Sport Climbing Arrives KASHMIR
With the construction of an artificial Climbing Wall in Srinagar the prospect of introducing much awaited Sport Climbing has brightened in Kashmir valley
With the beginning of tourist seasons in the valley all the tourist players and concerned departments have geared up for a huge and long tourist season in Jammu and Kashmir particularly in Kashmir valley. The organizations, tourist players and individuals connected to tourist trade are all set to provide their best services to intending tourists this summer. Appreciably the winter tourism was a huge success. Thousands of foreign and domestic winter sports athletes including the trainees of local institutions visited Gulmarg during winter this year. With the cooperation of Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg Development Authority, Mr. Mahmood Ahmad Shah a new adventure product, Snow Zorbing, was introduced at Gulmarg in winter. The Tulip and Almond Festivals organized by the J&K Government too witnessed tremendous rush.
Not only pleasure, but the adventure tour operators are also all set to host adventure tourism during summer in a big way. The Adventure Tour Operators Association of Kashmir has already started Commercial River Rafting on Sindh and Lidder streams. Scores of tourist are seen undertaking pleasure rafting trips at both these places these days. The white water sporting activities are gaining popularity all over the world and have thus tremendous potential in our tourism sector as well. The Adventure Call Tours, Travels and Adventures have also well designed its small tourist products like Rafting, Zorbing, Water Walking Balls (Aqua Zorbing), Bungee Trampoline and Adventure camps etc. Zorbing is already started at Sonamarg and Gulmarg and will start at Yusmarg soon. With the opening of International Youth Hostel at Sonamarg many adventure activities will take roots there soon.
On observing the overwhelming response of domestic tourists in spring everyone in the valley is hopeful that the inflow will break the previous record this year. The Ex-Director Tourism, Mr. Farooq Shah expects 3 million arrivals as against last year’s 1.3 million. It is commendable that Tourism Department is leaving no stone unturned in publicizing and selling Kashmir for pleasure and adventure tourism. The infrastructure is being developed to attract more tourists to the valley. It is delighting that the Tourism Department has recently bagged the coveted award ‘best emerging destination’ from internationally acclaimed travel magazine, The Lonely Planet.
In winter the J&K State Cable Car Corporation commissioned the Chairlift at Kongdori which was a great contribution towards promotion of winter tourism in the valley and now the Tourism Department has come up with yet another brilliant concept of sport climbing. Construction of an artificial Climbing Wall in Srinagar is yet another step in this direction that would attract scores of sport climbers to the valley.
Sport climbing is a competitive sport and is a form of rock climbing that relies on permanent anchors fixed to the rock, and possibly bolts, for protection, (in contrast with traditional climbing, where the rock is typically devoid of fixed anchors and bolts, and where climbers must place removable protection as they climb). Since the need to place protection is virtually eliminated, sport climbing places an emphasis on gymnastic-like ability, flexibility, strength, and endurance - as opposed to the adventure, risk and self-sufficiency which characterize traditional climbing. Since artificial means are used primarily for safety rather than to make upward progress, sport climbing is considered a form of free climbing. It differs from traditional.
Sport climbing typically involves single pitch routes but can have multi-pitch routes. Climbs are assigned subjective ratings to indicate difficulty. The type of rating depends on the geographic location of the route, since different countries and climbing communities use different rating systems. Competitions are held in different age groups like Sub-Junior boys and girls, junior boys and girls, men and women. The main sporting events are Men’s Lead, Women’s Lead, Men’s Speed, Women’s Speed, Team speed, Men’s bouldering, Women’s bouldering, Men’s over all, and women’s Overall. The position of the climber is determined by the speed and time he took in climbing the laid pitch.
Due to non availability of a Climbing Wall in Kashmir none of our youth could participate in any national championship, while hundreds of Jammuiates have not only participated in nationals but some have even represented the country. Much appreciably the Tourism Department built a state-of-the-art artificial climbing wall at Tourist Reception Centre, Nowgam at a cost of about one crore rupees. The construction work of this wall is completed and will be commissioned soon. The Tourism Department is all set to host several Sport Climbing events in Kashmir this year. The three face wall is of international size with vertical height of 40 feet. The southern face of the wall is exclusively for beginners with straight climbing holds, while the western face is for advanced climbers and competitions. It is with more degree of difficulty and has overhang of 3.5 meters. The wall permits 7 climbers to climb simultaneously. The support structure of the wall is made of steel. It has a wonderful surrounding and sprawling lawns. The open air seating arrangement for spectators is also well designed. It is first wall of its kind in the valley, which will bring cheers to the locals sport climbers soon. It is suggested that the flood lights be installed there to make the wall operational for longer periods.
The wall is yet another attempt of Tourism Department to attract more adventure lovers to the valley. Reconstructing the old and building new infrastructure would certainly help revive adventure tourism in the state. Holding major events in river rafting and sport climbing at international levels have great significance and will pave way for promotion of youth and sports tourism in the state. It was a great task to create a facility center for sport climbing here so is accomplished by the Ex-Director Tourism Kashmir, Mr. Farooq Shah. No doubt we have challenging natural rocks in Kashmir at different tourist destinations but there was a need of such a modern climbing aid which Mr. Shah has brought to the fore. The School, Colleges and University youths could be highly benefited with this facility. The new Director Tourism, Mr. Talat Parvez is himself an ace adventurer so the adventure tour operators are expecting boost to this segment of tourism during his tenure.
The author is Director (Operations) at Adventure Call Tours and Travels. Feedback firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 3 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 3 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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