Some 56km west of Srinagar and at an elevation of around 2700m, GULMARG, whose name means “flower meadow”, is a pleasant escape from the city but is rather more geared towards domestic tourists and can get very crowded. It is also rather spread out, with no discernible centre. The meadow itself is a kilometre wide and over three long, allowing ample room for picnics, pony rides and even one of the world’s highest golf courses. The surrounding pine slopes can be ascended for a distant view of 8126m Nanga Parbat to the north, in Pakistan-controlled Baltistan. The more sedentary can ascend one of these slopes on a gondola for Rs300–800, depending how high up you go. In winter, the gondola comes into its primary usage as the means to get to the top of Gulmarg’s skiing slopes, which are underused but highly recommended for the quality of powdery snow. Equipment ($7–20) and ski intsructors ($38) can be hired through what purports to be the world’s smallest ski shop, Kashmir Alpine. The same operation also runs trekking expeditions during the warmer months. Another recommended operation is the British-run Mountain Tracks.