Published on : Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Fresh snowfall and the prospect of several weeks of sub-zero temperature have prompted the Jammu and Kashmir government to boost adventure tourism in the State. The state tourism department has decided to introduce the high adrenaline sport of ice climbing in Pahalgam, 100 kms from Srinagar.
Mehmood Shah, the Director of Tourism, said that an ice climbing event will be held at Pahalgam on December 31. Pahalgam, a tourist hotspot, is a perfect ice climbing destination with ice sheaths covering large swathes of trekking routes.
To quote Reyaz Ahmad Lone, a trainer and climber who runs an adventure sports company, “There are mountain overhangs at Pahalgam that get no sunlight during winter. The temperature there remains sub-zero throughout the day. Prolonged exposure of snow to sub-zero temperature turns it into rock ice on the surface.”
Two major ice climbing routes are being thought of at Pahalgam’s Chandanwari and Aru valleys. The sport, however, will be possible only for a short period. “The ideal weather for ice climbing starts on December 25 and extends up to January 20. After the recent snowfall, three to four feet of snow has accumulated. It will help to mark the routes. As weather improves after January 20, the tracks will get tricky,” Mr. Lone said.
Peerzada Zahoor, deputy director, Kashmir Tourism, said that the aim is to attract domestic and foreign visitors interested in adventure sports such as snow-biking and skiing. “Unlike Europe, which attracts the largest crowd for winter adventure sports, Kashmir can offer the same experiences at more affordable prices,” Mr. Zahoor said. Local Kashmiri youth have also taken to such sports.
Tags: Kashmir Tourism’