The first day in the slopes was not like what I’m used to. We woke up early after being exhausted from the long trip and after a steady breakfast tea, toasts and omelette’s we headed out, into the snow for freshing up our our skills in using the transponders if we would get trapped in an avalanche. While we were doing some search and rescue the whole hotel crew were drinking tea and smoked cigarettes and watched us with big smiles on their faces.
Once we got the feeling for it and started to feel both secure and got some speeding on it we headed for the gondola. Unfortunately we had some car issues so we had to walk to the gondola today, well i walked. Martin hired an Indian to pull him in a sledge the whole kilometer to the gondola. The cost? Around 200 rupies and it didnt look comfortable for either Martin or the poor Indian guy who had to pull him. On our way back we took a taxi and that cost us only 100 rupees, this is a interesting country for sure.
The gondola is actually in two parts. The first part will give you pretty easy slopes which are not to steep. The possibilities to nice lines with bumps and around trees are enormous but the second part, that you takes you far above the tree line up to the top. You can buy either day pass or just a single ticket, a day pass is around 800 rupees while one way ticket is 150 rupees, in swedish money that is around 120sek for a day pass or 24sek for one ticket. Maybe something as the rest of the world to copy? We can at least blame on that we are not acclimatised yes but we only did two runs today in the lower part. The snow was a bit wet and the altitude kind a takes away all your energy. On our way back we visited the village center and both the kids and the adults are saying the same, “we are not Indians, we are Kashmiris”. In other words, we have now learned how to insult the people here the hard way.
According to our hotel manager there are supposed to be snow leopards, tigers and black bears in the area but when we asked about monkeys he looked at us as we were retarded and exclaims; Of course we have monkeys, they are everywhere. It took some time and I’m not sure he really believe us but I at least we tried to convince him that in Sweden we don’t have any monkeys, or tigers. So far we haven’t seen any wildlife but our biggest problem is actually money. There is one ATM in the village but so far neither me or Martin understands how it works.
“Want to buy a joint? I make em this biiiiiig for you”
– unknown ski guide trying to sell everything