Whether it snows or not, now the adventure enthusiasts would be able to enjoy skiing on the slopes of Solang Valley throughout the year. When skiing is the only purpose, then it can be done on grass too as the French have been doing since 1966.
For the first time in country, Himachal Pradesh is going to own a grass skiing slope in Solang Valley, 13 km from Manali, which has been hosting national-level snow skiing championships. The work to develop an international level grass skiing slope has begun in Solang Valley, which is likely to complete by the July this year. Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports director Randhir Singh Salhuria said a 250-feet long and 30 feet wide patch with foreign guidelines was being prepared for grass skiing at Solang which would be completed this year. "The slope is being designed on the lines being made abroad and most probably it would be ready in summers of 2012," he added.
The youth affairs and sports ministry was spending Rs 1 crore for the project, of which modern machinery and equipment for carving skiing worth Rs 75 lakh and for grass skiing worth Rs 25 lakh had been purchased.
The Manali-based mountaineering institute would provide the necessary skis for all those interested as this game was being introduced in the country for the very first time. The department was thinking of hiring trained instructors from abroad, a source said.
"Grass skiing would add to adventure sports of the country a new feather. The institute itself would train the youths for this sport. Now tourists would be able to enjoy snow skiing in winters and grass skiing in summers besides snowboarding, white water rafting, paragliding, rock climbing, mountaineering and other sports," Salhuria said. To further promote the adventure tourism in Himachal, the government was going to built two artificial rock climbing walls soon, one in Solang Valley and another in Dharamshala.