Ever watched the movie Cliffhanger and wondered if you could pull similar stunts with just a rope around your waist to break your fall (and possibly also your back)?
Well, boulders and rocks not withstanding, here’s an opportunity for you to set-out on an adventure and literally learn the ropes of rock climbing from experts at India’s first ever rock climbing school -- Bhongir Rock Climbing School.
As part of promoting adventure sports and attracting tourists to the State, the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) initiated the project at the ancient hill fort of Bhuvanagiri (Bhongir) in Nalgonda district, 48 km from Hyderabad.
The Bhuvangariri Hill, with its steep slopes and hard surface was found to be suitable for the rocky sport.
Shekar Babu Bachinepally, the first Indian to scale the Mount Everest as an individual and a recipient of the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award from the President of India, was roped into head the Bhongir Rock Climbing School (BRCS).
Since its inauguration on September 6, 2013, by the special Chief Secretary for Tourism, Chandana Khan, BRCS has become quite the destination for tourists and adventure seekers.
‘’Though it had been just about a month since the school was started, there has been a great demand from students who want to learn rock climbing. We have also been receiving calls from many individuals as well,’’ Shekar said.
Talking about the main objective of the school, he added that the focus was on initiating the spirit of adventure among youngsters and helping them to utilise their holidays productively, thereby inculcating self-confidence and courage, aspects very essential for their overall personality development.
‘’It will also help in development of communication skills, cooperating and team work -- qualities which can be incorporated in their day-to-day activities. Further, the sport imbibes a sense of trust and camaraderie in a group,’’ he said.
As for who can take up the sport, rock climbing is physically and mentally demanding, one that often tests a climber’s strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control. ‘’Hence, it is paramount for the participants to be physically and mentally fit. Anyone above 12 years of age with no health aliments is eligible for the various courses being offered at BRCS,” Shekar explained.
In the last month, two batches have already completed their basic rock climbing course conducted over four-days. A weekend adventure course for two days was also conducted at the school. ‘’Response from schools has been good and many more schools are expressing their interest to send batches of students to learn rock climbing,’’ shared the professional.
Training is being provided by certified instructors with years of experience. Most importantly, stringent safety precautions are being taken with certified equipment by United International Alpine Association (UIAA) is being used.