Indian Himalayas aren't short of exciting extreme sports regions, and if you lure to ski then visit Auli, the one of most popular ski resorts in India and the hot winter sport destination of the Garhwal hills in Uttaranchal. For those who yearn to learn skiing, no other place matches Auli. At an altitude of 2,500-3,050m above sea level, Auli offers exciting skiing opportunities to both beginners as well as professional skiers.
Winter Sports At Auli
In the summer, Auli is inviting but in the winter it is irresistible with its snowy mountain slopes and skiing facilities. Auli can be reached by road or ropeway from Joshimath. It provides an excellent panoramic view of the giant mountain peaks like Nanda Devi, Kamet and Dunagiri. From January to March, the Auli slopes are usually covered with a thick carpet of snow, about 3m deep. The stretch of 3-kms with a drop in elevation of 500m is considered to be a very good skiing ground by international standard. The background of lofty snow clad mountains heightens the sprit of the skiers.
To attract attention, skiing festivals are also conducted at Auli. These now include the national championships in the months of February and March, organised by the Winter Games Federation Of India. While skiing is the chief attraction at Auli, there are other attraction like cable car rides and rope lifts, or spend the day outdoors building snowmen, or having snowball fights.
Facilities For Skiers
The 500m ski-lift system, the longest cable car in Asia, or the trolley, as it is known locally, connects Joshimath with Gorson, above Auli. A short distance beyond Gorson lies the hill of Gorson Top, which provides excellent mountain vistas and is on the 24-km trek to kauri Pass. From Gorson, Auli's only chair lift travels to the base lodge, which is a small building that marks the starting point of all the ski runs.
An 800m long chair lift connects the lower slopes with upper slopes in Auli, making it easy for skiers to zip up in moments. Once reaching the ski start point they can ski down rapidly, while other can walk down the snow-paths at leisure. There are two snow-beaters imported from Germany, for beating the snow for skiing.
The slopes have been dressed and improved making them an ideal for hosting skiing festivals and competitions of national and international standards. Just the cable car ride is enough to justify a trip to this winter resort, with the snow-covered valleys below giving beautiful views of the Himalayas on all sides.
On the way to Auli there are various food-outlets private as well as government run restaurants available.Tourists are advised to bring woollen clothing's, cap, socks, dark glasses, gloves, mufflers, pullovers, wind-proof jacket, gum/snow boots and a torch light in their travel kit. These accessories are a must for the tourist, keeping in mind the weather conditions of Auli, where the temperature drops to as low as - 8C in winters, although it is moderately cold in the summers.
GMVN has the entire skiing equipments required for skiing activities, including the most modern alpine skis, Nordic skis, gloves and goggles. The tourists who are interested in skiing may bring the equipment of their choice with them. Skiing gear is also available on hire. Medical facilities are available Joshimath, which has well equipped hospitals and at Auli, where doctors are available 24 hours a day. However, participants are asked to bring their own first aid kit, which include a balm, footpowder and OTC medicines to take care of headaches, cols and sprains. In Auli, microwave telephones, wireless sets and walkie-talkies are available as communication.
Skiing Courses At Auli
While experienced skiers are likely to enjoy the slopes of Auli for the excitement it offers of unexplored terrain and the spectacular beauty of the surrounding Himalayas, for those who want to learn how to ski there are numerous skiing facilities available at Auli.GMVN conducts a 7-day as well as a 14-day skiing courses in the months of January-March. The course participants are also provided that basic ski equipment and lift facility, boarding and lodging.
available to the skiers are also available at competitive rates. One thing that adventure lovers should keep in mind is that Auli's season is short starting from January to March, so its better to pre plan your ski trip to this snow skiing heaven.