Climbing in Belapur, Near Mumbai, India
Towards the end of 2009 I spent several weekends in an area called Belapur in New Bombay, inland a ways from Mumbai. My friend Vinay introduced me to the group of guys that spend seemingly every weekend climbing somewhere in these mountains. They come from all over – from Lower Parel in Central Mumbai to Pune, three hours further to the East.
Bong yells for me to wake up and climbers slowly appear from different hiding places with some new faces showing up. We start off to the climbs around 9:30, some on motorcycles and myself crammed into a small car carrying multiple crash pads up to the bouldering area. Hiking a short ways over boulders, dry grass and cacti careful not to step in the cow manure scattered about, we get to a bouldering crag that Bong had recently found.
I am impressed with the voracity with which these Indian climbers attack the rock. They are powerful and dedicated, training hard during the week so they will be strong each weekend. It’s a challenge for them to get new equipment, having to order most things from outside of India. I need some new shoes and I hate the thought of dealing with customs’ import duties.
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