By: Marian Krogh
In February of 2017 I went to Gulmarg, India to ski. Yes that’s right, skiing in India. Not only is it possible, it’s amazing. In fact, the highest ski gondola in the world sits in the far northwest of the country in the Kashmir region.
We spent our days skinning up along the ridge in three different directions, descending 2000 meters (6,000 feet) through the alpine environment’s untracked powder and trees, and then returning to Gulmarg for après-ski hot chai and samosas.
Sometimes it seemed like we weren’t even in India. We were in the middle of the mountains with no signs of civilization, just the snow, the pine and birch trees and the occasional monkey. We’d usually find the monkeys eating garbage, a reminder that Gulmarg was just down the hill. The monkeys are the resident garbage removers since there is no official waste management system in town. Garbage bags are thrown into the forest and the monkeys disperse the waste. In winter most of the garbage is hidden underneath the snow, but many locals told us that trash and plastic can be found everywhere in the summer. Plastic pollution is pervasive worldwide, even at the microscopic level, as I’m learning by being an Adventure Scientists volunteer.
Myself, Gabby and three other female teammates are heading to Kyrgyzstan next year for an environmentally focused ski traverse of the Tien Shen mountain range. Their project is called Seeking Balance Finding Adventure. You can check out our blog and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
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