This weekend, Thane will be the venue for an exciting climbing competition at a newly discovered rock face adventure sport
A participant at a climbing competition held at Sasun Navghar, Bhayander
While indoor rock climbing gyms might be found aplenty, there aren't too many natural rock faces in and around the city that lend themselves well to climbers. How about spending this weekend navigating a newly discovered rock face at a climbing competition in Thane?
Organised by an adventure sports equipment supply company based in Thane, the competition involves lead climbing. Not meant for the fainthearted, lead climbing involves the climber wearing a harness tied to one end of a rope, while a belayer on the ground pays out the rope as required.
"We use the French grading system, where Class 5 denotes climbing a vertical or near-vertical rock, and requires skill to complete safely. The difficulty level of this particular rock face ranges from 5C to 6C+, with A being the least strenuous, and D being the most," says Kishor Chavan, who, in addition to being a member of the organising committee, is an avid climber himself.
He adds that the site, located in a protected forested area in Mumbra, is not known to the climbing community, making the competition interesting and fair to all participants. Winners will take home cash prizes and climbing equipment and, post the competition, the site will be thrown open to the climbing community for practice.
"Our team is constantly scouting for new spots climbing enthusiasts can explore. We have also found such spots in Belapur, Borivali and Sasun Navghar in Bhayander," informs Chavan.
Their aim, he adds, is to put the spotlight on outdoor climbing as a sport. "Indoor climbing has been growing at a very fast rate over the last few years. However, India has plenty of natural climbing sites of varying difficulty levels. Through this competition, we're trying to promote climbing in the outdoors, which very few focus on."
On March 5, 7.30 am to 5.30 pm
At Mumbra, Thane.
Cost Rs 750 for those 18 years old and above), Rs 500 for those below 18 (includes tea/coffee, breakfast and lunch)