Skiing in Manali
Skiing in Manali is one of the best adventure activities, which you can go for in India. Whether alone, with family or friends, it is a great sport to make the most of winters. This way you can relax, blow off some steam and also induce some adventure in your life. You must have seen skiing on TV as part of events like the Winter Olympics, and if you thought that it was thrilling, then you definitely have to do it. There are numerous skiing destinations in the world, most notably in the Rockies and the Alps. The Himalayas too have such places, which though less known to the world are equally magnificent as others. In India, Manali is among the best places where this amazing activity is hosted.
• Location: The famous hill town of Manali is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh in North India. Within the state, it comes under the jurisdiction of the Kullu district.
• Geography: Geographically, the town lies in the upper reaches of the Kullu valley, and has an elevation of roughly 6730 feet above sea level. Flat terrains at the valley floor and high mountains in the background are the topographical features of the place.
• Climate: The climate of the region is categorised as subtropical highland, which is characterised by pleasant weather all through the year. Highs of not more than 25 degree Celsius in May and June, and lows of -2 degrees in December and January are normal here. Rainfall is experienced here in almost every month that is a testament to the unpredictable weather of the region. Skiing in Manali is organised between December and February as moderate to heavy snowfall is experienced here during this period.
• Distance and Accessibility: The hill station is approximately 554 km from the national capital of New Delhi. Flights and trains are available from around the country to Chandigarh, from where you will have to take a bus or cab to reach the destination.
Skiing means travelling down snow-covered slopes on metal bars known as skis, and controlling your direction with two poles. The skis are flat so that they distribute your weight evenly, and you do not sink in the snow. Poles are made of lightweight but extremely strong materials like carbon fibre and aluminium. Your feet are fastened to buckles in-built on the skis that make sure you do not fall. If you do fall, then the buckles release your feet and minimise the impact of the same.
• Accessories: The two most important items of clothing for skiing in Manali are helmets and tinted goggles that should never be taken off. Goggles protect your eyes from the strong sun while helmets shield your head against injuries.
• When to Go: The foremost thing to know for being safe while taking up the sport is when to go for it. Follow the weather reports closely, and look for the day when the region has received a good amount of snow. The snow should be thick enough to easily cover the slopes, and let you slide on them easily. Also, pick the hour of the day when the sun is overhead and strong. The heat will keep the snow fluffy and minimise the extent of injury.
• During the Activity: Always maintain such speeds, at which you can control your direction and stop whenever you want. Warning fellow skiers of your descent will result in less injury not only to you, but to them as well. At high points in the region, you will not be visible to others; hence do not stop there. Follow the path indicated by signboards, and stay off prohibited trails.
Skiing in Manali is not hosted in the town itself, but in the scenic Solang Valley, which is only 12 km away.
• Terrain: Solang Valley has an approximate altitude of 8400 feet, and it is covered by jungles of pindrow firs.
• Access: The best way to reach here is via the cable-car, which covers a distance of about 1.3 km. It will take you to a height of around 1500 feet from its base station. Each of its 19 cabins can carry up to eight people, and the ride takes about an hour.
• The Experience: With an altitude of around 10500 feet, the peak of Mount Phatru is the highest point in the area. This landform is almost complete devoid of trees, and as you start the roughly 0.5 km descent, coniferous trees start appearing. Your heartbeat will increase in strength and frequency, and you will have unlimited fun. Know more about Skiing in Solang Valley.