There is both good news and not so good news.
The good news is that there has been unusually heavy snowfall in Auli and Joshimath over the past two days. Auli has received almost 4 feet of snow over the past 48 hours while Joshimath town has also received almost 6 inches of snow. While it is normal for Auli to receive snowfall at this time of the year, snowfall in Joshimath town is now unusual. This is the kind of weather one used to experience in Joshimath some 15 years and earlier.
Auli is now ready for those who want to experience snow, and particularly for those who are eager to try out their hands (and legs) at skiing. With the kind of snowfall that has been received over the past few days, it is expected that Auli slopes will be good for skiing till February end at the least.
For the moment, it is not possible to drive to Auli because of the snow. But visitors can still reach Auli by the cable-car, or the ropeway as it is known locally. The return ticket per person is Rs 750/. The road will be cleared usually within a few days once it stops snowing.
Now for the not so good news. Dream Mountain Resort is located on the Auli road at an altitude higher than Joshimath town. Snowfall here has thus been more than in Joshimath, although less than in Auli. The heavy snowfall at the resort has resulted in the collapse of two of our five luxury swiss tents at the time of posting this blog. More might collapse if it continues to snow, as it is doing at this moment. This damage has occurred in spite of the fact that all the tents have metal frames with sheet-metal reinforced roofs below the outer colored canvas roof tarpaulins. The pictures below show the damage caused.
Luckily there have been no injuries as we had already shifted all our guests to our deluxe rooms. For the moment we have closed all bookings for the tents till mid March. Any prior booking of tents will be shifted to the deluxe rooms.
So there is nothing to worry about. This kind of snowfall comes once in a decade – come and enjoy!
UPDATE- 25 December 2019 : 2200hrs
There has been more snowfall in both Joshimath and Auli since our last post. Vehicles in Auli are for the moment well and truly stuck. Hotels in Auli have started to evacuate guests to Joshimath via the cable-car because waterlines are frozen and electricity lines are down. They are also running out of fresh inventory like vegetables.
Up-coming vehicles are also facing difficulty in reaching Joshimath at the last 5-7 kilometers. Since this is a national highway, it is expected that the Border Roads Organisation will clear the road for upcoming traffic on 26 December, providing we do not have more fresh snowfall on that date. We will keep you updated on this point.
Meanwhile our own hotel Dream Mountain Resort is also not accessible by car, and so we are accommodating our guests in Joshimath. All our five luxury swiss tents have either collapsed or are seriously damaged by the heavy snowfall 🙁