Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Here I am back with yet another story of mine…..this one is abt one of our climbs…we did way back in april 2006

On a fine Saturday morning I was reading a magazine on the couch at Prodigy’s reception when Vijendra who was just walking by, asked me ”So which place are we attacking tomorrow???” And unconsciously I answered”Madhugiri”…... I don’t know why I said that…To tell the truth…I did not want to go there… ….. only because SUMMER is the wrong season…to do rock climbing….Later …and on the lunch table at the restaurant, we decided to go to Madhugiri the next day ……“ We” means – Myself, Smitha, Vidya, Basak, Vijendra, Yatish and Srikar , wow big group isn’t it???

I still despised the idea....but everyone else seemed to love it. At the later part of the day…when we were all set to go back to our nests…I realized I had left my trek shoes in my office…and climbing without them was IMPOSSIBLE…. We sat down at a telephone booth across the street and started thinking of ways to fix this problem. Solutions started pouring out…
Go to office and get them ---- ruled out since that meant 40 kms of travel
Buy a new pair now --- totally ruled out for those shoes cost more than 1000 bucks
The only solution I kept on proposing was to drop the plan to Madhugiri and go to some water park ----- but my idea was unanimously rejected
Everyone would get all the shoes they have and I could choose one of them. --- I was forced to accept this one

Still hating the idea I went home, called up 2 of friends to see if they had some trek shoes, and as expected they did not. By now all the roaming in the sun had started to show its colour, I had got a bad headache, and so I could think no more, I just sunk dead into my bed.

Next day did not really start with a good note, the alarm did not go off and I woke up 30 mins late. We (me and smitha) hurriedly freshened up and managed to leave by 6:30am. We picked Basak at Forum and decided to go to my office and get my shoes. By 8:00am we were at prodigy, all set to move, and I was still not happy abt the idea but at least I had my trek shoes with me J. It was a 2 hr journey and we had a gala time thru it. Here I was already traveling towards Madhugiri but still did not like the idea of rock climbing in summer. I then found a way to console myself, whenever I got reminded of the sun I applied a coat of sunscreen on to my face and arms.

By 11 am we reached Madhugiri and started climbing. Almost half way through smitha asked “What is this hill called??” and someone answered “Chandragiri” !!!!! people this is heights…at least know what you are climbing !!!!!

Madhugiri is the second largest monolithic rock of Karnataka the first one being Savandurga. Unlike Savandurga it has a fort on it. It is 3930 feet high and must say, gives a great view from its summit. The remains of the fort clearly indicate how strong it was. It has huge granaries, prisons, hide outs, shoot outs, dead disposal system etc. I spent some time using my little knowledge of forts to figure out some strange structures built on the fort. Some of the structures like a small opening leading to a deep dug hole in the hill are still a puzzle to me. The plan of the fort is surely an appreciable one. Making a map of the fort would surely be a very interesting task. On the whole, the idea was very clear, not to let the enemies get in easily.

The climb was an enjoyable one, especially since we had Vijendra who was all the time bent on looking out for the toughest way to reach the top. Thanks to him we had some great adventures thru the climb. As the day proceeded the sun was burning the hell out us. It seemed like he was challenging me and I accepted the challenge. I never missed a chance to compliment my skin with another coat of sunscreen. Every time we took a break, I added another coat. I put up a tough fight to Mr.Sun

The rock was pretty steep, but my workouts at gym came handy here, I was not getting tired J. Just when we was enjoying the climb as much, came the toughest part. This small stretch was very very very steep and slant and slippery. For some reason, I failed to analyze the toughness of this part and just started of on it only to get stuck half way thru. I was stuck really bad. I had no absolute grip, my muscles were all tightened and I could not move a inch. I was using all my energy and four limbs to stay clanged to the hill. I used my last weapon to save myself from this, “take off the shoes”. Though it was a brilliant idea, but throwing the shoes to a higher altitude was a bad one. One of the shoe slipped and went tumbling down the hill. Now I was totally out of ideas to help myself and had to call out for help. Vijendra who was later rightly named “The mountain goat” came to my rescue and helped me and my shoes out of the situation. A million thanks to him . But for him I would have become a fossil at that spot .

The hill seemed like it did not have a summit. Every time we felt we were at the summit, it revealed a little more of itself. Srikar went on to saying that…”maybe at the end we’ll realize we have infact climbed the Mount Everest”. But unfortunately his words did not come true. After abt 2 hrs of climb we reached the summit. Now I began to search for a way to climb down, for I did not want to take the way we had come up. It was too too steep to be climbed down. But I failed to find one. We had to climb down thru the steep.

Climbing down has never been easy for me and this one was the toughest. I began to use my best weapon “take off the shoes” right from the beginning. The design of our feet is so splendid that we get great grip with bare foot. But Mr.Sun now had to a chance to win, he started burning the rocks and I was to walk bare foot on them. I had no other go, since I get 0 grip with my shoes on. I somehow managed to climb down, with my feet burnt a little.

It did not take us long to climb down. Back at our vehicle, I thanked vidya immensely for bringing along 25lts of water, with which I soaked my face and my burning feet J. A quick lunch and we started of back to Bangalore. By now we were all very happy to have done a great climb and also we had got ourselves some interesting nick names ---
Vijendra was rightly named “Mountain Goat “for he walked thru the steepest parts of the hills as though it was his drawing room
Vidya was named “Jayalalitha” --- for reasons undisclosed L
Smitha was named “Mountain Lamb” – for many times she was found clinging on the to the “mountain goat” for support
Srikar was named “Sai baba” --- because of his attire
Basak was named “Lighter” – for all thru the climb he never missed a chance to smoke but still insisted that he was a “Light Smoker”
And myself, I was named “ Sunscreen” --- now u know why…..

I know Mr.Sun would disagree to this, but I still say that I won the fight with him. You see I am back with no sun burns !!!

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