When you think of the outdoors and rock climbing, Delhi isn't the first destination that comes to mind despite having a long history of rock climbing passionately nurtured by a community of dedicated climbers dating back to the 70's. Contrary to long standing notions of the metropolis as a hotbed of crime and pollution, Delhi's diverse topography has a lot to offer to nature and adventure aficionados.
If rock climbing is a growing sport in Delhi today, it is only because of the enormous efforts of the climbers who scour through the city's interiors searching for rocky contours, hidden crags, most of them lost amidst seas of acacia trees and urban development projects. Climbing, in this case, ceases to be just a sport as it begins to create a sense of belonging amongst people of diverse backgrounds having one thing in common which is their love for the outdoors. There is nothing more wonderful than accomplishing a common goal and ours has always been to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary.
It is this feeling of community that continues to fuel the expansion of the climbing scene in Delhi. Like any other growing sport, there have been many setbacks and general obstacles such as lack of proper gear or the inaccessibility of certain climbing locations in the past. The first wave of climbers came together as a community back in the late 70s who managed to open and preserve some of the most iconic crags in India and also the vision to only have ground up ascents and the idea of not converting these pure trad crags into a bolted sport area were a part of the legacy. They have since, through unofficial mentorship passed the baton forward to the newer lot.
Now after all these years the community has progressed leaps and bounds and the introduction of bouldering as a sport and the availability of crash mats have been a game changer. Several boulder areas located within the city and many more are being discovered. Through this process the community has also managed to establish some of the finest gyms to train at. All in all, it’s a good time for climbing in Delhi.
The reason behind starting these trips for beginners and other outdoor enthusiasts is to make real outdoor climbing more accessible while maintaining safety standards. It is an effort to grow the community while also finding employment opportunities and encourage stronger climbers to develop leadership skills.
The current team consists of seasoned outdoor professionals who otherwise lead similar trips in the Himalayas and our goal is to create a bigger team of such professionals, who can also help individuals to be independent in the outdoors.
We as a team have a lot of experience managing climbing trips as we have put together the iconic Surufest which won the UIAA award for the best climbing festival in the world for 2019 and also put together various other rock trips for the community. We also developed the sport and multi pitch crag at Shey and Ney in Ladakh, and now have realized the potential that Delhi holds for spreading the sport further.