Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Adventure sports

Jump off a helicopter, a plane or a stone wall, take your appetite for adventure to absurd levels with these ultimate adventure sports.

NEED FOR SPEED
What:
Drive an Formula 1 car
Where: Las Vegas, France
How: If you have ever harboured a dream to some day drive an actual Formula One racing car, snap out of it, because it has been transferred to real time. A handful of driving schools in North America offer this inimitable experience of a lifetime. The beginner’s course starts with track initiation courses for first timers, where you accompany a skilled driver on board a two-seater Formula 1 car and feel the power of late braking, trajectory precision and acceleration. If you’re need for speed is not satiated, you can take it a notch higher and go for an advanced course that allows you to get into the cockpit of an F1 with the identical features of a World Championship model: V8 engine, telemetry, anti-skid system, etc. If you’re plain greedy and you have money that surpasses all boundaries, you could find yourself driving a genuine F1 V10 or the Peugeot 905—World Champion and winner of the 24-Hour endurance race at Le Mans—on the Paul Ricard HTTT Circuit, which has up until now only been available for private test drives. In all likelihood, you will first have to drive the F1 V8s before taking the wheel of one of the most powerful cars (780 hp) ever made available on a driving course: PROST, ARROWS or PEUGEOT 905, all three powered by their original V10 engines in racing configuration. And if these courses seem too daunting for your taste, you can opt for customised courses that are tweaked to fulfil your unique requirements. Some schools even offer courses for team building exercises and seminars. You can also avail of a range of additional services such as photo shoots, conference rooms and a heliport. So much for wishful thinking eh?
Cost: $4,000 onwards
For more information: In Las Vegas and France

J Weccardt for Stock Xchng

TAKE THE PLUNGE
What: Bungee jumping
Where: 007 Bungy Jumping Center, Ticino, Switzerland
How: For the most thrilling, heart-in-the-mouth 7 ½ seconds of your life, try bungee jumping from the highest point in the world. At 722 feet, the jump along the wall of the Verzasca dam in Switzerland is the ultimate adventure. Alternatively called the Golden Eye Jump, it has been lodged in history and entertainment journals alike for being James Bond’s jump. Pierce Brosnan took the plunge while filming the hit flick, and here’s your chance to relive a historic moment. I bet you’re getting goose bumps just reading this.
Cost: It costs €170 the first time, and is half price if you do it again on the same day.
For more information: Trekking Team

Roli Seeger for Stock Xchng

GLIDE AND SLIDE
What: Heli-skiing
Where: Nepal, Himachal Pradesh, Greece
How: If you’re bored of plain ‘ol skiing, jump off a helicopter. With a promise of a scream-worthy moment of pure exhilaration, Heli-skiing adds that little edge to an already adventurous sport. Instead of a ski lift, tour organisers transport the skiers via a helicopter to remote slopes for downhill skiing. If you’re a seasoned skier, this is a welcome challenge. What elevates the experience is that it allows you to choose your terrain and preferred conditions. This particularly works well for people who are not keen on hiking into certain areas, as done in ski mountaineering or ski touring. Aside from the time the hiking consumes, it can also be immensely tiring, especially because you would then be carrying all your gear along as well. One of the prime requirements, apart from good physical fitness, is intermediate training in skiing. It’s important you do a number of ski runs before taking this up, as ski resort terrains are often altered to enable fun ski rides for skiers on vacation. It is recommended you choose a licensed heli-skiing operator and take an experienced guide along, as it’s an extreme sport and appropriate caution must be taken.
Cost: €5,500 onwards
For more information: Heliski Nepal; Himachal Heli Adventures

By Craig Calonica
FREE FALLING
What: Skydiving
Where: Gujarat, Nepal
How: Jumping off an airplane and free-falling at 120 miles an hour from an altitude of at least 10,000 feet instills an adrenaline rush that is unmatchable by any other adventure sport. But it is the feeling of floating mixed with the rush of air against your face that makes you feel free as a bird. With the exception of going back up in the air, a skydiver can perform an assortment of aerial manoeuvres before deploying a parachute to slow their descent. What elevates the experience further is the otherwise elusive 360 degree view of the Earth below that you are privy to only when seated in an airplane; that too has its limitations. For a first-time skydiver, the tandem jump is ideal. It involves jumping out of the plane while attached via a harness to an instructor who wears a parachute big enough for two people. Since it requires marginal training, you can just sit back and enjoy the ride, while the instructor handles the technical details of the dive. So, if you’re prepared to experience a moment that is both terrifying and exhilarating, take the plunge!
Cost: Rs. 10,000-20,000
For more information: Indian Sky Jumpers


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