Kumar Gaurav (Photo: Shyam G Menon)

Kumar Gaurav (Photo: Shyam G Menon)

“ I owe you an apology for not writing this story before. You will have to speak to me all over again,’’ I said sheepishly.

The face before me hadn’t changed a bit.

That wonderful wall-to-wall smile, almost a hearty laugh, slowly took shape.

“ No problem,’’ the young climber replied.

Occasionally I have missed writing a story despite working on it.

Kumar Gaurav’s fell into that category.

The first time we met was at Belapur in Navi Mumbai, where he had come to participate in Girivihar’s annual climbing competition. He took time off to speak to me. Then, in the midst of other engagements, my notes stayed just where they were. A journalist’s notes are like skeleton to the body. They offer structure. Flesh and shape – for that, you have to write when the memory is still fresh. I didn’t. To compound matters, middle aged neurons, I suspect, shed detail quickly.

It was now exactly a year since that last instance.

Late January 2015.

Kumar Gaurav (Gaurav) was in Badami.

So was I.

A second chance materialized.

Kumar Gaurav (Photo: Sharad Chandra)

Kumar Gaurav (Photo: Sharad Chandra)

Gaurav, 20, among India’s promising young climbers, is from Delhi. He is the third child of four, the others being two sisters and a brother. His mother is a housewife. His father works as a driver. “ Class seven in school….that’s when I got into climbing,’’ Gaurav said. Selections were held at school for the upcoming north zone climbing competition. The boy got selected. At the north zone competition however, he lost in the qualifying round itself. “ Back then, I had no idea what climbing is,’’ he said.

Next year, the same story repeated.

The year after that, in 2010, he placed third in the north zone competition making him eligible to compete in the national competition. There, he finished eighth in the junior category. Following this he was selected to participate in the training camp for the 2011 Asian Youth Championship. He didn’t make it to the eventual team as he was not adequately experienced in the sport.

But then something else happened.

Gaurav got genuinely interested in climbing.

From being someone who had found himself in it, he now wanted to be intentionally in it.

Gaurav in action (Photo: Sharad Chandra)

Gaurav in action (Photo: Sharad Chandra)

It was also the beginning of the young climber’s association with Badami. Located in north Karnataka, South India, at a historic junction of ancient kingdoms and cultures, Badami is among India’s hotspots for rock climbing. Home to wonderful, beautifully textured sandstone, it hosts some of India’s toughest sport climbing routes. The 2011 training camp organized by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) and in which Gaurav had been a participant, was held here.

When in 2012, Gaurav wasn’t selected for the training camp he hauled himself to Badami and started climbing on his own with a bunch of local climbers belaying him. The latter were beginners; they had been initiated into the sport by foreign climbers visiting Badami. For young Gaurav, staying at the town’s Vinayaka Lodge (his regular halt right up to 2014) and climbing most days, the partnership worked well. In what seems like a cat and mouse game, he trained out of sight from the official training camp and its participants. Gaurav climbed early in the morning with full focus on making it to the selection process. Later in Delhi, he got selected for the Asian Youth Championship team on the first day of the trials itself. At the championship, held in Iran, he finished eleventh.

Gaurav climbing Ganesha in Badami (Photo: Sharad Chandra)

Gaurav climbing in Badami (Photo: Sharad Chandra)

Soon thereafter, he participated in the north zone competition, securing first place in lead climbing in the senior category. At the ensuing nationals, he won bronze. “ That boosted my confidence,’’ Gaurav said. By 2013, he started thinking of climbing as a profession. He also decided to pursue climbing outdoors. His visits to Badami increased. “ I prefer Badami to other places for climbing. I think it is the best place in India for the purpose,’’ Gaurav said. His choice was shaped by two technical factors. First, Badami’s rock is sandstone. It is not only great texture for climbing, at Badami, the sandstone is well formed. Second, Gaurav was clear that he wanted to do long sport routes entailing lead-climbing. About 150km from Badami is Hampi, perhaps internationally the best known rock climbing spot in India and as wound up in history and old architecture as Badami. But within the world of climbing, Hampi is identified with the sport of bouldering, wherein individual rocks / boulders usually not exceeding 20-25 feet in height are climbed with minimal equipment (rock shoes, chalk powder and crash pad) and no rope. Gaurav’s game involved longer routes, more equipment and rope. The address for that was firmly Badami. In one year – 2012 – Gaurav visited Badami three to four times, eventually clearing the 7b grade in terms of how challenging or difficult a climbing route is. These climbs were mostly done in the company of local climbers. Gaurav remembered such names as Ganesha, Raj andShivu.

The hard work paid off.

Gaurav climbing Ganesha in Badami (Photo: Sharad Chandra)

Gaurav climbing Ganesha in Badami (Photo: Sharad Chandra)

At the North Zone competition of 2013, Gaurav finished first in both lead climbing and bouldering. At the nationals, which followed, he was unfortunately laid low by food poisoning. Still he secured sixth place in lead climbing. Between these two events, Gaurav participated in two competitions overseas, a World Cup at Mokpo in South Korea, an open international climbing competition at Haiyang in China and yet another World Cup at Wujiang in China. It was a totally new experience with grades of almost 8a and 8a+ to overcome for qualifying. At Mokpo, he didn’t qualify, at Haiyang he ended last. At Wujiang, Gaurav said, given low participation, all participants sailed straight into the semi final and competition featuring 8b+ route. Gaurav was utterly new to such grades. He finished second last in the semi final.

While all this learning was happening in Korea and China, back in Badami, a new chapter had commenced in the town’s rendezvous with climbing.

For much of the year, Badami is a hot, dusty town set against a backdrop of magnificent sandstone rock walls. In 2008, at one end of this rock formation, a climbing route was opened by Alex Chabot, a champion climber from France. Eventually named Ganesha, this route was climbed for the first time in 2010 by Gerome Povreau, also of France. Ganesha’s grade was decided as 8b+. It became India’s toughest sport climbing route and a prized challenge for climbers, Indian and foreign.

Gaurav on Ganesha; the view with Badami in the backdrop (Photo: Sharad Chandra)

Gaurav on Ganesha; the view with Badami in the backdrop (Photo: Sharad Chandra)

The first Indian to climb Ganesha was Tuhin Satarkar from Pune. He did the climb in December 2013. At the same time in Badami, Gaurav climbed his first 7c+ route (Indo-Japan), following it up with his first 8a (Samsara). His partner on this trip was Madhu C.R, a young climber from Bangalore. They attempted Ganesha but failed. Gaurav couldn’t go past the second move on the demanding route. Roughly a year later, in October 2014, Gaurav climbed Ganesha, the second Indian ascent of the route. Two days later, he polished off an 8a+ (Badami Killer) as well, for good measure. Post Ganesha, Gaurav found regular sponsors. His main supporters, he said, include Adventure 18, Big Boulder and Mad Rock India. He has also been helped by Wildcraft and Petzl. Try this link to see Gaurav in action:

Like climbing, one’s fortunes in life don’t move from one good hold to another. Crimps, slippery slopes and slips lurk in between. Having finished second in the north zone climbing competition of September 2014, Gaurav appeared for the nationals in December. He was disqualified on a technical point. According to Gaurav, the route had clip-in points for the climber’s rope at rather short intervals and he missed one clip-in. By the time he realized the error and tried to correct, his ankle was already above the missed point. That apparently, was sufficient to disqualify him. It seems to have left some bitterness and increased his resolve to focus on climbing outdoors on natural rock. “ Outdoors allows you to have your style. The feeling of freedom is more and there is none to judge,’’ he said. After the nationals, held in Bangalore, Gaurav headed straight to Badami. There he stayed climbing, through New Year and well into January 2015, which was when I met him for the second time.

“ So your New Year was in Badami?’’ I asked.

“ Climbing is important. New Year comes every year anyways,’’ he said laughing.

Climb outdoors on natural rock – to that decision, Gaurav added a wish.

He would like to try a 9a route somewhere in the world.

(The author, Shyam G. Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai. He would like to thank Sharad Chandra for permitting the use of some of his photographs.)


Ganesha Waddar (Photo: courtesy Ganesha)

Ganesha Waddar (Photo: courtesy Ganesha)

In India, the climbing route Ganesha (8b+) in Badami, is a pilgrimage for addicts of sport climbing.

As of January 2015, its reign as the hardest sport climbing route around was continuing albeit insecurely, for two other routes had emerged and their complete ascent was all that stood between them and the crown.

En route to Ganesha (aka Ganesh), before the path winds up to the crags of the Temple Area, in a house, the last one on the left and opposite the Mallikarjun School lives the other Ganesha.

The first time I met Ganesha Waddar showcased the strange coincidence of two similar names in the neighbourhood.

It was early 2014 and I was in Badami to write about the climbing around Ganesha 8b+.

As I approached the Temple Area, a youngster said hello.

“ Are you a climber?’’ he asked.

I laughed and gave him the accurate answer: I was once climber, now a shadow of it.

He introduced himself as a climbing guide of sorts and asked where I was headed.

“ I am going to Ganesha,’’ I said.

He smiled and pointed up the hill, to the side, “ right there.’’

He seemed a good sort to talk to.

“ What’s your name?’’ I asked.

“ Ganesha,’’ he replied.

That chance encounter stuck in my mind.

Manju, Shivu and Ganesha (Photo: Shyam G Menon)

Manju, Shivu and Ganesha (Photo: Shyam G Menon)

It was now January 2015; time to hear the story of the other Ganesha.

We were in a small, busy restaurant in Badami.

It was noisy outside; noisier inside. Not a great place for coffee, except, the coffee was really good.

Ganesha and Shivu Waddar, both 19, sipped the piping hot brew.

Ganesha is the youngest of four brothers. His father, who Ganesha said used to be a small time contractor doing civil work, died a year and half ago. The youngster, having completed studies till the tenth standard was technically into first PUC (pre-university course). However he had been away from studies for the past two years.

Ganesha in action (Photo: courtesy Ganesha)

Ganesha in action (Photo: courtesy Ganesha)

Situated as his house was on the local stairway to climbing’s heaven, Ganesha grew up seeing climbers. He used to follow them and watch what they did. “ Back then, my English was very bad. I couldn’t communicate. Eventually I managed to tell them of my desire to climb,’’ he said. The first climber who indulged this wish and got him started on climbing was an American. This was over three years ago. As I learnt late in the day, for better climbers knew it earlier than me, Badami has its crop of young, home grown talent. During a conversation with Kumar Gaurav, one of India’s best upcoming climbers, he had mentioned of Ganesha and Shivu, among others, as those he had climbed with during his training trips to Badami. They belayed Gaurav while he was visiting Badami and training alone.

It was evening and the restaurant was crowded. Ganesha had been trifle fidgety as though waiting for somebody. He now relaxed. A small, light youngster approached and sat down, the third person on the restaurant bench before me. Meet Manju Waddar.

Manju climbing (Photo: courtesy Ganesha)

Manju climbing (Photo: courtesy Ganesha)

By the time I reached Badami in 2015, Jyothi Raj’s film – Jyothi Raj alias Kothi Raj – had come and gone. Some of the climbers in town had seen it too. Based in Chitradurga and a regular sight climbing the fort walls there, Jyothi Raj’s story is well known in Indian climbing circles. According to Ganesha, it was Joythi Raj who advised him to participate in the south zone climbing competition, a move that at the very least would get the youngster out of Badami and into a bigger world. He competed in the 2012 south zone competition and finished a creditable fourth, sadly just outside the selection level for the national competition. The experience was slightly different for Manju.

He had moved to a house some distance from Badami. Manju, 16, used to be Ganesha’s neighbour; that’s how he got into climbing. His father too is engaged in civil construction work. Manju studied till ninth standard; his education has been erratic owing to financial strain. To make ends meet, he works in the construction line. Apparently, Manju was also nudged into participating in the south zone competition by Jyothi Raj. Manju finished third at the south zone competition and ninth at the nationals. He has a lingering fancy for competition climbing while Ganesha prefers a non competitive format.

Ganesha, during his course at HMI (Photo: courtesy Ganesha)

Ganesha, during his course at HMI (Photo: courtesy Ganesha)

In 2014 Ganesha did his Basic Mountaineering Course from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), Darjeeling. Poonacha Madappa, a well wisher then based in Bangalore, filled in his application form and provided funds. Foreign climbers provided trekking shoes and backpack. He finished his course with an `A’ grade. He would like to do the Advanced Mountaineering Course. He and Manju now feature on a website ( offering help to visitors wishing to climb in Badami. It was set up two months ago (which would mean the closing part of 2014) by a Swedish couple who are into climbing. In Badami, Ganesha had helped them. Indeed days after I first met him in 2014, I saw him climbing with a visiting group of young climbers from India and overseas, leading a route and then setting up a top rope for them. The hardest route Ganesha has led was a 7a. He felt that Manju, who is a strong climber, should be around 7b. They often work together as a team. Shivu, 19, also helps Ganesha.

Over time, foreign climbers passing through have given Ganesha a small cachet of used equipment – some ropes, quick draws, helmets, harnesses. He would like to add to it some new equipment. Money remains an issue, although Ganesha periodically works, including work away from Badami.

Ganesha, early 2014 (Photo: Shyam G Menon)

Ganesha, early 2014 (Photo: Shyam G Menon)

Shivu would like to continue his studies.

Manju wouldn’t mind more competition climbing and hopefully, a job in climbing or one linked to it.

At my question on what he wished to do, Ganesha thought a while.

“ Two years back I didn’t have money. Now it is a little better. I wish to study and also improve my climbing,’’ he said.

That’s the story of the other Ganesha.

(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai)


Illustration: Shyam G Menon

Illustration: Shyam G Menon

Among the rewards for being out in the mountains, is the night sky, occasionally clear enough to reveal a zillion stars.

Beyond one or two, I can’t identify the constellations. I like more, the immensity of Earth’s ceiling.

Sometimes I feel, the best news these days relate to that vast expanse above us – space.

Space attracts in a way different from before.

There is first the immediate reason – Indian endeavours in space have been generally rewarding in recent times. At a global level, the Rosetta mission’s landing on a comet was reported as the premier scientific achievement of 2014. Then there is the ` other’ reason, less spoken of but major hook for admiring space – space contrasts terrestrial life. Space exceeds measurement while the planet is real estate ruining imagination. Space engages body and soul. If you have no appetite for the trends shaping life on Earth, the stars are fine refuge.

It took a while for space to regain the limelight; and differently so. In the decades following the July 1969 moon-landing, the accomplishment of the Apollo 11 mission was never matched. Scientists and engineers may disagree. They may cite other achievements of equal or greater importance. But like the first ascent of Everest despite the many that followed, our fascination rests with Neil Armstrong & Co (as indeed Yuri Gagarin in 1961). I can recall only two other perspectives from exploration, triggering comparable imagination – the picture of Earth as seen from far (subsequently called Earthrise) and the many fantastic images science obtained for us by gazing into deep space. Home from far and ` the far’ from home. It put Earth and humanity in context. Much of what happened in space exploration since the first human footprint on the moon can be termed as consolidation. Far seeing telescopes, reusable vehicles and space stations were the dominant themes. As we consolidated our efforts in space, as we tested our capabilities in orbit around Earth for journeys longer than Apollo 11, the planet below steadily drifted into a morass, a sort of manmade social gravity and a terrible one at that. The closest I can describe its effect on the imagination is compare it to sticky glue; its main ingredient – insecurity.

Photo: Shyam G Menon

Photo: Shyam G Menon

In a mere 100 years or less from the first decade of the 20th century, human population increased seven fold. That is old news as is India’s eminence as the deep end of population. The danger is – it stayed news we refused to acknowledge adequately, triggering the bizarre tragedy of continued self inflicted damage. Consequently, in a case of bloated human predicament overshadowing the universe, nature remains multidimensional but our sense of self worth and happiness has shrunk to few dimensions, courtesy the pressure to survive. To compound matters, even as we notice the danger in our numbers, we still enshrine fertility, family, property ownership, success and such as proof of life well lived. It vitiates the rat race born from numbers. Add to this competition, violence, terrorist attacks, regressive religions, conservative communities and rampant consumerism taking its toll as pollution and climate change. It is a crisis of the imagination. Neither do we concede that our habits and social structures were born in less pressured times and hence likely unsuited now, nor do we wish to recalibrate our ways to changed environment. Isn’t zooming from one billion people to seven billion plus in a hundred years with all the corresponding social noise alongside, sufficient change in our environment to deem it fundamentally altered? And if it is fundamentally altered why are we still navigating it with old traditions? The problem in our approach is that our continued indifference to population and what population does, merely adds to the planet’s and this country’s collective insecurity. Our talent for seeing the obvious, for reasoning – are all increasingly countered by the insecurity and unreasonableness spawned by our numbers. What next?

That’s why it is important to tell people that more of us mean trouble for all in terms of a sense of life. Not hearing a word uttered so by anyone in a leadership role, I have given up hoping for a renaissance of the imagination. My world is awash in concerns of survival and money. Looked at as a product of human numbers, in 1969, we were around halfway to this situation. Even 1977, the year Voyager-1 left the planet, was some distance from where we find ourselves in. In direct proportion to how beleaguered terrestrial life seems, space appears the stuff of a freedom denied on Earth (I speak metaphorically). If you are a seeker, then you dream of freeing one’s imagination from humanity’s collective insecurity. Get rid of this manmade gravity, like a rocket breaking free from the Earth’s pull.

Slowly but steadily, there has been news of the post-Apollo 11 consolidation in space, giving way to hints of similar journeys and perhaps, longer ones. There is a pattern emerging. The established big players are pushing farther; new entrants are following where the pioneers went and the easier tasks are fetching interest from commercial players. At the still lower terrestrial level of popularizing science and science fiction, the media gave radical edge to its legacy baked by ` 2001 – A Space Odyssey,’ `Cosmos,’ `Star Trek’ and `Star Wars.’ Alfonso Cuaron’s 2013 film `Gravity’ was gutsy enough to depict space as it is. At $ 716 million earned (as of late January 2015, source: Wikipedia), Gravity is some distance still from the list of the world’s top 50 box office hits led by `Avatar,’ itself a story from another planet. The Star Wars franchise has three films in the list, including the oldest from 1977, incidentally the year Voyager-1 was launched.

Illustration: Shyam G Menon

Illustration: Shyam G Menon

In 1990, Voyager-1 took Earthrise leagues ahead by giving us the ` pale blue dot,’ an image of Earth from six billion kilometres away. Our farthest probe, Voyager-1 is now in interstellar space. That is a long way off. Wikipedia’s page for the probe fascinates with its estimation of where it may be 300 years from now. Sample this sentence: “ Voyager-1 will reach the Oort Cloud in about 300 years and take about 30,000 years to pass through it.’’ Thirty thousand years is older than human civilization; our earliest cave paintings are 35,000 years old. Imagining Voyager is a nice way to escape the troubles and insularity of terrestrial existence.

Perhaps the resurgent space exploration we are witnessing now (even the popularity of India’s Mars mission) is apt, for never before have we felt as pressing a need to question the human situation, maybe even escape it, as we do now. Ironically it is also true, decades spent worshiping the stomach probably makes the pursuit of the beyond possible. As the frontier of exploration, space technology stands on the shoulders of more mundane developments within the human rat race, to reach that far. Much like the heart; although located lower down, it is what supplies blood to the brain. Either way, we seem closer to appreciating the vastness above us for what it is.

1969 to now has been long enough time in the terrestrial pressure cooker.

Reading about what lay beyond the cooker’s lid or glimpsing it, is relief these days.

Latch on in your imagination, to a space craft and be borne out.

Seeing ourselves from far and the far from where we are, help restore humility and context.

(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai. An abridged version of this article appeared in the Economic & Political Weekly)


???????????????????????????????The first time I heard of Martin Moran was in the Pindar valley.

Couple of villagers mentioned his name.

I started frequenting Munsyari.

I heard his name mentioned there too.

Later when the first Indian ascent of Changuch happened, Martin’s name was firm reference point for his expedition had recorded the peak’s first ascent. That in turn, was the fallout of a climbing trip to Nanda Devi East, which he chose to abort and redirect towards Changuch. Before Nanda Devi East, Martin had been up Baljuri and Panwali Dwar.

These are not just engaging mountains.

They fall at a junction in geography and spirituality that is important to Garhwal and Kumaon, particularly the latter. Knowing who Martin is and what his body of work is, appeared essential. When the chance to review his book emerged, I was delighted.

`Higher Ground – A Mountain Guide’s Life’ was a mixed package.

Its strength is that it gives much insight into the subtitle. It is required reading for anyone aspiring to be a mountain guide. If you are imagining a book with details on a plethora of knots and anchor systems – a sort of technical manual; you are mistaken. Martin’s book is his life in guiding, shared. It does not unduly play up the usual lot of technical information, which the term `mountain guide’ evokes. Instead, it provides a taste of how the guide sets up business, works with clients, how much the envelope is pushed for achievement on trips and most important – how even a guide of considerable experience like Martin, won’t hesitate to turn back if conditions on a mountain are bad. If I may say so, there is much relevance in India to reading this book because in the Indian rat race, admiration for being superhuman and the compulsion to be superhuman are both high. They are among sentiments shaping our perception of climbing. Ahead of being comfortable with climbing, it is unfortunately seen as achievement. Martin’s book, although unashamedly nurtured on a diet of climbing, does not hesitate to talk of mistakes, accidents, long days that he and clients got away with and mountains that seemed wiser to behold from far.

High altitude isn’t everything. There is much to keep you busy at the lower heights. Martin’s book introduced me to peak bagging in Scotland; of clients returning to accomplish the ascent of a cherished number of these peaks. Equally, the book also lays bare how the mountains of Scotland and the Alps of Europe can be laboratory for eventual success in the Himalaya. You don’t find this said as such; you glean it. Nearly three quarters of the book obsesses with specific routes and climbs in Europe, something that can tire a reader unfamiliar with these environs. But in the end, you see the organic link, the making of competence. You can definitely do the same in the Himalaya (as many from Nepal and India’s mountain states do) but the point is – there is no substitute to being out and climbing. In the outdoors, you are only as good as how frequently you are out. Indeed Martin’s book is a freight train of personal climbs and climbs done with clients. So much so, it is sparse on his personal life.

From a reader’s perspective, the book is a challenge given three quarters of the book dwelling on the Scottish highlands and the European Alps (with some mention of Norway in between) and the difference in character between narratives from there and the Himalaya. It is a tough contrast to bridge smoothly. Europe’s mountains, heavily climbed and well known, bristle with technical information. Despite best effort to tell a story, accounts of climbing feel dry. I felt the book’s first three quarters was a stiff narrative that could have been made gentler for folks like me. I started enjoying the book from the last quarter. That’s when Martin reaches the Himalaya. With its unique matrix of mountain dimension, altitude, spirituality and people amid it all, narratives from the Himalaya are by nature different from stories from Europe. Couldn’t Martin have kept the style of narration uniform – either the texture of Scotland and Alps all the way or the texture of the Himalaya all the way (as I would prefer)? Or, mixing up the chapters in a non linear fashion? I wonder. All I will say is – I laboured through the first three quarters of the book and enjoyed the last quarter.

The book’s other weakness is exactly what it delivers as its strength. If you prefer the non commercial context as ideal window to the mountains, then this may not be your cup of tea. It shows in the rather limited ruminations on life and life’s questions that dot the narrative. This book is about work.

It is worth reading, especially if you are mountain guide or aspiring to be one.

(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai. This is a slightly longer version of a review originally written for the Himalayan Club Journal Volume 70)


Illustration: Shyam G. Menon

Illustration: Shyam G. Menon

Girivihar, Mumbai’s oldest mountaineering club, hopes to hold a world cup in bouldering, in 2016.

The event will be in Navi Mumbai.

India has never hosted a world cup in climbing, before.

Moves for a world cup here have been on for some time.

The idea can be linked to Girivihar’s track record in conducting an annual sport climbing and bouldering competition in Navi Mumbai for the past over ten years.

This event grew steadily; it attracts climbers from India and overseas.

Although it started as a bouldering and sport climbing event on natural rock, it progressively transformed to being a bouldering competition on artificial climbing walls.

An overview of this competition can be had at &

“ We are aspiring to host the 2016 IFSC Bouldering world cup,’’ the club’s latest circular said.

According to it the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) granted provisional clearance for the project in November 2014. Should Girivihar’s application be confirmed by the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC), then it will have to submit the required application fees.

Alongside, the club has disclosed plans for an Indian national bouldering team that will participate in the 2016 world cup. This plan includes a comprehensive training program for the team.

Needless to say, such steps like the application process, training of the team, a proposed road show to publicize the world cup, prize money and the event itself, will entail considerable expense.

The circular mentions a fund raising effort.

Earlier, it was separately understood that the annual bouldering competition which used to be held every January at Belapur in Navi Mumbai, won’t be there in 2015 as the organizers have shifted their attention to the planned world cup.

(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai)