‘Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.’ Franz Fafka
Very few things can make you feel more alive than snowboarding during winter. It’s not even just about the adrenaline – the entire experience is more about gradually discovering yourself, which also explains why most of the snowboarding enthusiasts have discovered a spiritual face in this sport. Of course, nobody wakes up one morning and says out of thin air: ‘I am going to unveil my soul. I’m going snowboarding.’ And yet, this is one of those situations when you’re alone with your thoughts, exploring everything there is on the inside while being very receptive to the outside as well.
Over 110 peaks rise to over 24,000 feet (8,000 meters) in the Himalaya, which makes it both the loftiest mountain range on the world and a must for the adventurer inside any of us. If ther’es any place where you can truly make the most of your snowboarding experience – it’s the Himalayas.
What’s most important here is that you need some mountaineering experience and be trained in avalanche safety. While it isn’t a place for any tourist, in case you do have the necessary experience these are some of the greatest places on earth to carve some turns.
The outside, in this case, is mindblowing, particularly if your holiday choice are the Himalayas, where the options are more diverse than you could ever imagine. From Leh and Aui to Kufri, Narkanda or Gulmarg, there are plenty of possibilities to choose from. Most of these regions are in India (Himachal Pradesh province) or in Jammu and Kashmir, a territory disputed between India and Pakistan. Even at Malam Jamba (Swat Valley, Pakistan) the authorities have begun to wrest control of the pistes from the non-skiing Taliban and are currently trying to transform the area from army to commercial resort.
Most of these regions are on the Indian-subcontinent side of the mountains, where the peaks collide with the monsoon rains and fall as compact powder. The Tibet region is not a very popular option because it’s too dry for this kind of sport, so you would want to pick a more convenient destination.
The best season for snowboarding is from December to March, since it’s the both optimum temperature and amount of precipitations. The southern regions of India and Pakistan are the best locations that you could choose regardless of the season, but especially taking into consideration the above suggested period. Solang Nullah, Narkanda and Kufri in Himachal Pradesh and Auli in the proximity of the Uttarakand region are both politically stable and very safe. The exchange rate is $1 approximately 61 Indian Rupes. Tips go from 5 to 10 per cent, buy they’re not compulsory and you’re more than welcome to every suite even if you’re not willing to be overly generous.
The most valuable weather tip would be not to underestimate the temperatures – yes, although it’s India we’re talking about, it gets very cold and you should take this into consideration before packing as well.
- woolen cap – because most of your body warmth is lost through your head, it’s imperative not to go on the slope without it; more importantly than looking fancy on your perfect-winter-day selfie, you’ll want to get through the day without freezing ears.
- warm socks – one of the things that may seem ridiculous, wearing several pairs of socks at the same time comes in handy when you go skiing or snowboarding. Similarly to your body being kept warmer if you dress with as many distinct layers, it’s essential for your balance and precision that your feet remain warm once you’ve left the hotel.
- gloves and mittens, thin and thick, along with scarfs or mufflers are not just accessories, but proper clothes for your safety.
- thermal underwear would be great, and if you’ve ever been skiing you’ll easily understand that same goes for snowboarding
- dark glasses and sun block – you’ve probably realized by now that we’re not trying to make a fashion statement, but to make sure the glare of snow isn’t going to blind you while doing your tricks. UV rays are as dangerous during negative temperatures, and they can burn your skin as easily as they do in mid-summer.
You’ll find it in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, only 57 km from Srinagar (the capital city). Gulmarg is a spectacle of 2,730 meters(7, 775 ft) high. The only section of the Gandola that works this winter is from Gulmarg to Kongdori, with a downhill ski of approximately 3 km. The three ski lifts and the chair lift are very convenient and make every beginner and intermediate-levels’ skiing and snowboarding a great experience to start with. Whenever you decide to go, it’s best to read about the current situation of the law and order in the region before traveling here, since there’s a strong possibility to encounter unusual political situations. Also, an extra tip would be make sure you carry heavy woolens with you – since it’s very cold most of the time, and the clothing is exceptionally expensive in the area.
Although the town sells itself as a tourist destination throughout the entire year, it’s an excellent family-friendly place during the winter holidays. From budget accommodations to papered pinewood
The following is a select list of Gulmarg ski resorts from budget hotels to pampered pinewood retreats, several of which are open year round as summer getaways. Book through your agent or check for the best available internet rates online (BAR) where available. Room rates will fluctuate and climb during peak seasons summer and winter. Prices in general range from Rs3,000-Rs4,000 at lower end establishments (higher during peak summer weekends), to Rs8,000-Rs9,000 at a quality five-star hotel and touching Rs20,000 for a top-of-the-line stay at a luxury resort.
Less than 65 km from Shimla, this is one of India’s oldest ski resorts. Perfect for snowboarding, this resort lies at 2,400 meters (8,100 ft) altitude. Because it’s also a major horticultural center, you’ll be feasting on the most eccentric specialties made of apples and cherries. One of the Himachal’s most beautiful settlements, the region is unspoilt and uncrowded, which makes it just great if you’re looking for a relatively raw environment. One thing is sure – you’re not in the danger of being suffocated by fellow skiers and snowboarders, and there are just enough options to follow from slalom to cross-country. Hattu Peak is where you’ll go if you’re looking for an intimate moment with a genuinely natural environment, and it’s just 6 km away from Narkanda.
If you’ve ever been to the place during the summer season, you’re going to have a shock. The entire region turns into a proper snow field with probably one of the best slopes you’ll ever see. It’s safe and as entertaining for a beginner as it is for someone who’s been doing this for years. Another advantage here are the hotels – you’ll find decent accommodation if you’re on a budget as well as expensive suites in case you’re willing to spend more than just the next guy.
Solang Valley is going to be waiting for you only 17 kilometers from Manali, and there aren’t many things you won’t find here. From the base camp for trekkers, campers and climbers to the scenic winter landscapes. You’ll be able to enjoy something that most of the Indians take for granted – the amazing views along with all the activities. Transport to the slope, equipments and instructors, and the possibility to ski in solitary slope, for those who’ve been waiting a day too much for this holiday time.