Monday, July 15, 2024

Tourism      Adventure Sports      Snow Skiing      Himachal Pradesh     Kullu    


Place : Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh
Best time for skiing : December - February
Facilities : Skiing, Snow boarding, Heli skiing
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Manali, famous for the lavish display of natural scenery, is situated at the northern end of Kullu Valley by the Beas river. Perched at an altitude of 2050 meters above sea level, this beautiful hill station is an ideal spot for adventure sport lovers. It offers skiing / snow boarding opportunities not only for professionals but also for beginners. Manali is surrounded by beautiful deodar cedar forests and huge peaks soaring to more than six thousand metres.

The best skiing slopes located near Manali are Solang Nullah (Solang Valley), Kothi, Patalsu, Marhi, Gulaba, Dhundi and Rohtang. These peaks offer some of the best powder covered slopes in the world. Generally Manali region is blessed with excellent weather, but the conditions are subject to sudden changes. In Patalsu and Rohtang slopes, summer skiing is also possible.  Manali is also a hot spot for Heli Skiing organised by Himachal Heli Skiing (HHS) since 1989. Hanuman Tibba, Deo Tibba, Chanderkhani Pass and Rohtang Pass near Manali are known for their high peaks, thus forming a perfect destination for Heli-skiers with experience. Powerful helicopters including Bell 407, AS 315B Lama and AS 350B3 Squirrel carry the skiers to the top of a 14000 feet high snow draped slope within ten minutes. They are accompanied by internationally-certified heli-ski guides who are experts in snow safety, rescue techniques and mountain travel. After the ascend by helicopter Skiers and Snowboarders can have a thrilling ride down to the deep valleys through changing terrain, steep slopes and through trees in a wide variety of conditions. Mostly Skiing is done in high valley floors over 2000 mts through Cedar forests and long rolling ridges over four thousand metres high, in clearings between birch and oak forests. The terrain offers skiing facilities sometimes as high as 5000 mts with vertical averaging between nine hundred metres and twelve hundred metres. 

Solang Valley

Solang valley, located about 13kms northwest of Manali at an altitude of around 8000 feet, is one of the most spectacular ski slopes in the western Himalayas. Popularly known as 'snow point', the valley has an extensive view of glaciers and snow capped mountains and peaks. For the beginners, Solang is an ideal skiing spot with introductory slopes and ski lifts. Its ski slopes, a paradise for skiers offers unexpected excitement with smooth-curved ridges and gentle gradients. Cross- country skiing is also practiced here. There are options for a Moderate skier/ snowboarder to be driven up the slopes on four wheel drive jeeps accompanied by guides. The best season for skiing here is from January to March. There are skiing/ snowboard packages available on daily or weekly basis.

The Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports in Manali is one of the premier institutions for skiing in the Himalayas. DMAS offers 7 days Snow Skiing course under the guidance of highly professional skiing Instructors. The institute has sufficient lodging and boarding arrangements and equipment can be hired for trekking purposes. The Mountaineering Institute has installed a 300m ski lift to enhance the ski training activities.

Solang is the venue of national level skiing competitions and the major attraction is the Winter Carnival held around the middle of February. The Winter Games are organised by Himachal Pradesh Government through the training institutes in collaboration with the Indian Olympic Association and the Winter Games Federation of India.

Ballooning can also be done in Solang Valley and the best season during summer.