Move over paragliding and bungee jumping, here are some brand new extreme adventure sports that promise to get your adrenaline kicking, blood pumping and heart pounding. These exciting, yet dangerous activities demand not just physical strength but mental power, endurance and indestructible willpower to challenge you to a new level of crazy. So if you want to push yourself well beyond the limitations you have set for yourself, and in the process stumble upon the empowering realisation that the human body is capable of incredible physical deeds, you ought to get inspired by this awesome list!
This rather difficult adventure sport is best practiced on snow-capped peaks of the mighty Himalayas. Similar to rock climbing but infinitely harder, owing to the slipperiness of ice, this activity presents its own set of challenges. The surface of ice is as rough and hard as a rock's, and climbers can only use three limbs because one hand is constantly gripping the ice axe to prevent any mishaps. Despite this, one's hold is not as firm as it would be on rocks. Another thing to keep in mind is that anchors can't be used on ice, and the climber must rely on pistons or screws to make the climb a success.
Skill: When climbing thin ice, it is important to be extra cautious. A technique known as 'cat climbing', where you cautiously climb your way up, is preferable to distribute one's weight evenly. The French technique, also known as 'flat footing', works best on low-angled slopes. This technique requires you to open your feet and walk like a duck, which keeps all crampon points flat on the ice. The German climbing technique called 'front pointing' is good for extremely steep or vertical climbs. In this, the climber must kick their front crampon into the ice and hoist themselves up.
Gear: Sticky-soled approach boots used for rock-climbing as well for moderate climbs, ropes, helmet, headlamp, rappel, ice tools (ice axe, pickaxe, hammer model).
Where and when: Open peaks in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Kumaon, Sikkim, Garhwal; April to November (some climbs are attempted from December to March).
Operator: Above 14000 Feet; 9816544803
Cost: Rs. 35,000 per person for a 15 day mountaineering course
For those who love aerosport adventures, microlight flying may just satiate your love for leisure flying. A microlight is a two-seater aircraft that weighs around 450 kg and can be used for recreational flying. Being a high-wing aircraft, with its engine fitted high, it enables excellent visibility for the flyer from the cockpit. Equipped with a hand glider that can be controlled by two people, most microlights, allow you to cruise at an altitude of 5,000 ft and accelerate the speed up to 100 kmph.
Where and when: Bangalore, Coorg and Jaipur; operate all year round. Morning flights are preferable as the sky is clearer.
Operator: Bangalore Aerosports; 9845937599, 9449314076
Adventure Nation; 0124 - 4983580
Cost: Rs. 4,025 per person (approx.)
Duration: 2 hours
This activity is usually carried out on virgin powder snow found on remote mountainsides unexplored and untouched by tourists. Unlike regular skiing, skiers are flown to the highest point of a slope by a helicopter, which may be difficult to access on foot. From here one enjoys a stunning bird's eye view of the pristine surrounding area and gets to absorb the natural beauty all around.
Skill: Since heli-skiing involves towering slopes, it is considered a more challenging adventure sport than regular skiing. This makes it very important to at least have intermediate skiing experience. You should be comfortable skiing in deep powder and adeptly tackle skills such as side-slipping, snow-plowing, kick-turning, and others.
Gear: Good goggles, helmets, ski-boots, a helmet camera, fat powder poles and skis (if your operator doesn't provide them).
Where and when: Auli, Gulmarg, Manali, Pithoragarh, Solang Nala, Pahalgam and Munsiyari; the season opens in January and lasts until April.
Operator: Kashmir Heliski; 9596251399
Cost: Rate per day (capacity up to four people per helicopter): Rs 1,183
Once you enter the dark and intriguing world of underground caves, it's hard to leave. The fear and thrill of exploring the unknown draws adventure enthusiasts from all over the world, to the vast network of caves in Meghalaya. It is absolutely mind-boggling to enter these caves, home to hundreds of stalactites and stalagmites, that have formed as a result of thousands of years of water dripping off the walls of these curious caves.
Skills: One should be comfortable crawling on fours, moving through a squeeze, 'chimneying', or being able to climb up vertical cracks and passages. It is also important to know how to read a cave map.
Gear: Headlamps, helmets, waist belts (fanny packs), caving under suit, wet suit, knee and elbow pads, gloves, harness, ascenders and descenders.
Where and when: Best done during the dry months of October to March; The deepest and most extensive caves in the world, consisting of sandstone and limestone caves, are in Khasi, Garo and Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya.
Operator: Kipepeo; 9930002412
Duration: 7-day packages available
Cost: Rs. 15,000 per person (approx.)
This one goes out to all adrenaline junkies that love water sports. Try descending down rugged slippery rocks sitting precariously on steep, almost vertical slopes, with the waterfall furiously beating down on you, while you attempt to make your way down. This encapsulates the thrill and fear of water rappelling.
Skills: Integrates essential climbing and good rope management skills; practice on a wall before you take it outside
Gear: High quality rappel ropes, climbing harness, friction/belay device
Where and when: Bhivpuri Waterfall, Karjat (near Mumbai); Torna Waterfall, Pune; Dodhani Waterfall, Panvel; Between August and October
Operator: Adventure365; 8411965215, 9970022668
Cost: Rs. 850 to Rs. 2,950 (approx.)
Kiteboarding is an offbeat water sport, slowly gaining popularity in India. The player stands on a board, with his feet strapped to the surface of the board. He then proceeds to fly a kite while weaving through waves as he tries to stay afloat the entire time. The sport incorporates elements of kite flying, sailing and surfing, while trying to maintain balance all the while. This makes it a tricky and rather difficult activity.
Skills: Learning to control and steer the kite, body-dragging, changing directions, learning wind and kite theory
Gear: Helmet, harness, life vest, kites
Where and when: Swami’s Bay on Rameswaram Island, Tamil Nadu; Manapad Lagoon, Manapad, Tamil Nadu; Blue Bell Beach, Dwarka, Gujarat; Mondego Bay Season, Morjem Beach, Goa; During windy season (June to November).
Operator: Kiteboarding India; 8657195551
Cost: Private lessons with an independent International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO) certified instructor costs Rs. 3,000 (per perspon per hour).
Are you an adrenaline junkie in constant search of exhilarating experiences? Want to share them with us? If yes, we'd love to hear about it here.