The national senior and junior alpine skiing championship will be held at Auli near Joshimath from February 23 to 27. This event was slated to be held from February 2 but was deferred due to the land subsidence disaster which escalated earlier this year in Joshimath. Now the ski and snowboard association has started preparing for the national level championships to be held in Auli later this month. Invitation letters have been sent to sportspersons from other States to participate in this event. However, observers point out that fresh snowfall is vital for the event to be held successfully.
The ski and snowboard association secretary Praveen Sharma said that preparations have been started in Auli for the national level games to be held here. The Uttarakhand team is also being given training at Auli these days.
Meanwhile, observers point out that with snow from the skiing slope in Auli starting to melt gradually, hosting the competition may be very difficult if there is no fresh snowfall before the scheduled date. At least once in the past, a skiing competition had to be cancelled due to the absence of snowfall in Auli. Apart from this, the problems resulting from the land subsidence in Joshimath may also present problems in hosting the event efficiently. The land subsidence is reported to be stable for now in Joshimath. However, the effects of the disaster have affected various aspects in Joshimath and Auli too. The ropeway from Joshimath to Auli has remained closed while the number of tourists arriving here after fresh snowfall in the recent past was considerably low compared to past years.