Life Beyond Walls

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The western Himalayas rise above the hill-station town of Gulmarg in the Kashmir region of India– a region with a rough and recent history of conflict, as ongoing disputes over the India/Pakistan border have the potential to erupt in bloodshed. Tensions simmer just below the surface. But despite the past conflict, the region is home to a vibrant culture and the steep ramps of massive snow peaks.

It was the call of these peaks that beckoned Griffin Post out of Jackson Hole. It takes days to get there. Grif lugged gear through Dehli, then the streets of the region’s capital, Srinagar, where he met up with Ian McIntosh. From there they drove up into the cup shaped valley in the Pir Panjal Range.

People have been skiing out of Gulmarg since the late 1920’s, but after WWII and the 1947 departure of the British empire the resort collapsed. Despite several attempts to rebuild, the eruption of the region’s conflict prevented skiing from getting going again until the early 2000’s. New generations are just now discovering skiing for the first time. But it wasn’t war that gave the boys their biggest challenge. It was the age old problem of warm weather and no snow. Grif and Mac waited for a weather reset, and when it came it brought the goods. They ventured by heli beyond the resort to peaks above 13,000 feet. Grif and Mac layered deep turns and cliff drops over the experience of travel and immersion in the fabric of India’s culture.

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