GULMARG: One Russian skier died on the spot after being hit by an avalanche in Gulmarg on Friday. Four other skiers of the group who had been stuck in the avalanche have been rescued. He died after he was buried by an avalanche in a skiing resort in Gulmarg.
The four others who were rescued from the resort were taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Authorities had issued an avalanche warning for the higher reaches of Kashmir following a fresh snowfall on Monday. This is the second incident of an avalanche hitting foreign skiers at Gulmarg this year.
On January 18, a Swedish skier was killed when he was hit by an avalanche. The 25-year-old victim was skiing with a fellow Swede in Gulmarg when the avalanche barrelled down the slopes. The duo was believed to be experienced skiers exploring the uppermost reaches of Gulmarg reached by a high-altitude gondola.
Nestled in the mountain range that encircles the Indian-controlled Kashmir Valley, Gulmarg is a stone's throw from the highly-militarised disputed border with Pakistan.
The "Gulmarg Gondola" is one of the world`s highest cable cars, ferrying passengers to an altitude of 4,100 meters (13,500 feet) and depositing them at the top of a dizzying run that challenges even the most experienced skiers. For the more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities to veer off-piste and slice through pristine snows.
But it is not without risks. Last June, seven people including two children were killed when the cable car crashed to the ground.
Avalanches are also common, killing tourists and soldiers alike in the steep, remote mountains.
Last year, 20 people died in a series of avalanches across the northern reaches of the Himalayan territory. In 2010, a snowslide killed 17 Indian soldiers during a training exercise at a high-altitude military school. At least 140 people, mostly soldiers, were killed when a single massive avalanche hit a Pakistani military camp in 2012 on the other side of the border.