January 2008 News

Missing Skier's Chances Of Survival Bleak In Kashmir: Norway

16 January 2008
Agence France-Presse

Srinagar: The chances of survival of a Norwegian skier missing for over a week in Indian Kashmir's top ski resort are 'slim,' Norway's embassy in India said. 'Given the extreme weather conditions, the chances of survival are slim,' the embassy said in a statement on its Web site. The northern resort of Gulmarg is famed as one of the world's top destinations for extreme and off-piste skiing. It is also home to an Indian army high-altitude warfare school. Franciska Rogne, 26, left her hotel on January 8 with her skiing gear and has not been seen since. 'While the results so far have not yielded any positive leads the search continues and the Royal Norwegian Embassy is in close contact with all the concerned in the area,' the statement said. Kashmir tourism officials said they have further intensified searches, even though the area has seen fresh snowfall. Gulmarg, situated about 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Srinagar, features big mountain descents from a 4,000 metre-high (13,000-foot) ridge as well as challenging turns through dense forest. Most of the skiing is in untracked, deep-powder snow, and the lack of off-piste restrictions as well as the relatively cheap hotel and lift prices make the area a major draw for ski adventurers. An Australian skier died in an avalanche above Gulmarg last year.

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