This winter, enjoy the drop in temperature by chasing the snow. Ardent travellers from around the world are making most of the chilly season by hitting skiing destinations. With skiing in several parts of the world now open, here’s a list of places that you can visit for some downhill fun.
Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir
Located in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, Gulmarg is widely considered one of the best skiing destinations in India. It also boasts of one of the world’s highest gondola lifts (cable car) that ferry people to the slopes.
Offering a panoramic view of lofty Himalayan peaks, Auli has come up as a ski destination only recently. Positioned at an elevation of 2,800m and located about 250 km from Rishikesh, it is ideal for ski lovers.
Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh
Skiing in Narkanda began in the ’80s, and continues to be a major draw. Surrounded by the Shivalik Hills, this small town, which is about 65km from Shimla, offers a scenic view of ­snow-capped mountains, and receives a generous amount of snow every year. Its altitude is 2,700m.
Solang, Himachal Pradesh
Solang Valley (or Solang Nullah), about 13 km from Manali, is on the way to the popular tourist destination, Rohtang Pass. Solang is famous for hosting several winter games. Skiing is one of the main attractions here.
ON FOREIGN SHORES
Val Thorens, Tarentaise Valley, France
This was recently voted as the World’s Best Ski Resort at the World Ski Awards. Located at an altitude of 2,300 m, Val Thorens’ potential to become a ski area was noted in the ’60s, and soon after, work on this plan was given a push. Many of its slopes face north and north-west, providing good snow ­conditions.
Zermatt is known for being one of the best destinations for skiing, with several glacier-clad peaks, although until the mid-19th century, it was predominantly an agricultural community. The town lies at the upper end of the Mattertal valley at an elevation of 1,620 m. Apart from great skiing conditions, the area also offers a stunning view.
Aspen, Colorado, USA
Located at an elevation of 3,418 m, Aspen has four separate ski areas. It is one of the most sought after skiing destinations for international celebrities, with Jack Nicholson, Mariah Carey and Antonio Banderas, among many others, owning homes here. Every winter, the ­fashion conscious flock to these slopes dressed in the season’s trendiest ski-wear.
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
This ski destination, which is considered one of the finest in North America, is just a two-hour drive from the airport in Vancouver. It is surrounded by glaciated mountains and boasts of a generous amount of snow and some of the longest ­vertical drops. It is said that over two million people visit Whistler annually for skiing.