iVenturez: Outdoors and Adventures

Terrestrial, Aqua and Aero – Complete adventure!

Rajgad – Torna – Raigad; beauties like Baglan range; forested patches of Koyna valley and so on

Posted by itrekz on September 19, 2008

It has been lot of biking, monsoons trails and some long trudges (Panhala-Vishalgad and Lonavala-Bhimashankar..both in excess of 70 kms) in the monsoons this year..

Well the monsoons are on the fading lanes and October fast approaching – hopefully – will allow us for some really good range treks with clear scenic views.. a much needed change to fill our visions, which is fogged with mist during the monsoons…

Welcome ranges, panaromic views and some long and tough ones

These will includes ardous ones like Rajgad – Torna – Raigad; beauties like Baglan range; forested patches of Koyna valley and so on.. stay connected!


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Bike ride plus trek near Roha: 14th Sep

Posted by itrekz on September 7, 2008

Next weekend, Sunday – 14th of Sep would see a bike ride and trek to forts of Avchitgad and Ghosalgad forts near Roha. The bike ride would cover a distance of Kalyan – Panvel – Roha or Mumbai/Thane – Panvel – Roha. 

The total riding distance from Kalyan would be approximately 110-115 kms one side. For those coming from Mumbai add another 30/35 kms to it: approximately 150 kilometres depending on the route taken.

We will embark on Saturday (13th September night) and return back on Sunday (14th Sep).. covering approximately a total distance of 250-300 kms and two forts. We would also try and squeeze in a visit to Mandad caves (if the time permits without delaying our return to Mumbai).. depending on the overall speed.. thats just if it is feasible.

Interested ones can drop in an email at itrekz@gmail.com or leave a reply here.. (emails preferred)

If you are going to ride.. and have your own bike.. it is never going to be an issue, if you are a pillion and are looking for a biker to ride with, please allow some time to accommodate by replying at the earliest. For further queries.. mail at the above mentioned email address…

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Panhala to Vishlagad trek 2008 – A log

Posted by itrekz on August 28, 2008

The historic episode etched in golden hues in the pages of history – Shivaji Maharaj’s escapade from the fortress of Panhala to the fortress of Vishalgad is a perfect example for the phrase ‘against all odds’. Although not to be calculated in the same scales, our biped venture following the same trail was nothing else than against all odds, albeit the odds being of the lesser magnitude.

An approximate route of 75 km to be completed in 3 days, was the task we set ourself for the long weekend. We did not manage to reserve the train tickets for Kolhapur, but alternatively we got our bus tickets booked.  We were lucky for our return journey as we managed to get the reservations done for Mumbai bound Mahalakshmi express. So the travel was taken care of, headcounts estimated and grocery purchased, al the schedules worked out and all geared up were we. It was going to be long trudge and yes we all were very well aware of the fact and were well prepared, until the rain played the spoilsport.

The met department hit the nail right on its head and their predictions of heavy rains across Maharashtra proved very correct. As always is the case with Panchaganga River near Kolhapur, water logging affected large areas of the city. Dams filled till the brim and threats looming large with the impending gate opening.  Newspapers and news channels flashed news stories about submerging Kolhapur and Karad regions. Fields, villages and roads submerged under the murky waters of overflowing Pnachaganga. Our well wishers from Kolhapur also suggested that if the situation continues then all our plans of the trek would be jeopardized and it would have to be cancelled.

With all the reservations made and efforts put in, it was a hard call to make, but rather than finding ourself stranded in flooded areas, we had prudent enough choices. So we decided the cancel the event and even informed the participants about it. Many disappointed faces, until we decided otherwise and took the chance of proceeding with our plans as charted out. Another round of calls followed and everyone was informed about the trek and its proceedings. So it was on and final now after a round of ruckus. It did not end here though!

So it was 9.00 PM, the time we were supposed to meet at Thane on 14th August. Very well and keeping a safety margin we boarded the local train from Kalyan and headed for Thane. Some of the participants had already reached there and were eagerly waiting for us. Mind you, we had all the tickets and reservations with us, leave aside the trek route information and planned charts. Fate had something else in its mind. As we crossed Dombivli station, our train halted and ceased to move for a good hour or so. We were stranded between Dombivli and Diva stations, with darkness and open spaces surrounding us. I cannot describe how intimidating and instable those 60 minutes of static upheaval were.  The scheduled bus departure was at 9.45 PM and we were still waiting for the train to move even as the clock ticked 9.55 PM. We could not have made it to the bus depot before 10.30 PM and we were well aware that it was going to be impossible to board the bus and all our plans were going down the drains with flooding at Kolhapur, not exactly – but with the mess that the slow track on the suburban lines of central railway has to offer.

We asked others to reach the depot and try and explain the situation to the bus driver and conductor and ask them to wait for some time. The conductor refused to budge and set the time to 10.00 PM. It was going to be impossible. Finally the clock ticked 10.00 and it moved, well not the bus but our stranded train. It was another 20 minutes before we reached Thane and another 10 minutes from there to reach the depot.  It was 10.30 PM by the time we managed to reach the bus and thanks to some good convincing and generous requests made by others the bus kept waiting for us. After a lot of ruckus, reservations, rains, floods and then train delays we finally saw the entire team seated in the Kolhapur bound bus – a total of 18 souls, on the trek. The trek began; finally!

Not often you see that even before the first step of the travelogue is written, you find nearly 800 words already occupying the space; that just explains the initial hiccups – the hurdles that we all had to counter to get there. After the entire circus, we set our feet on Kolhapur depot at 7.00 AM on 15th of August. One of our participants was supposed to meet there directly and she arrived an hour later; hour filled with refresher and tea and weight distribution. Everyone arrived and the next as per the schedule was a bus journey to Panhala, which lies at around 20 km from Kolhapur. As the bus whizzed beyond the city limits, we actually saw what havoc had the uncontrolled flow of Panchaganga caused. Floods everywhere, villages submerged, trees uprooted, fields devastated, roads blocked. Even the normal bus route to Panhala had to be diverted and it took nearly 45 minutes extra for us to reach Panhala. Already the bus delay and further extensions saw us lagging by a good couple of hour behind our schedule.

We saw Panhala fort after our breakfast session atop Panhala. Panhala is a Taluka place and actually has lost the charm of a fort with all the tar roads penetrating to every corner on the top. All the sites are now reached by vehicles and it is no more of a hill station rather than a fortress. We quickly wrapped with Panhala fort seeing all the possible and interesting fortification and structures atop and moved on further towards Vishalgad. We exited the fort from Raj Dindi, just before Pusati Buruj (Bastion) from the west. A quick descent of 20 minutes brought us to the lower slopes of the fort and a further walk of another 15 minutes brought us to Turukwadi.

From Turukwadi we started ascending on a ridge falling to our left. Within 15 minutes of gradual climb we reached Mahalunge village. We were well aware that this is the last village that we will see until crossing over and descending the vast expanse of Mhasai pathar.  A 20 minutes climb brought us to the unending expanse atop the rocky bed of Mhasai Pathar – one of the largest plateaus in the Sahyadri ranges. The plateau is actually stretching the the East-West direction, but is very narrow in the North-South direction. The plateau is connected to the mass of Panhala by a small intervening col. We crossed over this col and reached the plateau.

It would be fair to say that we were favoured by the weather and rain Gods this time as the sun shone it light on us and the clear weather allowed us to have our orientation maintained. We all were heading for the first time on this route and a slight misdirection on the plateau can leave us walking in completely wayward direction. We were aware of sticking to the left edge and continue walking till we reach the Mhasai temple. Actually the trail is very well marked now and it is very difficult to miss the trail.  After a walk of an hour and some minutes we reached Mhasai temple. A nice pond of accumulated rain water spreads in front of the temple with a lush green cover occupying the rest of landscape. We decided to have our lunch here. Tiffin were unpacked, chapattis and sabjis with the spice of pickle served for a good meal. Good one hour break before we proceeded further.

We continued on the cart track further until we came across very ancient caves hewn in the belly of the northern slopes of the Mhasai plateau. These are some series of rock cut caves – the Pandavdara leni. However, the caves are now inhabitable with grass and marsh occupying most of them. However, some caves still have dilapidated remains of the carving and lithographs inscribed on their walls. A quick look at these from the exterior and we moved further. A short walk from here brings in sight the only and relatively large tree on the northern edge of the plateau. We descended from here and with in 15 minutes reached a small hamlet – Varewadi. Another 30 minutes walk over the marsh tracks took us to Kumbharwadi village. Actually if we would have continued further on the plateau and then descended from the ridge we would have skipped Varewadi and directly would have reached Kumbharwadi.

It was nearly 5.30 by the time we reached Kumbharwadi and the day still held enough light in its store to allow us to trek further and reach Chapewadi. Chapewadi was supposed to be our night halt for the day. It was a mere 4 km distance and should have ideally required less than an hour, still it took us more than an hour and half before the last member of the group reached there.  It was not the day long trudge that caused the delay or any whiling away on the way, but for the knee deep wet mud and marsh that encountered. Every step saw most of us submerged in knee deep marsh and retrieving without loosing our footwear was a task to handle. Soiled clothes, lost balance, searching for footwear, tired legs and all along some funny incidences saw us through the 4 km long puddle and reach Chapewadi (Also called as Khotwadi) finally at 7.15 PM. A nearby handpump provided the much needed cleanser with clothes and faces washed to drain away the mud.

A quick change of clothes before the kitchen was setup. A hot cup of tea spiced with talks and chats filled the class room of the village school as we occupied them for our night stay. The tea session was quickly followed by moong khichadi, pickles and papad and then the sleep time started invading the ambience. Day long walk with the last few hours including knee deep puddles had drained some of them and a good dinner saw them dozing before anyone realized. Others chirped their way through before eventually falling asleep.

16th August had an early start.  Saturday it was and it was supposed to be the longest and most strenuous part of the trek. Long distances had to be covered to make up for the lost hours on day one.  We started at around 7.30 after a quick session of morning tea and some breakfast in the form of bread jam, biscuits and snacks. It was also supposed to be the most eventful day ahead with treks through the leech infested trails.

Our next destination was Mandlaiwadi, which is a good 1 hour walk away from Chapewadi. One most welcome change was that the path was nowhere near what we had encountered the day before. It was quite firm and not marshy, with maximum depth soiling barely upto our ankles. Knee deep marsh was left way behind and that really helped us to cover distances quickly. We reached Mandlaiwadi at around 8.45 AM and moved further. Arrow marked helped us on the way, as we covered distances between Dhangarwadi, Ambewadi, Malewadi and Patewadi relatively quickly. It took us nearly 4 hours to reach Patewadi and just beyond the village at around 2.00 PM we had our snack – cum – lunch break. A quick refresher and we moved towards Pandhrepani, our supposed night halt for day two.

The intriguing thing that we noticed on day two was the fact that Pandhrepani seemed to be just two hours away right from 1.00 PM, until we finally managed to reach there at 5.30 PM. It is a good 4 hours walk from Patewadi, but villagers in the intermediate wadis seems to have some other ideas and their relative mis-information dazzled us quite a few number of times as our expectations of getting there were always being wrecked with another couple of hours added to it at the next wadi. All along the way we walked over leech infested grassy plateaus, over the bunds of the fields, through the forests of shallow-rooted Nilgiris that were uprooted due to loose soil at its base, flat terrains and so on.

Leeches played a nuisance for some of us. All along the day long trudge leeches managed to suck quite a few from most of us, especially those who were in floaters and shorts. The bare fingers exposed through their floaters offered a good avenue for those tiny leeches to hang on and have satiated their appetites. The worst part – the injected anesthetic doesn’t let us sense the pain and the leeches quite hideously manage to do the job, secondly the anticoagulant injected doesn’t allow the blood flow to cease and bleeding may continue for hours after the leech drop away.  It actually led to everyone checking their pants and shoes/floaters every 10 minutes of so to see if there is that small bug sticking to their feet and sucking on. Some found out, some didn’t.

It was Raj actually who found the first sign of leech infestation and immediately brought to notice the trouble that lay ahead for those who did not bother to wear full pants and shoes. It was one specific person – Vinita.. who has some special affinity for the leeches it seems – somehow manages to invite leeches at the least likely places! She was terribly drained with all those bugs sucking on her RBC’s every now and then. Few others had minor niggles with the suckers too, but manageable!

So after a brief lunch break (sort of) and after 4 hours of walk though the forests and grasslands, over the bunds of fields and terrains we managed to reach Pandrepani at 5.30 PM. The last 45 minutes walk is on tarred road and can be really quite boring to tread on after a day long walk. The distance from Chapewadi to Pandhrepani is really a long one and we covered good ground to make u for the delays on day one.

After sipping on hot cuppa of tea at a local village shop at PAndhrepani, a poha session spiced up the fun talks and masti. We managed to get a cosy stay at one of the houses in the village. The warm ambiance after the day long drench was the perfect compliment anyone would have asked for. Poha was followed by some munching on snacks and after some chit chats; however the long day saw everyone quickly setting up their carry mats and sleeping bags quite early.

Day three it was and the last day of our trek. We had to cover the distance from Pandhrepani till Vishalgad and head back to Kolhapur to board the Mahalkshmi express back to Mumbai. So another long day and more importantly time frame was much more important today as getting back to Kolhapur in time was imperative. So after tea and breakfast session we moved at around 8.15 AM from the village. The day began on confusing note with different people giving different opinions about bus timings and their frequency. Irrespective of all the jumbles, we decided to walk the distance of 6 km till Pavan Khind. The entire route follows the tar road and we briskly covered it in an hour.

We managed to reach Pavan khind at 9.20 Am and really – a glance at the narrow gorge and one just can’t help, but go back and salute the Guerilla warfare tactics of the Maratha and the ingenuity of Baji Prabhu Deshpande. The narrow gorge, then known as Ghod Khind provided for the perfect location to stop the march of the chasing army and allow for the escapade of Shivaji Maharaj to Vishalgad. The narrowness, the terrain and the relative trap-like location proved very effective and with the sacrifice and valour that Baji Prabhu and the fellow Mavlas exhibited, Ghod khind was rechristened as Pavan Khind. We had a brief session at the gushing waterfall that adds to the beauty and enthralls the visitors with its flow. This is actually the origin of Kasari River. There is a project (Kasari Prakalpa) that is being worked on and is being converted into a reservoir. We payed our obeisance with a typical Shivgarjana recited by Amod, a group photo and moved on towards Visahlgad.

We retraced our steps back to the tar road. Vishalgad was still 15 km away from here. The clock now ticked 11.00 and the time crunch began to raise its head. We waited for a bus as informed by the villages, but another person came up and informed that there were no buses available at that time of the day. So we just continued to march on our feet further. The tar slipped under our feet at a brisk pace and it was nearly and hour and quarter before we made our way to Tembhurne wadi.

Just when we were thinking of skipping Vishalgad – Vishalgad is at a distance of 8 km from here – fortunately, we got a jeep from here that was ready to take us to Vishalgad and then back to Amba. Amba is a well connected to Kolhapur. So without wasting much time we all crammed into the jeep and reached Vishalgad after a bumpy ride of 20 minutes. It takes mere 10 minutes to reach the top of the fort. The fort looks nothing like a fort, but is only a crowded settlement of the local villagers. Filth now mars the beauty of the fort and irregular and haphazard houses build on the fort just dims the entire spirits. We roamed around the fort for around 45 minutes or so before retracing our steps down and boarding the jeep.

The jeep took us to Amba within one hour. It was nearly 4.00 PM by the time we reached Amba. As everyone was quite hungry then, we decided to have a quick bite of Misal pav, which unfortunately was not very quick. After the entire chore, we waited for the bus. But since after a wait of nearly 20 minutes bus did not show up, we decided to reach Malkapur – 10 km from Amba – by jeep. We reached there by 6.00 and an immediate connecting bus took us to Kolhapur by 7.30 PM. We reached there barely an hour before the scheduled departure of the train. We managed for some dinner (Veg Biryani) and after a sumptuous dinner, we all headed for our respective berths reserved in the train. Let me tell you, it was an experience to have all 18 people together at the dinner, after a 3 day long trudge. It was so satisfactory to have the entire group together, sharing a good laugh and talk about the trek, completed route and everything, specially after all the stuff – rains, delays and all we had at the start…!

It will always be one of the memorable ones, for various reasons, but cherished nonetheless.

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Words from the Icons – Chris Bonington

Posted by itrekz on August 6, 2008

For those who doesn’t know who he is: Refer http://www.bonington.com/welcome.htm

The most important discovery of my life, some forty five years ago, was that of climbing. I love it, am obsessed by it,as much now as on the first day when a friend of mine took me to Harrison’s Rocks, a little sandstone outcrop to the south of London.  That day I discovered an activity for which I had natural ability and which seemed to have limitless capacity for personal discovery. I was still at a day school in London, but from that moment on, I took every available opportunity to hitchhike out for holidays in Snowdonia and Scotland, working my way up the climbing grades, discovering the joys of mountaineering on the isle of SKye, the challenge of winter climbing in Scotland, the reaching out to the wider horizons of the Alps and Himalayas.

Over this period I have seen an extraordinary development and expansion of this sport, which is so much more than a sport. It is an obsession, a way of life, a joy, a growing and ever-widening sense of awareness. I started with a apir of clinker nailed boots, a second hand hemp rope and a couple of nylon loops with ex-WD carabiners. The top standard in early fifties was around E 1. Joe Brown and Don Whillans had just started their climbing campaign that was to revolutionise Britishrock climbing, but to me they were just a distant rumour – though I started repeating their routes in 1953, in some instances making second ascents.  It is easy to be nostalgic, but they were great days. There were not many people around and climbing was wonderfully simple – it didn’t pay to fall of when you were leading with only a couple of runners which usually comprised of slings draped over convenient flakes or threaded around stones jammed in cracks.

Yet today I use all the latest devices – Quickdraws, RPs, Rocks, Walnuts, Friend, Chalk- and this has enabled me to keep up a fairly high standard of climbing, E2 %c on a good day at a resonable level of risk. I hate to think of long falls I boldly risked, as we all had to do, in my youth. And yes, I go to the indoor climbing walls and do a bit of sport climbing, which I find fun, but believe passionately that it should be kept of the traditional crags.  Bolt proceeded climbing is a pale imitation of the real thing, for it is the presence of risk that is the fundamental basis of the attraction of climbing. Once a crag has been covered in bolts, not only man or for that matter woman, imposed thier presence on the natural environment, but they have also removed the fundamental challenge of accpeting the natural protection that the rock offers.

So what do I get out of climbing? A lot more than ‘because it is there’. It starts with the physical satisfaction of clambering up a stretch of a rock, essentially the satisfaction of an athlete; but where climbing starts being different and so much stronger an experience, is that element of risk, that you are staking your life on your judgement. There is a sense of discovery, bot of your own limts and places to where no one else has been before.  There is wonder of the beauty of the mountains, the strength of friendships, when your life is literally in your climbing partner’s hands. Certainly, there is competition, even in traditional climbing. The sense of achievement of being the first to solve a boulder problem, of snatching a new route from under the nsoes of your peers, of being the first to top out and unclimbed peak. The secet of staying alvie and going on enjoying the mountains is finding a balance in all these motives for climbing.

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Just a post!

Posted by itrekz on July 31, 2008

Lonavala to Bhimashankar trek was a good experience!

Well.. following it is a similar sort of long trek in the form of Panhala to Vishalgad, albeit a more thronged track! With an increased headcount and a bit different terrain in Mhasai attached with the historical significance of Pavan Khind and the charm of monsoons, it is very much eagerly awaited.

Following up are some tough trails in Alang and Madangad, Nalichi waat, Torna-Raigad and such.. can wait for the clouds to get away.. not before Panhala-Vishalgad though!

See you all sooner!

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Lonavala to Bhimashankar.. A Trek!

Posted by itrekz on July 28, 2008

Hello everyone..
Lonavala to Bhimashankar trek cannot be described anything other than Lost-n-Found sorts!

We did it in less than 2 days.. albeit the last 2 hours eluded us..
We completed.. Lonavala-Valvanda-Kondeshwar-Kusur pathar-Kusur-Savle-Talpaiwadi-Wandre Khind-Pardyarchiwadi-Lower plateau of Bhimashankar in less than 2 days.

That includes lots of missed trails… disoriented trudges in hope to find some village.. some shelter for the night.. never ending.. cloud cover reducing visibility to barely 10 metres.. heavy rains.. Same atop the Bhimashankar plateau the other day and a long walk back to Wandre..

Total distance covered.. approximately 75 kms.. inclusive of all missed trails and sorts..

Heavy rains.. thick fogs.. fully loaded sacks..!

A truly tough venture… and we resisted and stuck it out to our scheme of things.. by not taking a vatadya and roughing it out on our own .. in a terrain completely unknown that was further rendered hostile by incessant showers and reduced visibility!

Kudos to all those who participated and it was each of those 10 members who stuck it out in most adverse conditions..!

Pics… hmm; You must know that we all love our cameras.. and givern the heavy rains. pics were impossible!

Travelogue.. sure.. will follow sooner!

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Upcoming treks

Posted by itrekz on July 22, 2008

Panhala-Vishalgad is already fixed for the long weekend overlapping with our Independence day leave!
what next..?? Here is it..

Ajoba  trek on  30th August 2008 
Nice retreat in monsoons!

Avchitgad and Ghosalgad Bike trek on 14 September 2008

Cost on an equal per head shared basis!

Mail in at itrekz@gmail.com if interested!

Following up.. come october and you will find long “paaytod” treks as if Lonavala-Bhimashankar and Panhala-Vishaldgad aren’t long enough!

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Rock climbing styles

Posted by itrekz on July 16, 2008

Traditional climbing:
A traditional rock climber is more often called as ‘Trad’ climber. A Trad climber is any climber, who is secured with ropes and places protection (pro) like nuts, bolts, pitons, hexes, in the faults on the rock face as one ascends. The faults can be crack, notches, projections, nips, crete. If no crack is naturally available one may drill the bolt in with a hammer. Trad climbing is mostly done in teams.

Sport climbing:
Sport climbing is very similar to Trad climbing but for the difference in gear and bolted nature of the route. The rope system remains the same, but added protection ensues from pre-bolted routes, wherein a climber has to just clip-in the quick draw as one ascends. A quick draw is a short sling with one bent gate Karabiner and one straight karabiner at its ends. It is mostly short climbs, not more than two or three pitches and with added safety, more emphasis can be placed on climbing techniques and harder moves.

Bouldering is the most explosive and dynamic type of climbing. Bouldering is usually done on boulders not high more than 15-20 feet. These are known as boulder problems or boulder challenges. The climber is never actually much of the ground and bouldering consist of series of moves where in a limber has to climb or traverse a boulder problem.
Bouldering even though not higher up, offers the most difficult problems and climbs to be overcome, since you might not attempt a difficult and dynamic moves at a height of, say 60 feet of the ground, as against when you are just 10 feet o the ground. In bouldering, no rope or equipments are used, but just crash pads to fall on so as to avoid injury.

Indoor/Wall climbing:
During rains, the routes are always laden with moss and it makes it impossible to climb in those extremely slippery conditions. To satiate their hunger for climbing, climbing enthusiasts, devised Indoor climbing or wall climbing. However, today indoor climbing has taken over the Trad climbing and is more favored in Europe and US. All the climbing competitions are done on indoor walls. The environment is always controlled and the route manipulative.

Ice climbing:
Even, though never done, few words on it. Frozen waterfall, vertical ice face are climbed with specialized equipments. Crampon equipped shoes; ice axes etc are bare essentials of the same. In addition to equipments used, the nature of the climb, the routes and climbing techniques differs a lot. Ice faces exhibit mutations and changes its nature between the lead climber and the second.

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Why Climb?

Posted by itrekz on July 16, 2008

Why go Rock climbing?
When you utter the phrase, the first thing that most people will ask you is, “Are you nuts? That is just too dangerous.” They are right. Climbing is an inherently dangerous sport, but when in done according to certain criteria and adhering to the protocols, it is one of the safest sports. Don’t let these comments forbid your aspirations, because once you get started, you will know why it is one of the most addictive sport.
Some plausible explanation and rationale are:

Ultimate Physical challenge:
Every route presents numerous challenges and opportunities to the climber. It serves you the opportunity to extend beyond your own self and attain which seems inconceivable earlier. One learns to accept certain rough appropriately blended with the smooth and the ability to rise when the chips are down, push further. Depending on your own physical ability and risk acceptance, one will learn that no grade of climbing is tough enough.

Adventure and Freedom:
Thrill and adrenaline rush are the terms any layman associate with climbing. A sense of adventure and achievement is always tagged with it. The feeling of self and inner core satisfaction is beyond words to explain.

Beautiful nature and scenic:
Being one with nature is a deprivation for the urban dwellers and a sport such as climbing which urges one to explore new routes and find new sites will invariably lead one to discover new places and be one with nature. No other Olympic sport provides you with this opportunity. Flora and fauna enthusiasts and also herpetologists, entomologists, botanist and outdoor enthusiasts are adequately served with even opportunities to enjoy and explore their respective domains.

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Basic Climbing knots

Posted by itrekz on July 16, 2008

Climbing Knots
Without hyperbole employed, there are more than 100 knots (even more) one can use for climbing purposes; however, few most essential knots are mentioned here.

Few basics of knots are:

  • Easy to remember
  • Easy to tie
  • Enough strength to be stable under stress and load
  • Easy to untie

Figure of Eight knot:
If there is any one knot that must be absolutely learned, it is the figure of eight knot.
There are two methods, the figure of eight rethreaded and figure of eight on the bight or loop. The first one is used usually to secure the rope to the harness while second one is used to use for clipping into the karabiner or any equipment.

Clove hitch knot:
There are two methods:
Open clove hitch: When the anchor is open and the knot can be just ‘put in’ from the top, for example a truncated tree trunk.

Closed clove hitch: This knot is used when it is to be ‘tied around’ a closed anchor, like a huge tree, where one cannot just ‘put in’ the knot.

Bowline knot:
This knot is used when the rope is directly tied around the waist of the climber without any harness. Also in some cases this can be used for anchoring. Not used often.

Italian hitch:
In conditions when the belay device is damaged or dropped of a cliff, there is still a way to belay using plain Karabiner using the Italian hitch knot. One can even rappel down and descend using the Italian hitch knot around a karabiner.

Reef knot and Fisher man knot are used to join two ropes together. Reef knot is used for joining two ropes of equal diameter where as Fisherman knot is versatile and can be used in any case, specifically for two ropes of different diameters.

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