I admit Skiing wasn't easy,but it was fun.Watch out for my first attempt in the video.
I did however realize later that the cameras are a distraction,
So the next day I stand up,ski better in the mountains
Without the shutterbags!
We all know Gulmarg is a heaven for skiing,as Kashmir was disturbed in 2010,we tried skiing for two days in Auli.Auli in Garhwal Himalayas in Uttaranchal is also counted as another major skiing resort of India
-Auli because its still very undiscovered.
SO HOW DID IT START
The non-functional ropeway is a showpiece in Auli
THE BACK BREAKING BUS JOURNEY TO AULI : Haridwar - > Joshimath 11 hours
The journey from Haridwar to Joshimath takes 11 hours.On our way to Auli we had no choice but to take a small bus,the seats designed in a way you feel confined in a box the whole journey.The only hope you have is the snow you're looking forward to the whole journey
Video of Auli
The bus takes you through entirely mountainous roads and its not for the faint hearted. The views outside the window of the bus takes you through valleys of Ganges,many streams of Ganges merging along the way.
Though the journey gets monotonous after,and sometimes..and you wish..Kash Ye Safar Itta Lamba Na Hota.
END OF THE TIRING DAY
When we reached in the night after a ride of 11 hours,we were too tired to go out.The weather was chilling to the spine.Had our blankets the fresh hot spicy maggi of the mountains and we slept for the day.
THE CUTE COTTAGES OF GMVN,AULI
We had booked our stay at joshimath garhwal guesthouse for 3 days,but the moment we went uphill,we noticed the more exciting choice.
Those were the alpine cottages and log huts in the middle of the snow clad mountains.And luckily they were VACANT.We discussed with the GMVN guys at Auli and they moved us to one of the cottages.
Had I not stayed here,I would have missed all the fun.The mornings were blissful,with my little cottage covered in snow,and the areas around all white.And then with the sun,the snow and ice gradually used to decline.The aloo parantha at the GMVN guesthouse was a real treat.What else do you want???
AND NO ROPE WAY =LONG UPHILL TREK
I had googled again and again and again and the major attraction about Auli written everywhere was the rope way. Guys please please confirm if its functional before you decide on to try a 11 hours bus journey.
When we were there,we knew we have to be on the rope way to give us a better view and not waste our time.But unluckily,the rope way wasn't functional.We asked the GMVN guys and they informed us that the rope way isn't functional for past 1 year as a repair is going on..for long..time.
So,we had no other option but to trek with our sticks.
SKIING AT AULI
Frankly before this I had never tried skiing,and I have this short video of mine trying to ski in my first attempt.There were good guides,and they had their packages of 7-14 days to learn skiing.
But we had no time,we did manage to somehow learn to ski over a distance in 2 days,and we were quite happy with that,the rush in the air and the balance is what is required.
THE TREK HA HA HA
We made a flag with the whiskey bottle covers,left over papers on the snow
And look,it ain't that bad!
I love my India-Snow,Villages,Mountains and Sea
There are two ways you can enjoy a trek.Either you know whats in there,or you're with someone,who know what might be there.And then there is..
A trek which is as unpredictable as it can get when all your IQ goes into your stick.And that's exactly what happened to us.The trek was sometimes,the snow took us several feets down till our waistline and sometimes,it was not so deep.
The smooth layer of snow doesn't mean all has to be smooth within.I have witnessed such a thing,in Gulmarg.when the snow is not there,its a hilly mountain with its own rocks and depths.
And this was fresh snow..though we enjoyed every moment of this unpredictability until we got tired.
END OF THE DAY..IS AULI WORTH IT??
Of course,It is.It might not turn out to be one of your leisure holidays,but it will surely hypnotize you with its breathtaking views.
Advantage of Auli: The place is beautiful,and the cottages in the middle of the snow,is cute and simply great.The coaching for the skiing is well organised and the training coach are good.
Disadvantage of Auli :
-Many,reaching Auli is a pain in the a#$.
-Confirm the ropeway status before travelling,or else be prepared to trek for 1 -3 hours..on your own.
-Confirm before reaching if the snow is there,as Auli doesn't receive very high snowfall throughout the year.Its only in Jan-Feb they have snowfall,and the level of snowfall depends and varies every year.
WHAT TO DO IF IN AULI
-Are you game for ruffling past the snow? If yes, then Auli is just the option for you. Skiing is one of the foremost activities tourist can look forward to when in Auli.
-And if you are on a long vacation the best bet would be learn the art completely. You can enroll yourself in the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN), which offers a fortnight-long skiing course for the amateurs.
There are number of trek options launched from Auli. Tourist can either engage themselves in short treks that last for a few hours or go for the longer ones. Some of the trek options that can be completed in a single day are:
Auli - Gorson (7 km)
Gorson - Tali (6 km)
Tali - Kuari Pass (11 km)
Kuari Pass - Khulara (12 km)
Khulara - Tapovan (9 km)
-This blissful hill station has a number of temples which make it a heaven for pilgrims. For those who didn’t know, the deity of Lord Badri Vishal that rests in Badrinath is brought to the temple at Joshimath, during the time when the temple in Badrinath remains closed for 5 - 6 months.
-Apart from this, there is also a Human temple which is believed to have been the resting ground for Lord Hanuman, when he was on his way to pick the ‘Sanjivani’ from the Sanjivani Mountain in Himalayas, to save the life of Laxman.
-A ride high up in the sky is sure to leave you absolutely thrilled and delighted.Of course,if it works :)