With the fantastic variety of terrain found all across the country, rock climbing is a big attraction in India. From the Himalayas in the north to the boulders down south in Hampi, India has a lot to offer.
Rock climbers are grasping the opportunity with both hands! Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, the most popular spots are the Himachal region, Malshej Ghats in Maharashtra, Hampi in Karnataka, and even parts of West Bengal.
The region in and around Himachal Pradesh provides some great options. These include Manali, Setan, Solang, Chota Dhara, and Dharamshala.
One of the best spots of the region includes the Miyar Valley. Parvati Valley also provides a picture-perfect view of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas.
A few hours away from Bangalore, you’ll find rock climbers converging at Badami and Kambakkam. In the Tumkur region of Karnataka, Madhugiri is a rather challenging destination for climbers.
There is a huge monolith formation that draws a lot of climbers and presents a formidable challenge. You’ll also find the ruins of an ancient Gopalakrishna temple atop the rocks.
Known for its prehistoric monuments and picturesque structures, Hampi also is a great climbing destination. Here the rocks look like they’ve only just emerged from the earth, and are huge and primitively rough.
For amateurs wanting to have a go at climbing, Susunia Hills offers easy peaks. The lush greenery with historic sites along the way makes for a delightful ascent. There, it is believed that a hill fort was built by King Chandravarman.
For a safe comfortable climb, it is important you choose the right equipment. The right ropes and buckles are important but the harness is critical.
Choose one that fits you comfortably, will not slide down on your hips, and has leg loops that allow you to move and stretch. A responsible climber performs regular checks on his or her equipment. If your harness is fraying or excessively discolored or has stretched in some spots, it is time to retire it.
If you have the slightest doubts about the efficacy of your equipment, get it checked by an expert. Alternatively, avoid the risk and get new equipment.
The climbers are to meet at the pick-up point in Manali sharp at 08:30 hrs. Introductions and pleasantries will be exchanged following which you will depart for the starting point, a short drive from Manali.
You will be given a brief introduction to the climbing gear and shown a demonstration on knots and climbing. You will then retire in your respective tents for the night.
The second day begins earlier. You will be provided a power-packed breakfast to get you through the early morning. You will do a quick warm-up and then it is time for some theory.
You will be given a lecture on rappelling, bouldering and rock climbing. There will also be a demonstration of the same. You will learn about the different types of holds and rock formations. You will then put the theory to test with some bouldering.
You will gorge on some delicious yet light lunch and then continue with the practical applications for the day. You will continue to hone your climbing and rappelling skills with a hands-on approach.
In the evening, you will rest your weary bones and tired hands in the tents as you call it a day.
The third day begins early as well and follows the pattern of the second day. An early breakfast will be followed by theory sessions and demonstrations.
You will then continue to upgrade your skills, building up an appetite for lunch. Light lunch will be followed by further practice as you look to become better at climbing and rappelling.
In the evening, you will rest in the tents for the night.
Post the early morning breakfast, you will awaken yourself with some lead climbing and rappelling. It is back to the theory after that as you undertake a written and practical test on all that you have learned so far.
Afternoon, you will continue to hone your techniques and skills before coming back to the tents for a special evening. You will huddle around a bonfire with the rest of the team, celebrating the end of the course.
An early morning scrumptious breakfast will be provided. You then bid goodbye to the campsite as you make your way back to Manali city.
Meals and refreshments will be served based on the packages selected. Accommodation will be provided on a sharing basis in tents. Please check with your operator for the final details.
All the equipment and safety gear is included in the cost and will be provided to you. As are the services and expertise of the experienced crew. Local transport to and from the climbing area is also arranged.
The package cost does not include any tips for the guides and this is completely at your own discretion. Any personal expenses such as on beverages and other meals are excluded and will be charged on an independent basis.
Other than that, all services and costs that are not part of the inclusions will have to be borne on an individual basis.
Day 1: Get started with the basics
Day 2: A day for more advanced learning
Day 1: Get started with the basics
The meeting point is next to the main gate at Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Arrive there sharp at 07:30 hrs and meet the rest of the team. All the sessions are a good mix of theory, practice, and demonstrations.
Day 1 covers basic topics like movement and introductory techniques such as footwork and body positioning. You will also learn climbing moves like jamming and laybacking, handholds, route descriptions, basic rope work, rockovers, and key knots.
This will familiarize you with climbing terminology and the grading systems. As far as practice is concerned, you will indulge in a bit of nursery bouldering under the guidance of the instructors.
Day 2: A day for more advanced learning
The meeting point and time remain the same on this day so make sure you arrive on time. On this day, you will learn slightly more advanced concepts and techniques. The entire day will be spent perfecting these techniques as much as possible.
You will be introduced to more climbing jargon, two-way communication, and the related safety calls. You will learn the intended use of equipment like knots, harnesses, ropes, and belay plates. Basic belaying techniques (how ropes are used to stop falls) along with falling safely will also be taught.
The adventure costs cover all training lessons for both days. You are also entitled to unlimited climbing experience on both these days as part of the expenses.
All safety gear and climbing equipment will be provided to you. As well as the expertise and service of the experienced guides and instructors.
Travel to the park is not part of the expenses and will have to be arranged individually. The park entry fees are also not included and will have to be paid for both the days.
Meals and refreshments will be served based on the packages selected. Please check with your operator for the final details. Insurance of any kind is excluded. Any costs not covered in the inclusions will be charged on an independent basis.
Rock climbing can be done throughout the year in India. The only exception to this might be the monsoon season when the strong winds and constant downpour make the activity unfeasible.
The best time to go is during the cool and dry winter months. The weather is most conducive at this time to ascend the rocks. Kindly consult with your guides before deciding when to go for climbs.
There is a minimum and maximum weight limit that should be discussed with your operator before you decide to sign up for any course.
There might be age limits and these are best discussed with the guides as they might vary with the packages provided. You might also be required to sign an indemnity before you begin the climb.
Nearly all the places for this adventurous activity are in close proximity to or situated at major tourist locations. This includes places like Mumbai and Manali.
By virtue of their location, all these places have good connectivity links to major Indian cities and towns. They are well connected by air, road, and rail. This includes both private and public modes of transportation.
Some packages also include pick-up and drop-off from your base city to the starting point of the trek, be sure to check out the inclusions of the package you’re looking to know more about the same.
Comfortable and non-restrictive clothing is an absolute must when scaling rocks. Pants should be stretchable and a sports T-shirt would be ideal.
Peak cap/buffs should be worn in case you have long hair. Sports shoes which are a snug-fit and have excellent grip should be worn for climbing. There should be no expensive jewellery, watches or electric equipment on your person when scaling rocks.
All the gear and equipment that is required for climbing will be provided by the operators but there are certain things you should bring along.
Of utmost importance is a small but strong backpack where you can place the following items. A minimum of two liters of drinking water, glucose packets, and some energy bars. You can carry other light and healthy snacks with you if so wish.
Do not forget to bring with you a govt-issued ID card, one with the blood group clearly listed and any personal medications. A change of clothes is optional but is recommended.
Rock climbing can be done by most individuals as the introductory sessions require basic amounts of activity. Those with moderate levels of fitness and good health can undertake the course.
This is not recommended for those with knee or back/spine problems. There is a minimum and maximum weight limit that should be discussed with your operator before you decide to sign up for any course.
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