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A Frozen Tryst -Auli Skiing

Simple is white and white is pure. This white is pristine and bereft of swashbuckling debuts. Auli is covered with silvery sheen of snow and is a beauty unparalleled. An adventure freak throughout my growing ages, I had a tryst with Auli, a frozen paradise, just recently. Although a snow buff, I missed an athletic vein in my growing years. My extremest sports in the snow was just limited to snowballing and snowboarding in the hills of Kashmir. Nevertheless, trying my hands at these sports made me, leastwise, pick up the gusto for skiing. The nearest and much acclaimed place that I could make up mind for skiing was Auli- The jewel of Uttranchal. Auli taught me, a novice, to be a risk taker as I turned to these dangerous slopes at Uttranchal only after when I was spurned by other skiing joints.

Auli is a caveat against it's own charm. Only if you feel that your soul is spared by the bonnie vibes of the cyclorama, you can ask your mind to wander off to adventurous errand. Frozen with an adventurous assignation - Auli is called to be laden with authentic notion of enchanting risk. Nah......... It is definitely not one colossal charisma. It is all about a pocket sized snowy field, set to flaunts its skiing prowess, that once served to be the training ground for men of courage and gallantry, the ski-equipped men of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force. No wonder, Auli is indue with beautiful winters accompanied by tremendous skiing scope, it has other indulging activities like water Sports and festivals that made me fall for it again n again. Listed among the top winter vacation stations, Auli sprawls across 16 kilometers from Joshimath at Uttranchal, run by the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam.

The adventure-seething white beauty, Auli is grounded in gallant history evidences, to which you can listen by the top peaks like Nanda Devi, Kamet and Mana Parbat. The most influencing historical account to me was that great Guru Adi Shankaracharya had first trekked the icy slopes and also built a temple at Joshimath. I had some intentions to excavate the lost footprints of that great guru and that is what added colours for the attraction for the place. Auli was not the same since its birth. Years have seen the snow melting and the water cementing itself on the hills again, for sure it has traversed many stages before it was developed into a large skiing resorts in the late eighties with just 5-7 kms of area located way up between 9,500 and 10,500 ft. The air is cold and scented while the skies here are stunning blue where it commands excellent views of the neighbouring peaks soaring well enough at 23000 ft.

Skiing and Not Seeing...
"Kashmir's loss is Uttranchal's gain" an incredible remark from a fellow skier jolted my thinking for this secluded regions. Indeed we know that Auli is surely not at all Aspen or St. Moritz, and it is pretty miraculous that we have slopes with wonderful and soft powdery snow at all. Forget winters at the beach and head north instead. After a week on the slopes you will be confident enough to whiz down a mountain and execute a fancy parallel turn to be warned, it is dangerous- your tummy disappears, your muscles tone up and your skin starts glowing with good health. It can be addictive, so exercise your caution as I did that.

Auli is the owner of some of the most scintillating area with those large slopes of Garhwal and Kumaon covered with seasonal snow. A number of skiing regions cram Auli but few like Dayara Bugyal and Mundali are known for their precarious undulations sending challenges to your skiing spirit. The vast open spaces and snowy terrain also offers ski tours amongst the glaciers. Imbued with the technological up gradations, Uttrachalis are trying their hand at spanking new cable car rope way traverses 4 km up in the hills from Joshimath transporting you over the tops of oak and fir trees here. And when you swoop down the slopes you do not have to worry about the trudge backup: the baby slopes have 1,460 ft ski lift, and the advanced slopes have 2,620 ft chair lift to haul you up. You can spot the seekers at the break of the day till evening that sets in with cold air and dark silhouette. Cabel cars, helicopters, rescue operation and snow beaters, the slopes have jury rigged its beauty through technological up gradations at Auli.

Skiing, Sliding and Slimming
By now there were just three things that I did and they were ski, skiing and skying. Unlike others winter resorts, which offer tobogganing and sledging, there is only sliding that you can do here. Auli is not meant for the meek hearted or the lazy. I had to over come my pre-skiing fears and wipe those extra beads of sweat from my forehead while you challenge my gut for skiing down that the lowest summit of the snow there. Seven days old at Auli, I tried my hands at skiing after biding into a skiing course at course at GMVN. Learning to Ski is learning to fumble with your skies on a slippery ground. My fears saw an fast evaporation as the course turned out to be fun and thrill. I forgot the feel of earth and got accustomed to frequent sinking in the snow. Learning to fall and stand up is prerequisite to skiing practice because you cannot learn to ground yourself on snow until you take falling classes. Not prior to my skiing classes did I learn to fondle the earth so frequently. Only those who are well versed with the snow living can tell apart about the houses immersed in the snow, others may get beguiled.

Would you be ready to believe that the ground on which you are sloping turn s out to be potato field. That tells you about digesting some indigestible bizarres on your skiing slopes. Practice makes a man perfect and so does sessions with skies make you perfect a master of skiing. But there are other magical moments I enjoyed at Auli like watching dawn break and watching the sky open up its bounty at night, and snowflakes floating gently, soundlessly to earth.

Writer's Account
Clara Rays
Taken several trips round the world, Clara Rays incessantly recite her memorable travel tales to her clients. Clad in loads of Indian jewelery and large bindi ( a small dot kind of make up put on forehead) she has learnt a lot, like travelling in trains, waiting for buses and knitting sweaters, in India. Rays is a senior travel consultant with our company. Many have written on Shimla but Clara leases out an unique travelogue on a railway station called Barog. Go ahead to read what did she discover in the quietudes of Barog Railway Station.
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