While JK Tourism ensures all possible safety for the tourists, they have very limited arrangement for rescue operation for skier at higher altitude of Khilanmarg. What they suggest that you Ski around the earmarked area only as off-piste Skiing is not recommended. Please read the instructions before you take off.
In case of injury or danger please ask for help they will find you though very limited rescue and patrolling is available as they release you for Skiing after taking your detailed information and head count.
If you are going to Gulmarg in winter, the snow can be very thick and it is advisable to rent the rubber boots at a shop along the mountain slope as you make your way up the Afarwat Mountains to Gulmarg. The boot rental shop is very popular and your driver and guide will definitely know where is it.
The boot rental is very cheap, about 20 rupees per day. The rubber boots will ensure that you feet and pants will not get wet.
One of the biggest question people ask is should one visit Gulmarg, Srinagar and the rest of Kashmir due to the political situation?
As you might know, the situation in Kashmir can be volatile due to the on-going desputes between India and Pakistan. The presence of the Indian military is very strong at Gulmarg, Srinagar and nearby places. You will see soldiers, army trucks etc along the streets and in fact the airport at Srinagar is actually a huge military base cum airport.
The answer is that if you plan to go, it is best to check out the situation first and get advice from various sources. During my trip in late 2007 to early 2008, the situation was OK. You do not need to worry about the Indian soldiers there because they are friendly towards tourists as they also hoped that tourism can help boost the economy of Kashmir (in fact, I found them very helpful and friendly, especially at the airport). They had a job to do, that is why they are there to ensure protection of the people.
There are some monkeys on the streets of Gulmarg, so do be careful not to feed them or disturb them as they can be aggressive.
In winter, the roads are generally blocked due to heavy snow. Hence, it is better you travel by train or by air