Hard to believe, but I’m here in the Himalayas, skiing my heart out. Spring is here at the Span Resort, with tulips blooming and the helicopter on the lawn in front of the river surrounded by spiky 20,000 foot powder runs. I have been guiding a group of ten, heli-ski touring for the next week, then another group of six, including a story for Powder magazine Lynsey Dyer starting this Saturday. Today we were able to land at 5,000 meters, or 16,600 feet with the chopper! We got two runs via heli before ski touring uphill for the day. Every ski tour should start with 7,000 vert downhill of powder.
The life here at Himachal is swank – 4 star rooms – with seemingly 10 servants for whatever you aspire to do- whether a cup of tea, run for whiskey in town, drying your boots or waxing your skis. Hard to imagine doing anything for yourself after a bit.
The snow line is quite high, making runs from the hotel a bit of a challenge, so we have been heli-ing in and out for the day to make things easier. The best part of India is the cultural exchange, whether it be the spring festival in Patchnicol last night or driving to the Roduphu pass for a ski with almost every Indian who has never seen snow before. Rossi 7S’s from the 90s seem to be most modern, with pink Salomon rear entry boots tied with yellow twine the latest ski boot fashion. They do not teach skiing per se, as they just push folks with ski gear on, usually with rubber boots inside the ski boots, until they crash. Jaws dropped as we popped over the horizon arcing turns in the corn down to the Masala tea stand.
Well, gotta run. Went to a festival and got suckered into a cup of “tea” at a friends house. Ended up dancing and drinking whiskey all night at a local’s house, much to most indian’s amusement. My bangles were a hit, and I’m much better off gyrating to plastic whiny India music than trying to keep up with African dance.