|Title||Rock Climbing at Nagarjun Forest|
|Distance||Height of the rock: 50 meters|
|Participants||Anjan Prakash Karki, Ashara Shrestha, Awart Adhikari,Biman Shrestha, Biswas Lohani,Manish Dhakal, Monika Agrawal, Naresh Maharjan,Nimesh Deuja,Pratik Kayastha, Rosina Shakya, Sabita Khadka, Subash Aryal, Susma Pant|
|Photos By||Awart Adhikari, Nimesh Deuja,Rosina Shakya, Pratik Kayastha,|
|Report By||Anjan Karki, Susma Pant|
|Creative Support||Nisha Sharma Pandit|
|Edited By||Himalaya Kakshapati|
Anjan Prakash Karki
As usual we gathered at our HQ – the Deerwalk office premises – for the rock climbing adventure. Our destination this time around was Nagarjun Hills. Ram, the van driver, grabbed the keys to the van and we were all set to go. A couple of guys hadn’t showed up, so we decided to pick them up along the way. It normally takes around 30 minutes of driving to get there. As our group took their time getting ready, it took us about an extra hour to reach the place.
We met our guide on the way – a shabby looking dude in shorts, who I seriously doubted could climb even a fence, let alone huge rocks. Boy! Was I wrong? After we picked him up, we followed his team to an army protected forest area at Nagarjun. We signed in our names and got on a rough and bumpy road that led to the great Rock we were about to climb. We got off about 50 meters away from the rock.
No sooner had we hit the base of the rock, we started bragging that we’d climb even the toughest rock to the top – the dreaded rock no.15. After all the commotion had settled, the guide gave us a little safety briefing on all our gears as well as the do’s and don’ts. As soon as the briefing was over, it was time to call our bluffs – who would go first? And who was going next?
We had to climb a couple of rocks as a basic training and each looked tougher than the other. One at a time, slowly, steadily, backed up by loud cheers and a bit of tease from the team, we treaded the rocks and everyone came out victorious. The Adrenalin rush mixed with the pain in our limbs was one heck of a cocktail. The buzz was electric.
A little overconfident, we decided to go straight for the 10th and the 11th rock, instead of climbing the 3rd or the 4th first. It seemed that the first two rocks we climbed as practice run were a child’s play compared to the ones we were about to attempt. The rocks were simply colossal – so much so that we couldn’t even see the top.
All geared up and ready, we started our ascent. In the end, only a few of us conquered the rocks. The rest of us, although not successful in getting to the top, certainly proved that they were courageous enough to take up the challenge and showed what they were made of.
For lunch we went deep into the village to a house. We were served ‘daal’, ’bhat’, ‘tarkari’ (rice, lentil soup, vegetables) – just what we needed for the next round. At around 4:30 in the afternoon, we decided to call it a day – a little battered, a little bruised – albeit with smiles on our faces. We got back to the van that drove us back to Kathmandu. Some of us went straight home, while the rest of us decided to party for the rest of the evening.
All in all, it was a great experience – filled with fun, fueled by team spirit and a lot of guts, of course.
Rock climbing is an activity in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations. It is a physically and mentally demanding sport – one that often tests a climber’s strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control. It can be a dangerous outdoor sport; and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and usage of specialized climbing equipments is crucial for the safe completion of routes. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a pre-defined route without falling. As much as I consider myself very adventurous, rock climbing was a completely new kind of adventure for me.
I joined the rock climbing team on a Sunday morning at Deerwalk office premises. After all the team members had assembled, we headed to our destination – Nagarjun. Nagarjun, also known as Jamacho, is a forested hill which lies northwest of the Swayambhunnath Stupa. The climbing cliff is located inside the Royal Forest and is quite suitable for beginners and regulars alike. The limestone face is about 12 meters high, and there are several piton-equipped routes. There are altogether 20 routes of varying difficulty – chimney climbs, overhangs and bouldering.
To get there, we took the office van all the way to the Nagarjun army check post. We bought tickets for entrance at the gate. About five minutes of driving along the dirt road from the check post, an imposing cliff was staring right at us.
Safety comes first, of course. Our guide explained the safety measures – from the use of safety devices like shoes, rope, hand powder, hanger, nod, head met, to the strategy of climbing up and jumping down from up.
It was quite fun to see others climb. When my turn came, I thought it was now or never. With all the confidence, I started to climb. I finally managed to reach the summit, but when it was time to descend, my hands started to tremble. I could not believe that I was at the top of the hill with just the support of a single rope. Encouraged by my colleagues and the guide, I safely touched the ground.
We tried to climb from different directions to the top again with increased confidence. I had successfully conquered two cliffs, and I planned on taking on couple more after lunch.
We had our lunch and then waited for another fun-filled part of the day. In my friend’s experience , the 10th and the 12th routes were more dangerous than the first two that we had climbed – the rocks being taller, steeper and more dangerous. As soon as my turn came, everyone began to encourage me to give it a try. But my plans had changed. I decided rather to climb up to the top taking the normal route and descend down with rope with the help of the guide. It took me about 5 minutes to reach the top. The view from the top was simply mesmerizing – I could see the whole Kathmandu valley and parts of Nagarjun jungle.
Rock climbing is an awesome adventure sport to boost one’s self confidence. The realization that you can reach the top with struggle and patience teaches us that if we pursue a goal with hard work and right attitude we can overcome any obstacle and successfully achieve our goals in life.