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,

“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 :

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.

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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 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!

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

Bouldering in Pune

I have been honing my rock climbing skills for a few months now..the best way to do that is to regularly engage in bouldering practice with your fellow climbers.Posting just a few pictures from a day when we were practicing  a “sitting traverse”.More will come in the due course of time.

First,a definition of’ ‘Bouldering’: Low-to-the-ground climbing wherein the climber can jump back down to the ground, and a rope and belay are not necessary..They are often short, hard routes on low-lying rocks without using protective gear.

Venue:Quarry on the hill behind Fergusson college ,Pune

Now,to the pictures….

FC the base of the hillock

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(Some of the text below was scribbled during the climb and some the tense in which it is now apparent can be a little shaky at times..i have again referred to people by their initials..S sir is Sachin Gaikwad,s sir is Sagar sir,Mr.P is Pawar sir and Mr.R is Saste sir.. )Click on the pictures to enlarge them..
22nd jan 2010,Day 1:So after almost 5 years after the rock climbing bug bit me and i started ogling at the pictures of the gear clad climber hanging onto those impossible overhangs,I am all set for my first ever technical climb.
I’ll be climbing a pinnacle called ‘Lingana’ which stands beside Raigad.
Its quite a popular climb among hard core sahyadri trekkers.The climb doesnt involve many rock pathces.Its mostly scree and loose rock.You can get the idea about its gradient from the photo(in the end).
There are 5 of us(including the cook) from Pune who are going a day ahead as the ‘technical team’.Day after tomorrow,a group of 9 other hikers will join us.So our task is to set the fixed ropes for them in order to ensure a safe climb up.
At the moment we are waiting for our ration,stoves and suchlike to reach the departure point..tying the loose ends kind of..
9 p.m:The wagonR has arrived and the luggage space is  loaded with ropes,rucksacks and ration boxes.In the front seat,i have made myself comfortable between a stove kit and 2 more bags..I have no idea how the 3 people in the back are faring..mostly because i cant see their faces hidden behind even more luggage stuffed in the car..this is definitely not going to be an Alpine style climb!
12.30 in the night:After getting lost for a while,finally reached the road head(base village) Varoti.Our other two members from Baramati had already made the village school their home.In no time,all of us were inside our sleeping bags and snoring away(the men that is..not me for sure! )..had a sound sleep for 5 hrs..