Hidden uphill on Benito Juarez Marg, the Indian Mountaineering Foundation’s (IMF) artificial rock climbing wall is a great place to test your strength and endurance levels, while learning a great new skill.
The first thing that strikes you about IMF is the high energy around the space. There are serious climbers making it seem like child’s play, beginners looking in complete awe, and instructors egging everyone on. As I pushed myself to climb to new heights, huffing and puffing all the way, the encouraging shouts and friendly words helped me ‘get a grip’.
IMF's outdoor set-up has four walls on which climbers can challenge themselves. First-timers begin by attempting the beginner’s wall, which has closely placed markers or hooks for an easier climb. After mastering that, the climber moves on to the intermediate wall, which is at an incline and requires greater strength.
The speed wall tests a person’s swiftness and climbing skills and needs a fair amount of practice to reach. Then comes the lead wall, based on the idea of leadership climbing, where the climber hooks themselves onto certain markers and climbs without any support from another person. This wall mimics a real-life climbing experience, and it is a treat to watch the experienced climbers complete this wall (they are literally dangling as if hanging off cliffs).
You can go climbing at the IMF from 8 AM - 12 PM and 4 PM - 8 PM (Tuesday to Sunday) and the charges are INR 200 per person per session. The IMF also offers group activities like tyre bridge, commando net, rope ladder, etc. for a minimum of 30 people. Do call them ahead of your visit. It is kinda mandatory.