February is not just for valentines. The month opens a window to the world of the Himalayan snow. If you love the fresh white landscape and its challenges, Pandit Nain Singh Surveyor Mountaineering Training Institute conducts a two-week-long basic skiing course in Munsiyari.
An Indian pays INR 9,000 for the course, whereas a foreign national pays USD$ 400. The fee includes accommodation, equipment, food, medicines, transportation, and training during the course. Both mental and physical fitness are required to survive in snowy terrain at high altitude. You will need a fitness certificate from a medical professional to apply for the course.
About five-seven kilometres from Munisyari lies Betuli Dhar and Khaliya Top meadows that double as skiing runs from November to Mid-March and draw skiers. Non-manicured slopes of Munsiyari are not connected with ski lifts or gondalas. Besides a number of beginner slopes, the steep runs feature testing turns for seasoned skiers.
Kumaun Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) also teaches skiing in Munsiyari. However, the Nigam courses are short, 7-day-long. In fact, the Nigam has been organizing skiing training since 1991.