Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF)


I have only about a month and a half’s time before I leave Delhi. My 17 months long stay here has been full of traveling, new friends, new activities and new experiences. From language to dressing sense to food habits to bargaining skills, this city has changed me.

I have been meaning to write this post since quite some time. But sometimes, stories about one’s best experiences are left for the end, as the dessert. After multiple posts covering my trips to the historic places associated with Delhi and around, I would like to bring you folks’ attention to my  favorite spot in Delhi.

Located in South Delhi, just beside the South Campus of Delhi University ( DU ), Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) is the place I have spent most of my weekend at, starting last February. IMF is the premier mountaineering body of India and it’s the go to place if one wants to plan an expedition to a peak in the Indian territory. It’s a government organization and for all it’s red tape and bureaucracy, it seems like an efficiently run institution. The campus is lush green with trees and well maintained lawn. The main complex of the building houses the administrative office, lodging facilities for sponsored mountaineers and a library. Outside the building but within the premises, the institute has built Artificial Climbing Walls, adhering to international standards. Climbing wall is what attracted me to IMF and very soon, it had become my adda on weekends.

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Rock Climbing in Belapur, New Mumbai, Nov 2012


There is a great advantage in being associated with an activity passionately and for a considerable duration of time, no matter how good or bad you are at it.

The advantage is that you start belonging to the community who values, nurtures and encourages your love or liking for that activity. Go to any place and you will end up finding your old friends or friends’ friends or friends’ friends’ friends, ready to take you in, through that community bonding.

I found myself in Pune for a month for a work trip and it was inevitable that I would end up climbing rocks on weekends. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures to show off for Pune climbing but on one Saturday, I caught a bus for Mumbai and was already at home and playing with my friend Archana’s beautiful twin nephews by lunchtime. Archana, her elder brother Milind and their another climber friend Dinesh would take me to Belapur the next day for some climbing.

To quote the place description on Rockclimbing.com,

“CBD Belapur is an extension of Parsik hills that has been explored and developed as climbing and bouldering site. There are lots of bouldering routes ranging from V1 to V8 opened at the site. There are a some bolted sport routes as well ranging from 5a to 7b. The area has been host to open international bouldering and lead climbing competition and artificial bouldering as well.”

More information on how to reach : http://www.rockclimbing.com/routes/Asia/India/Maharashtra/Mumbai/CBD_Belapur/

CBD Belapur has long been popular among Mumbai climbers for its suitability for rock climbing. The hillocks have huge boulders and rock walls that make it an ideal site for climbing. Access to this place is very easy too. Members of Girivihar, the famous Climbing/Trekking/Mountaineering organisation based out of Mumbai routinely conducts its rock climbing camps in this area and initiates youngsters into this fabulous sport.

http://girivihar.org/category/rc-camp/

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Bouldering at Hampi, Karnataka – December 2012


I had never been to the south of Maharashtra in my entire life. Travel always took me north and further north. Untill last month.

Hampi is a small village in Karnataka, better known in the mainstream tourism for its ancient temple and ruins than for its significance as a climbing hub for climbers the world over. Along with Badami, it has a terrain that climbers would call a paradise. Hampi especially, is known as a bouldering spot. You do not require any climbing gear other than your PA shoes, chalk bag and a crash pad. Hampi is also a Hippy town and to quote another traveler friend, it is the where Goan after party takes place. Hampi is  where I was headed to in December of 2012.

I was to unite with my climbing group directly in Hampi, after a brief stop over at Hyderabad. An overnight bus journey would take me from Hyderabad to Hospet where I would board a local bus that would drop me at Hampi, right across the famous Virupaksha temple.

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Climbing in Nainital-Again!


The sun was rising behind the lofty ranges.Small dwellings had started showing up on the mountain side of the road.A cat stretched herself on the rooftop of a house as my bus passed it on the left.Further ahead,a bunch of street dogs crossed our path,barking at one another.Some shops had already opened the store for the day while some were in the middle of doing so.The Lake City of India was waking up to a pleasant winter morning.

Alighting at Tallital,I breathed in the cool air,had a long look at the line of ducks swimming in  Naini lake,called up Tipu to come and pick me up and seated myself in a tea shop with the bread toast and steaming hot tea.

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More orders went in for tea as Tipu arrived with his friends.Tipu informed me that I would have about an hour and half in which to freshen myself up and get ready for bouldering at Bara Pathhar.

Not one to disobey orders given by someone who can take me along for climbing,I was ready in time.

I whiled around at Mallital,watching the beautiful poplars and the mosque and the market,waiting for Tipu and Gaurav.

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On the Rocks in Nainital -Nov 2011


I have been dreaming about something since a lot many years.Since the time I first set my foot in the Himalayan hills.Since the time I set my eyes on those national geographic and discovery channel programmes showcasing awesome climbers doing awesome things on rocks and cliffs.Its been my dream to try to do the same in the Himalayas.Or at least,to start to do it.

As some of you might know,I have now moved to North India.Gurgaon(New Delhi Capital Region) to be precise.After taking a month to settle down here,it was high time that i start venturing into the mountains again!After all,wasn’t that one of the major reasons i did not think twice before moving here!(and here is quite a crappy place.Its near Delhi but not Delhi).

So I finished working in office on Friday evening and by 9.30 p.m.,was in a private bus to Nainital with a couple of friends.My pro climber friend-Tipu,who is based in Nainital, was to meet us in Nainital and we were going to be in his hands after that.It was a 12 hours long overnight journey through which i slept and dozed off intermittently,as usual.I  looked out of the window a couple of times and  found myself staring at dense fog on the road.This was November 4th and winter had already arrived here.The mountains did not appear till we reached Haldwani,which is 38 Km from Nainital.

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On the Rocks,in Tamhini Valley


(Please note that the author had not carried her slr camera on this trip with her.So the few photos adorning the end of this post have been taken on cell phones.These photos might not cover everything..so this time,please go,by the description alone,mostly..also,some images wont be seen in the correct orientation..i havent had the time to rotate n save them.)
I could not have asked for a better beginning for the year 2011.
It was 5.30 a.m. of 1st of january 2011 and i was having a hard time to heed my mobile alarm.
I had had a happening New Year’s eve at a friend’s place and so it was natural that I’d reach the parking place(where we were supposed to gather before leaving for Tamhini) a bit late.
Once i reached there,it turned out that we were going to stay overnight in the valley itself.
I tried not to think about it since that morning i had made myself wake up by the sole consolation that i’d have a ‘tagdi’ sleep after the climb.
 
 So anyway,we were a group of 12 people on 6 bikes and off we went at 6.30am.Tamhini is 75 km from Pune.We went there via Pirangut.Needless to say,the cold was biting.The big rucksack on each of our backs was also making things not so easy.Thankfully,Sachin sir called for a tea break after about 60 minutes of driving,when we were only 20-25 km from Tamhini.The chill in the body went away a bit because of the hot tea which took only a minute or so to be so lukewarm as to be called cold.

But the route after this passed along the water and I liked the ride.I dont remember the name of the water body or river or anything like that.I was just concentrating on the ride and reaching Tamhini as soon as possible.May be it was the hangover.

Started riding our horses again and reached a local person’s lone house in Tamhini ghat where we parked our bikes.By this time,the sun had come up and it felt good to remove the riding gear from our bodies(like the jacket,scarf,helmet,gloves) and feel the sunrays on the arms.We didnt waste much time there.

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Bouldering in Pune..continued(III)


Place:Fergusson College Quarry.Its a cold December morning and Viru sir shines on the rocks and in the pictures.The team has got larger now.Its so much fun to come and make your body sore over 3-4 hours of bouldering.Pictures of a practice session a week before we are to leave for Tamhini valley for climbing.

Good Morning,Pune!
1.

Continue reading “Bouldering in Pune..continued(III)”

Bouldering in Pune..continued(II)


Putting up a few more pics at the quarry…It’ll take me a while before i can post some really cool pics of climbers in action..You cant always have the chalk and the camera both in your hand simulataneously.

mayur warming up.

sometimes,its better to have a monochromatic vision.
one of the usual random clicks that somehow give good results