Guiding & Safety
We think its better to be safer than sorry, and we know you’d agree.
We think its better to be safer than sorry, and we know you’d agree. We mean business when it comes to frolicking in the world’s finest outdoor playgrounds.
Our guides have been guiding in Gulmarg and the surrounding Himalayas since 1999, and skiing the region even longer. Our team of guides are formally certified by the American Avanlanche Association (AAA) and the AIARE (Alaskan Institute of Avalanche Research and Education). Our team are also members of the local Search and Rescue team and are trained in first aid.
Upon your arrival, you will meet with a K-Line team member who will assess your overall fitness level and specific competence in the sport that you have chosen. If your booking is less than 6 people, we may combine your group with other individuals of a similar ability, due to safety concerns. In addition, if abilities differ greatly without a group, K-Line may separate certain members of the group due to safety reasons. This is particularly important for backcountry skiing and boarding, as there can be serious safety ramifications if beginners are paired with advanced riders. K-Line will take into account your preferences, but we will override your requests due to safety concerns. Ultimately, K-Line will refine clients groups based on the following key considerations in terms of importance:
- Skill level
- Initial group booking size
- Personal preference
As per common practice in industry, K-Line has specifically determined optimal client-to-guide ratios for each individual sport. This allows us to provide the best adventure experience, whilst minimising waiting times and creating the best scenario in the event of an emergency. Backcountry skiing/snowboarding: We allow a client to guide of 6:1. This is the optimum number to facilitate safe travel in the backcountry, while also maintaining a sufficient number of individuals to assist in the event of an avalanche or any other emergency. Fly-fishing: We allow a client to guide of 6:1. This is the ideal maximum group size for our private and exclusive fly-fishing adventures, in order to prevent over-crowding of specific fishing locations. This also allows a sufficient number of individuals to assist in emergencies such as a river accident. Mountain biking: We allow a client to guide ratio of 8:1. This is the optimum number to maintaining safety whilst mountain biking in the wilderness. This will also allow more manpower in the event of emergencies such as bad falls. Trekking: We allow a client to guide ratio of 10:1. There are far fewer safety and privacy concerns than the other previous sports, so we permit a higher number of clients. However, in order to maintain the quality of the experience and to protect the environment we still impose a maximum client to guide ratio for each trekking group. MTN FIT & MTN YOGA: We allow a client to instructor ratio of 8:1. There are far fewer safety and privacy concerns than the other previous sports, so we permit a higher number of clients. However, in order to maintain the quality of the experience and to protect the environment we still impose a maximum client to guide ratio for each trekking group.
In certain situations, we may impose a minimum group size for safety reasons. Although it may appear that fewer clients means better value-for-money, this may not be true in emergencies that require multiple team members to take on different tasks. This is particularly the case in backcountry skiing or mountain biking, because having at least several people involved in a rescue scenario means a greater chance of survival. Even in trekking or fly-fishing, it can be necessary to allocates certain tasks to each individual during emergencies.
At K-Line, we aim to deliver the ultimate adventure with a side of bragging rights. To balance the acidity, we have some important considerations when we plan each day’s itinerary. Although travelling safely in the wilderness is paramount, we also make it a priority to manage what we like to call the human factors – general expectations and overall excitement – to provide a safe and memorable experience.
Nothing is more important to us than your safety. However, our approach to safety differs greatly depending on the location and the specific sport. Although K-Line is an international company, we remain experts on adventure travel in the Himalayas and northern India remains our primary destination. Each country has a unique approach to safety, which differ greatly depending on the climate, the specific sport and even cultural factors. K-Line has carefully considered all of these different factors and established unique safety networks and procedures that are appropriate to the sport and the region. For example, our winter clients are attracted to the virtually limitless amount of untracked backcountry terrain in the Gulmarg Resort. However, the sheer area of the backcountry terrain also means that the Gulmarg Ski Patrol cannot always immediately access emergencies, especially if they occur in out-of-bounds areas far away from the resort. Consequently, K-Line established K-Rescue – a 24-hour search and rescue service, exclusively provided free of charge to K-Line clients only. Our K-Rescue team is trained and first aid and safety evacuation in the backcountry, and equipped with military-grade communications technology and professional rescue equipment. As always, the little things ultimately make a big difference.