In the midst of the gloominess that the Corona Virus has brought about, I was fortunate enough to be in the mountains and train at one of the finest facilities in India along with 8 other students from Vidya Valley School. NIM (Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi) was holding the first ever Sports Climbing Course in India, and we were grateful to our school for letting us be a part of it.
It was refreshing to train with people from all around India and training in new facilities. Training here will be a memory I will never forget. We were exposed to a completely different atmosphere while training. The energy of the place and the people there was surreal and so motivating. It made you push your limits even when you were completely exhausted.
Our day consisted of morning P.T which was similar to the training in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. We would run on the winding ghats overlooking breathtaking views of pine trees and beautiful villages which provided some relief from the rigorous workout. We would have various lectures like the fundamentals of sport climbing, uses of equipments in sports climbing, knots and coils used during climbing, basic first aid etc. These necessary lectures gave us a better understanding of the sport. We got to climb for hours and hours on the indoor Lead, Speed and Bouldering walls.
This course also included an overnight trek to NIM’s rock climbing facility at Tekhla, around 10kms from the main facility. Walking with a 20kg bag for that distance was a first for all of us and it definitely tested our stamina and endurance, but the walk was all worth it when we finally reached Tekhla. We got to climb on several rocks, try rappelling and jumaring (ascending with only a device and rope). We also got to try something called Trad Climbing which is when you put your own safety gear on the rock by jamming it in cracks and then climbing. This was scary at first but we all got the hang of it and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. At the end of the course there was a small competition held, which followed the rules of any official international competition. This competition not only tested us, but also educated us. We learnt what to expect in a real competition, right from the nerves of it to the rules. And I’m proud to say that Vidya Valley bagged 15 medals at the competition.
We came to NIM mainly for the experience of training at a new place, gaining new experience and meeting new people, but we got to learn much more like importance of the value of time, respect discipline, understand the meaning of hard work and perseverance.
Ten days went by as quick as lightning, and on the last day not a single one of us wanted to leave, but we all left satisfied. Overall, it was a wholesome and enjoyable experience which I would recommend to anyone if they were interested. The memories, laughs, friends and lessons learnt here will be with me forever.