Ten-Second Takeaway

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.

Rock On

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced climber or a first-timer at the wall. It’s not about body weight, exercise, or muscle, but more about grit, strength, and will. The artificial rock climbing wall at IMF reminded me of that lost sense of excitement and adventure which I had boatloads of as a kid.

As I pulled myself up on the strength of my limbs, I realised how the task was not just a physical one, but one of the mind as well. With every step, I had to focus and think quickly about which marker I could reach and hold on to next.

Thinking On Your Feet

201016_IMF-2 Rocking The Outdoors: Climbing At Indian Mountaineering FoundationThe 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, awe-struck beginners looking on in complete enthrallment, and instructors egging everyone on. As I pushed myself to climb to new heights {pardon the pun}, huffing and puffing all the way, the encouraging shouts and friendly words helped me ‘get a grip’.

Their 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}.

Beyond Boulders

The bouldering area at the back of the building is a place to practice “holds”—gripping the markers firmly—and build your arm strength. This is much tougher than it sounds, as I realised when I found myself unable to move from one marker to another.

Adding to the charm of this space are the well-manicured lawns around the area, and the lovely trees around the stone brick building, with peacocks who come and perch themselves on top of the wall. The aching limbs the next day, though, are another story!

Photos source: Indian mountaineering foundation


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