Skiing in Himachal Pradesh
In North India, winters might often get grey and boring, and you may not feel like doing anything. South India, on the other hand, does not experience such a long and cold season for you to enjoy. Whatever be your story, you may plan to go skiing in Himachal Pradesh to make the most of the winter season. The state has a number of places where the sport is organised, and such spots have many hotels and resorts for you to stay. Many of them organise skiing itineraries, and some may even give you a course in it. While skiing, you will get to see picturesque landforms, feel the snow beneath your feet and the wind on your face as you zoom past others.
To make the most of skiing in Himachal Pradesh, you should know about the sport and its other aspects. It is a thrilling venture wherein you slide down snow-covered slopes on skis, and control your movement with poles. Skis are flat, rectangular boards of metal that are provided with slots and buckles to secure your feet. Poles are made of a variety of materials like aluminium and carbon fibre, both of which are light and strong.
• Size of Skis: Be careful while buying skis, for their size determines your safety at large. The larger the ski, the faster you will go, so consider your expertise when choosing them.
• Buckles: The buckles that fasten your feet on the metal strips have the capability of letting your feet go free. It becomes important when you come down too fast or hit solid ice. The release of your feet will reduce the impact of the crash, but those buckles that open too easily may lead to falls even if your velocity is low. Have the buckles checked by an expert before you step on them.
• Helmet: Wearing a helmet is a must to avoid getting hurt if you tumble and hit the ice.
• Control: Always gain that speed at which you are easily in control and can stop when you want.
• Ethics: The safety of the skiers ahead of you is your responsibility, so slide at a comfortable speed and always be in control. Do not stop at such a point from where you are invisible to others. The ski paths often have signboards that you should always look out for and adhere to.
The state of Himachal Pradesh lies in the northern part of India, and is bordered by Tibet, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, and Jammu and Kashmir. Much of the state contains some or the other sub-range of the Himalayas, where many popular ski resorts are located. The southernmost strip of Himachal Pradesh forms a part of the fertile and vast plains, which are heavily settled by humans. From north to south, the Zanskar, Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal and Shivalik ranges of the Himalayas run parallel to one other through the state.
• Climate: The climate of Himachal Pradesh is not constant, and depends on altitude. At lowest elevations, the hills demonstrate a subtropical climate with hot and humid weather, which gets cooler in winters. The middle reaches of the Himalayas have a subtropical highland climate, which makes the weather cool in summers and extremely cold in winters. At the highest altitudes, a subarctic climate is prevalent, which means that the temperatures here are always below freezing point.
Solang: Skiing in Himachal Pradesh is most popularly held in the picturesque Solang Valley. It is at an altitude of approximately 8400 feet, and the large and expansive slopes here attract hordes of tourists. There is a ropeway, which will transport you to a height of over 9000 feet to the top of the ski point. From here, you can slide down and cut across jungles of firs, spruces and cedars or venture on plain slopes. There is a plunge of about 500 feet, which will truly make your hair rise, jaws drop and you screaming with excitement.
The best time for skiing in Himachal Pradesh is in the months of December, January, February and March. Take up the sport when the day is at its warmest as the sun will keep the snow moist and fluffy. Early in the day and late at noon, the snow will solidify into ice, and the chances of getting hurt will be more.