As Dusshera approached, I planned to make the festival a little different this time. As a member of Bangalore Mountaineering Club, I chose to trek with my friends Shravan and Gowtham. I went to Ramanagara, where SHOLAY movie was shot. Ramanagara is 60km to the south-west of Bangalore. A group of 10 started at 6.30am and reached Ramanagara at 8am after having breakfast on our way. Our coach came on time with the climbing equipment and taught us the basics of and styles in rock climbing.
We started ‘Bouldering’ in which we have to use the grip in our hands and legs to climb the boulders. After climbing two such boulders, the coach gave some tips for advanced rock climbing using ‘Top Roping’ style. With the help of grooves in the rock, we anchored our hands and legs. Simultaneously, we pushed our body up by balancing our weight towards the rock. A few of us slipped and suffered bruises on our hands. Later, we ascended a steep rock cliff and performed ‘Rappelling’. We descended down the rock face using a rope. Though, it was scary at the edge of the cliff, Dandeli rappelling experience helped me gather courage.
After Rappelling, we had our lunch in Ramanagara at 1pm. Then, we came back to face the toughest challenge in the trip, ‘Chimney Climbing’. We had to climb a rock cleft with vertical slides 25 feet high. Earlier, all of us were scared to climb up as a slip from the top would result in a serious injury or even death. A 10-year old boy showed us the way by climbing it with great difficulty. With this inspiration, I climbed it very fast in less than 3 minutes. But I was scared to death after finding that, a guy half my weight is supporting me from the top of the cleft, in case of any emergency.
Finally, we took nearby hill steps and reached a beautiful temple. We further ascended through a dangerous steep and had a fabulous view of Ramanagara town. We took rest on top of the hill for an hour and moved back to Bangalore by 6pm.