One of pioneers in rock climbing in India and veteran mountaineer Gautam Kanjilal died of a lung infection at a city hospital here on Friday.
Sixty-nine-year-old Kanjilal, popularly known as Kanji among the rock climbing fraternity in Bengal for his intensive exploration of rocks and hills in drought prone Bankura and Purulia since late 60s, is survived by his wife and a son.
An engineer by profession and a member of city based mountaineering club Himalayan Association, Kanjilal began his outward bound activities in late 60s when he attended a rock climbing course, organized by the Association in the Susunia Hills of Bankura.
Subsequently, he underwent mountaineering training at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling and took part in the expedition to hitherto unclimbed Sudarshan Parvat in the Garhwal Himalaya organized by Himalayan Association in 1978.
He also acted as instructor and Course Commandant in various rock climbing and adventure courses till a few years back.
He also made some of the new faces of rocks and was adept handler of artificial climbing.
A keen rock climber, Kanjilal explored quite a few rock routes in the hills of Bankura and Purulia districts.
The most notable among those is a rock route in Sushunia Hills known as " Kanjiman" which he pioneered along with three other rock climbers during late 70s.