We can do a rock climbing session at the Kanheri Caves or in the National Park in Mumbai. Many climbers in and around Mumbai have begun their climbing hobby in this hallowed ground. This is convenient, since there is virtually no travel time involved and expenses are quite low. A session usually begins around 9am and ends by 2pm, though we have done some that began at 7am and went on till 5pm. Usually, rock climbing is strenuous enough that the half day session suffices the most enthusiastic participant.
A rough plan of the day is as follows:
- Meet at the gate of the National Park by 8am
- Travel to the climbing area – this can be walking to the Gandhi Tekdi (1.5km) or a drive up to the Kanheri caves (8km). Usually, there are no vehicles booked and people bring their own bikes or cars and accommodate members of the group who don’t have a vehicle. There is an infrequent small bus service available, but it can get inconvenient waiting.
- The session begins with an introductory talk and demonstration.
- Each member of the group gets practice time on the rock. We generally begin with simple route, and lead participants to tougher ones as their ability grows. There is no set ‘syllabus’. Some participants are physically fit and may climb 4-5 progressively difficult routes in a single session. Others may spend their day on the introductory one. Generally, sessions have the time for each participant to attempt the routes as many times as they are able. However, this depends on the group size and time.
- The group returns to the gate of the National Park when done. The National Park closes at 6pm and we stop the climbing session at 5pm at any cost.
Please note that there are no restaurants in the Park, and the small canteen at the Kanheri Caves serves most unsatisfactory food for a bunch of hungry people. We recommend packing a heavy picnic snack and then having a late lunch on exiting the park, or lunch may be carried along. In either case, pack so that you are able to manage the fallout from lunch. Plan adequate garbage bags to pack the trash back out of the park.
Costs: The charges for a single session are Rs.8,000/- for a group of up to 12 participants. These include the equipment, instruction, entry fees into the National Park for instructors and the travel charges for the instructors. this does not include any travel for the participants, entry fees into the National Park and food.