Published On: March 18, 2018 08:36 AM NPT By: Kiran Lama

Climbing up

Climbing up

Sport climbing is an attraction for adventure seekers who look for tough challenge. It is one of the difficult sports that require the climber to have physical strength, endurance power, balance, and a swift and sharp mind. Here one climbs across the formation of rock or artificial wall.

We are all aware that Nepal has a big potential of being a hub for such adventure sports because the country is home to many beautiful mountains and hills. Out of 10 highest mountain peaks, eight are in Nepal. Adventure enthusiasts fly in this beautiful land to experience thrilling sports such as mountain climbing, bungee jumping, paragliding, rafting and many more. 

What is sport climbing
According to Swastika Chaudhary, 18, a national player of sport climbing, it is an adventure sport where the climber has to climb across various route of man-made walls with the help of ropes and fixed plastic or wooden holder (grip) for hand and feet. They take the help of belayer, who assists them to set up belays by holding the rope so that the climber safely climbs up to the top. It can also be done in 5-meter-tall artificial wall without using ropes and harness (belt), which is called bouldering. 

 It is mostly an indoor sport was introduced only in late 1980s. It has been added to 2020 Olympics Games. 

Sport climbing introduced in Nepal
With the opening of Pasang Lhamu Sport Climbing Center (PLSCC) at Dhumbarahi of Kathmandu, the country had its first indoor wall climbing or sport climbing in 2002. Mingma Sherpa, national coach of sport climbing, who also learnt sport climbing at PLSCC said, “The aim of this center is to promote sport climbing in Nepal for common people and also for the mountaineers for learning advanced techniques.” 

"Now, it is one of the national sports of Nepal.  The center is already a part of International Federation of Sport Climbing. However, it is not yet affiliated to National Sport Council,” Sherpa added.

Benefits of sport climbing
Sunita Rai, 30, a full-time architecture and also an avid climber, was spotted in Astrek Climbing wall, Thamel who has been involved in climbing for almost two years now. According to Rai, her stress levels were reduced after joining a climbing class. I feel more confident, and I am both physically and mentally fit,” Rai shared about the benefit of climbing.  

Likewise, Rajesh Lama, freelancer guide of LaMa Walks and also a staff member of Outdoor Adventure Centre, Thamel, was excited about the emergence of sport climbing in Kathmandu. He said, “It burns calories, and all the negatives energies are expelled through sweat. Moreover, it gives a forum for the people to socialize and interact with various people.”  

"Like swimming, this sport helps the whole body get complete workout," he added. "Even the finger tips get good exercise,” he added.

An expensive game
Due to expensive gears of sport climbing, it is one of the most expensive sports. Sometimes, it is more expensive than golf when it comes to buying gears. “People have a perception that golf is the most expensive game in the world. But in my view, sport climbing is even more expensive than golf because of highly expensive gears. The price of one pair of shoes starts from US$180. One belay costs Rs 2360, and a climber needs minimum six belays while climbing,” said Mingma Sherpa.

However, Pranil Man Shrestha, managing director of Sport Climbing Centre at Kaaldhara Marg of Paknajol, had a different view. He stated, “It is less expensive than other sports. Even a bungee jump costs more than three thousand rupees. But, in the case of sport climbing, it is cheaper as it costs only Rs 800 at this sport center, including gears on rent.”


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