July 20, 2024, Saturday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

India’s Praveen imparts route setting training to six Nepali climbers

The Nepal Weekly
June 11, 2024

Six mountaineers of Nepal including nine time Everest summiteer Pasang Sherpa and two time Everest summiteer journalist Kalpana Maharjan have recently undergone a five day advanced training programme on wall climbing from Praveen C.M., an Indian professional climber, trainer and rescuer. The training programme was organized under the aegis of Kalpana Climbing School at Pasang Lhamu Wall Climbing Centre situated at Kapan, Kathmandu.

The group, was trained in route setting from June 2-6, by 38-year-old professional Indian trainer Praveen with the technical assistance from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF). Although climbing/trekking/mountaineering in the Himalayas and hills have been common in Nepal for years, sport climbing is a new field for the Nepalese adventure lovers. Sport climbing originated only in the early 1980s, and the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) was established only in 2007. In Nepal, the Nepal Climbing Sport Association (NCSA), established in 2010, oversees the country’s sport climbing.

Similarly, sport climbing debuted in the Asian Games only in 2018, and in the Olympics in 2020. Nepal was one of the 16 nations that competed in sport climbing in the Asian Games hosted by Indonesia. However, Nepal did not participate in the last Asian Games hosted by China.

Sport climbing is a sport played on a wall-like structure constructed in different designs at different wall climbing centres. Currently, there are at least half a dozen climbing centres in Kathmandu valley. “We were allowed to participate in sport climbing when it debuted in the 2018 Asian Games because the sport was played only in a few Asian countries till then. In 2022, we could not qualify against better trained athletes of other countries,” remarked Rabindra Maharjan, President of NCSA, Lalitpur. “Sport climbing has its rules, skills and techniques which the climbers should be always follow. An institution seeking to challenge international climbers in the sport should at least have route setters,” said Praveen, who participated in several world championship events.

Since different wall climbing centres have non-identical routes created with different types of holds and boulders, Praveen noted that route setters are the architects of sport climbing.

Route setters design and create the routes for climbers after carefully considering factors like difficulty and safety. Therefore, need to stay remain on climbing trends and techniques to keep routes attractive and challenging for climbers of all skill levels through their creativity, technical skill, and understanding of climbing movements. The six trainees who received training from Praveen include Kalpana Maharjan, Parbati Joshi, Dawa Tashi Sherpa, Raksha Raj Tamang, Pasang Lama and Jangchub Dorji Sherpa.

The six Nepalese trainees will also receive training certificates of recognition from the IMF soon. “We are happy to have been trained as route setters. It was a new experience despite being a professional climber for years,” remarked Pasang. “We want to use this training to help the new generation of Nepali sport climbers and make them able to challenge foreign athletes and earn medals at the Olympics and Asian Games. We are positive about it because we have seen the abilities of Nepali children and teenagers,” shared Kalpana, who is also the founder of Kalpana Climbing School.