Director tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah flagged off the snowshoe run at 1:30 pm near ski shop and the athletes ran 7km on beaten track. Later the Director Tourism also flagged off skiing at the slopes marking the beginning of the winter sports in Gulmarg.
Large number of locals and tourists had turned up at Gulmarg to witness snow capped meadows and also enjoy skiing.
Speaking on the occasion, Director Tourism Kashmir said Gulmarg is the main USP for tourism which receives tourists from all over the globe.
“Today, we have formally inaugurated the winter sports with snowshoe running and also with skiing,” he said.
He said the department is organizing more activities including snowboarding, ice-staking, heli-skiing besides musical events during winter months to keep locals engaged and also entertain tourists.
Director Tourism Kashmir said tourist footfall has increased with the recent snowfall and more bookings are expected on the eve of Christmas and also on New Year.
“We are not only promoting Gulmarg but also Pahalgam as a winter sports destination where we will start adventure activities like skiing and ice-climbing from December 31,” said Director.
The event was organised by Snowshoe Federation of India in collaboration with J&K Tourism. Thirty two athletes hailing from various parts of valley took part that involved total of 7 kilometers snowshoeing. Umer Farooq of Srinagar finished first while as Ifshan of Narbal finished second, Sheikh Saqib third, Waheed Ahmad fourth, Alan fifth.
Shameem Ahmad MD Cable Car was guest of Honour, Deputy Director Tourism Peerzada Zahoor, President Snowshoe Federation of India Mir Mudassar, General Manager Gondola Reyaz Malik, Assistant Director tourism Dr Ilyas were also present.
Mahmood Shah said snowshoe is popular sport and daily basis activity in Europe and American countries.
He said they are promoting it for last 3 years it is being promoted in Kashmir by organising multiple events.