Gulmarg received more than 10 feet of snow in four spells. Earlier this week, Gulmarg received more than two feet of snow.
The spells of snowfall have triggered a series of avalanches this winter. Last month, two labourers were killed in an avalanche in Sonmarg. Earlier this week, two girls were buried under an avalanche in Kargil district.
In February 2010, a massive avalanche left 17 soldiers dead and 18 critically wounded at Khilanmarg, 5 km from Gulmarg. Since then, officials have regularly issued warnings to caution skiers and tourists about avalanches.