Skiing takes up a good lot of your energy. The heavy boots and equally heavy skis can tire you in half a day’s time. If that is not enough, reaching the slopes from the lodge is an equally difficult exercise. We had to walk a long way up to reach the snow line, a part of it carrying or wearing our ski shoes. Thankfully, we had help from friendly and hard-working porters who would carry our skis up. Without them, I am sure most of us would take half a day just to get to the slopes.
Taking the chair car to the ski slopes
The climb is worth it. The higher you get, the better the views. And better snow for sliding down. We would get energized with heavy breakfast, take the chair lift that would save us a 15 minutes of climb and make our way to the slopes at around 9am. It would be beyond 10am by the time we reached the slopes and start skiing. Go up and down a few times and we would be tired and sweating, loosing a good lot of the energy. But the addiction to skis does not let you go easily. Some rest and a ‘cool-drink’ and we would ready to go at it again. The morning hours would pass by, with some moments of thrill, some moments of falling and a good lot of fun and practice. By the time we descend, we would be hungry for food and rush to the kitchen.
A portion of the ski lodge
By 2.30pm, food and fatigue would have made us drowsy and we would head straight to bed. Few people would have the energy to stay up, and there is nothing much to do in and around the ski lodge anyway. Later part of the day would be whiled away in the restaurant, bar or the dorms, finding ways to while away the time. The restaurant had good heating and served hot chocolates and great Pakoras, which made us flock there. Dumb charades dominated our free time in the first few days, but we soon ran out of ideas.
It’s the gang of local Gharwali children, who were on a sponsored program to learn skiing, kept us amused in the last few days. They were hyperactive, noisy, running around and shouting all the time and sang loudly whenever they were bored. We would occasionally sit with them, get them to sing or play with us. They sang funny Gharwali songs in loud and shrill voices. We would encourage them to dance and they were too happy to oblige. Some of the Gharwali songs are incredibly funny and left us laughing to the end. One of them that seemed to be famous there went like this:
Bubbly tero mobileWah re tero smile
(Mobile – pronounced as mo-baa-yil and smile pronounced as is-ma-yil in Gharwali fashion!) The kids got into a fight sometimes and one of us had to rush to set things right!
Dancing Gharwali kids
Most of the evening and time after dinner would pass this way. We had good moonlight and clear skies when we were there, and some times we went on after-dinner walks in the forest below the lodge. Hope of seeing some wildlife in our day or night time wanderings never succeeded, though we saw plenty of signs of presence of bears, leopards and musk deer.
Also see more about Auli in paintedstork.com
Visit to Auli in 2005
* Images from Auli(plenty of snow)
* Trip report
Visit to Auli in 2006
* Images from Auli(little snow)
* A back-breaking journey: from Rishikesh to Auli
* First Day at Auli
* The days of Skiing
* Spending time in Auli
* Trekking and walking around
* About Auli