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Snow Sports

Snow Sports

 

Looking to try your hand at some winter sports in India? Try the Himalayan region, which is known for snow sports. Go snowboarding or skiing in India and experience the fun of swooshing down the beautiful snow covered slopes. It’s all about being alert and learning the art of balancing and with simple techniques and a little training you will be all set to rush down the slopes and feel the ultimate thrill. If you are a skier take part in various ski tournaments that take place during winters in Gulmarg and Manali. Skiing and snowboarding are sports mainly for adventure enthusiasts who are not scared of heights and are in love with speed. So if you are one of those, then gear up for some snow sports in India and get going for an unforgettable snow sport adventure holiday.

 

Best time to go

Himachal Pradesh etc in India have been frequented by snow sport enthusiasts during the winter months (December till February and mid-March). The mountains are covered with thick snow during these months which serve as an excellent platform for snow sports.

What to bring

Pack clothes you can layer. Take waterproof jackets and lowers, woolen socks, sunglasses, neck-warmer and gloves. First aid kit and camera comes handy.

 

Snow Sports in India

Skiing

Talk of skiing, and most people will think of the powder-white slopes of Switzerland; India, tropical country that it is, will invariably not come to mind. Which is sad, because India too offers skiing- limited, but fulfilling. Gulmarg, in Jammu and Kashmir, was a skier's Mecca for some decades before strife in the region put the brakes only tourism- but, in the meantime, other places have appeared on the ski map of India. Kufri and Narkanda, Auli and Manali are fast gaining a reputation for good slopes- all offer a very satisfying skiing holiday.

The vast open spaces, snow clad mountains and the awesome height of skiing slopes in India are enough to pump up the adrenaline in any ski enthusiast.

India's ski resorts are largely confined to the western half of the Himalayas- in Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh, high enough to get a good cover of snow during the winter months, yet low enough to be easily accessible. Kufri and Narkanda in Himachal Pradesh have been frequented by skiers for decades now, while Auli is the new destination on the block- but what a destination.

Destinations in India for Skiing

Garhwal: Auli

Jammu & Kashmir: Gulmarg

Himachal Pradesh: Kufri, Solang Valley, Narkanda, Rohtang, Gulaba, Marhi

Best time to visit

All across the Himalayas, January to March is the skiing season, when the resorts are at their snowy best. By late December, most slopes are already well covered, but places really start warming up only once the New Year starts. You can go for skiing in Auli between the months of January and March. Gulmarg is good for skiing from mid-December till mid-March. You can go for skiing in Solang Valley from January till February and from March till June you can take up skiing in Gulaba, Marhi or Rohtang which is 51 kms from Manali.

Tips

Keep in mind that as a beginner you will fall down a lot while practicing and it’s hard to stand up also. Don't lose hope; given proper training and instruction on this sport it is not that difficult to learn

Choose to wear proper fitting ski boots that will help you keep warm. Don't be tempted to wear very thick socks or more than one pair, as this will hamper your blood circulation and your feet might become cold again

Wear ski pants instead of jeans or sweatpants. Wear waterproof jackets and gloves.

 

Snowboarding

Snowboarding is basically skateboarding or surfing on the snow. A relatively a new winter adventure sport in India, while snowboarding one has to ride a fiberglass board with the feet strapped on it. Snowboarding is all about maintaining your balance while surfing down the ski slopes and one needs to have proper practice and knowledge about the technique of snowboarding, before attempting it. Snowboarders surf on snow by transforming their weight from heels to their toes as well as from one end of the board to the other. In order to stop the motion a snowboarder has to push the heels or toes hard to strike the edge of the snowboard into the snow.

Although it might appear that snowboarding is close to skiing but actually snowboarding techniques are a lot closer to skateboarding and surfing. Snowboarding has three leading styles known as Alpine, Freestyle and Boarder cross. This breathtaking sport is developing its wings in North India especially in the Himalayan region and is emerging as a popular amongst adventure enthusiasts.

Destinations in India for Snowboarding

The Himalayas in India have always been the abode for winter adventure sports. The powder snow in this region with multiple natural jumps, steep sections and smooth open surfing areas proves to be perfect for snowboarding. Places you can go for snowboarding are:

Garhwal: Auli

Jammu & Kashmir: Gulmarg,

Himachal Pradesh: Kufri, Solang Valley, Narkanda, Rohtang, Gulaba

Best time to go Snowboarding

The best time to go snowboarding in India is between the months of January and March.

Tips

Bear in mind the instructions and techniques while snowboarding

Take safety measures instructed by your guide

Choose to wear items uniquely designed for snowboarding like waterproof pants, jackets, gloves and helmets to keep you warm and avoid getting wet

Keep your first aid kit handy

 

Precautions

Keep following things in mind while taking up a snow sport:

Never participate alone in a snow sport

Warm up thoroughly before participating. Cold muscles, tendons, and ligaments are vulnerable to injury

Wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding

Check that equipment is working properly prior to use

Bear in mind the instructions or techniques taught by your guide

Check the weather update to ensure safety and avoid any upcoming storms or severe drops in temperature

Seek shelter and medical aid immediately if you experience hypothermia

Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after activities

Avoid participating in sports if you are physically unfit


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