HIMALAYA 2019 INFORMATION AND ESSENTIALS
Get your flights as soon as possible, I have never known them to be as cheap as they are now!
Please do let all your contacts know about this trip as the more people we get the more fun it will be, especially for trip two.
Any remaining balance will be due on 15/8/19, so if
you would all be so kind, payments can be made by bank transfer, credit card in
person or cash.
We stay on the outskirts of the village of Bir, Himachal Pradesh, which is at 1430m. We launch principally from the take-off at Billing (2440m) and the mountain range immediately behind launch extends to 4980m. If you drop back a ridge or more the peaks quickly increase to 6-7000m
For the recently qualified and/or low airtime pilot, you can expect to become a competent XC pilot, able to identify and use thermal lift to cover serious distances and then land safely in a field of your choosing, perhaps even occasionally the main landing field! Look upon out-landings as an opportunity to meet new friends and have an amazing travel experience and you won't go far wrong.
For the more experienced pilot who can already thermal well and is seeking some quality instruction in the awesome scenery and benign thermals of this classic XC paradise, we'll be aiming to improve your skills by guided XC flying every day, perhaps including some of the more dramatic high altitude routes.
Before you go, please practise forward launches in nil wind and nil wind spot landings.
As always, you must always land on your feet! If you cannot do this reliably, please practise now.
Please tie everything to your harness or flight deck. Every year we end up wandering around some field looking for someone’s camera, radio or vario that they forgot to pack when they landed. Likewise please tie your wallet and phone to your person. The locals are very honest, but it can be embarrassing to report yet another lost item to the village elders.
You will have to purchase a local paragliding licence from the Sub-Divisional Magistrate on arrival. This was about £10/week last year. You will be required to submit your BHPA card and a copy of your insurance, passport and visa to obtain this licence.
If you are not on our scheduled flight you can meet us in Bir (Ask for Sian Makhan)
You will not be allowed onto the aeroplane without a visa! If you do manage to get on a flight, you will be turned back at Delhi…
There is now an e-visa system in place, which should be sufficient for most clients on a single trip. Please see the Indian government website for details.
Otherwise Indian visas are now being processed by a third party organisation. Please see http://www.indiavisaheadoffice.co.uk for details. It was recommended that you obtain your visa in person, but the new postal system worked well in 2016.
Your visa runs from the moment of issue. A TOURIST visa is required and they are usually for three (two if E-visa) months.
On the application form you may be asked to say ‘Places to be visited’ and also may be asked for two referees in India. These should be filled in on the visa form as follows:
Places to be visited: Dharamsala, Bir, Manali
Address in India:
Dream and Adventure, Friends Network, Village Chaugan, PO Bir, Tehsil Baijnath, District Kangra, 176077, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Tel: 00 91 (0) 98163 77150
Referees in India:
Dream and Adventure
Tel: 0091 (0) 9816458581
Tel: 00 91 (0) 11 4151 9998
You must have medevac insurance and ensure that permitted activities include paragliding. You will be asked to show your insurance documents to Steve on arrival. Please provide Steve with a photocopy of your certificate.
You my wish to consider:
Š Sportscover direct
Š Airsports insurance
Š JS Insurance
See your GP NOW for current vaccination and malaria advice. You will probably require vaccinations against Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio and Diphtheria. You will probably not require malaria tablets, but check current advice. It is advisable to take a small first aid kit and some water purification tablets. Follow usual advice of avoiding unsterilised water and ice cubes or milk products including ice cream. In reality, most milk products are pasteurised, but be careful about local produce.
You cannot (legally) obtain rupees outside of India. Be prepared to change most, if not all, of your money at Delhi or in Bir when the Western Union rep visits us or at the Surya Hotel. There are virtually no cash machines in Himachal Pradesh. We recommend changing £150 - £250 for the fortnight! The rate was about 92 Rs/£ last year.
During the daytime, weather is similar to an exceptional day in August at home. However, evening falls quickly, and it can be cool if a katabatic breeze occurs.
I personally take merino wool thermals, a duvet coat and several ‘travel’ shirts and zip-off trousers. Don’t forget a sun hat.
Our contact in the UK for the duration of the trip is Diana on 01825 723765.
Steve’s Indian contact number should be 0091 9418 762942.
There are several internet cafés in Bir and nowadays 4G mobile data is available.
Check your baggage allowance both ways, it may well differ. Remember that it may be cheaper to buy some things there rather than pay excess baggage charges – clothes and toiletries are very cheap.
You must have:
o Glider & harness!
o Reserve parachute – repacked recently
o Vario – bring enough batteries because Indian batteries are poor. I recommend rechargeables.
o 2m radio – Alinco radios don’t charge due to low supply voltage – overcome by a cheap 12V switch mode charger. DO NOT buy a cheap Baofeng, Ying Tong or similar Chinese radio as they have proven inadequate.
o Flying suit if you have an open harness, helmet, gloves and boots. I suggest both thick and thin gloves. Do bring a spare pair.
o Compass – spherical so that it works at all angles and mounted so that you can see it at all times.
o Tracker – SPOT or Delorme tracker or at the very least a PLB, available from any chandlers. I fly with both even in the UK. PLBs can also be hired from about £30 from www.aerosafe.co.uk.
o Mobile phone (unlocked!) with local SIM – Anil will be sourcing SIMS for each of you providing we let him know in advance. Phones are very cheap in India.
o BHPA card with at least Club pilot rating shown. Do not forget this!
o GPS, mounted so that you can see it in flight.
o Head torch and spare batteries.
o Karabiner and 1m sling (in case you land in a tree.)
o Medevac Insurance.
o Travel documents: passport with visa, insurance & photocopy, flight tickets, vaccination certificate.
(hire/purchase can be arranged for most of the above)
Other useful items:
Remember, most non-flying stuff can be purchased in Bir and a limited range of flying stuff is now available there.