India- Kashmiri Curry Powder in Gulmarg

I’m back from incredible India. Though traveling to Gulmarg to ski deep powder amongst the ancient pines is the reason to go to India, one realizes immediately that just going to India is the real reason. Living with these people for even a few days makes one marvel at our obsession with material things and our apparent misery with our added wealth and income. To be with these lovely people, and see how happy they are with just so little, always makes me so content. Just siting on the plane in Geneva, leaving for India, I feel relaxed. The plane is delayed, meaning I may miss my connecting flight. But because I am already in India’s touch, I sit relaxed, knowing only that whatever happens, will happen. I am completely open for the next event, whether it is making the next flight or not, perhaps meeting another amazing person, or getting to know the weeping woman sitting next to me. (She is obviously a bit more tense about making our connection…)

Rumors circulate there is no snow in Gulmarg this year. People have returned very disappointed. I meet John and Paolo at the hotel and see the smile in their eyes. Can’t wait to ski tomorrow. We climb the half hour on skins from the lift to the summit, ski down over variable terrain, then finally dip into the untracked Kashmiri forest as I start to launch myself off of every snow covered stump and bump I see. Howls of glee erupt from deep in me, I see my clients smiling ear to ear, hugs all around as we make the trek back to the hotel, wood stoves, beer, chai, khava, curry, more beer then bed.

India, Incredible India. Come with me January 26 – February 2, 2013

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About Hans Solmssen

I am a professional mountain guide living in Verbier, Switzerland. I grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii after my father moved to Hawaii to teach at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. He created a horse program at this high school, located in the middle of the largest, privately owned cattle ranch in the US. Horses were a major part of my life, even playing polo for a few years. I moved to northern Vermont to go to school, and discovered skiing. Little did I know, this would become my life's passion: guiding friends and clients over the mountains around the world on skis and foot. I moved to Verbier, Switzerland in 1982, and entered the Swiss guide's program in '88. I received my UIAGM "pin" 3 years later in 1991. I have two kids, Anya and Kevin.

1 thought on “India- Kashmiri Curry Powder in Gulmarg

  1. Emma Beamish

    Hans- that’s so beautiful and so true- they are such amazing people and live in such beauty and have so little but still smile continuously. It was a memorable trip for me, one that will be in my mind for a long time to come.

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