Bringing the Sport of Climbing to the People
Our Climbing Journey and mission
Girivihar is the oldest mountaineering non-profit trust in Mumbai registered in 1954. It was formed to introduce the youth to basic hiking trekking mountaineering and adventure sports like climbing. It has been doing treks hikes, RC camps for kids, basic climbing course, rock trips and weekend climbing sessions. We did climbing competitions for more than a decade and 2 IFSC Climbing World Cup in India in 2016 & 2017.
Wrt to climbing our vision has been to introduce common people to the sport of climbing; and the easiest was to the bring the sport to them, hence we aimed at setting facilities like this.
HOWEVER, we are conscious that easiest was to bring the sport to them. Hence, we wanted to setup indoor walls at places where people get access to basic climbing. Mumbai's real estate being so expensive and the sport very young it's impossible to do it. And we aimed at institutions who could give us space and we arranged funds to setup the wall where needed as no is interested in investing. (Not their fault) Commercially it's nonviable yet.
In 2011 we setup the first wall at Poddar College with tremendous support from them. We managed it since then and post covid it's completely managed by Poddar Hiking Club.
Post World cup in 2016 & 2017 we started reaching out aggressively for places to put up walls.
In May 2019 IIT Mumbai agreed and we setup a wall in the campus. It's open only for students and staff but at least they can ..they have students in thousands on campus. It gained traction and now IIT is able to manage it independently with paid instructors and is able to allocate more funds for this sport.
Around the same time; YMCA supported our cause and we setup one in Colaba centre. And now we will shift to a bigger place in Grant Road YMCA Center.
To let you know, leave side the capital investment put in setting up the wall, Girivihar can’t break even the operational cost. And that’s a conscious choice we made to pump irrespective of all the odds so that people have a place to climb UNTIL a day when it becomes viable for commercial gyms to start. Like in Delhi.
We were putting efforts with NMMC since 2017 and finally got breakthrough with NMMC providing space and we setup and donated the wall and all climbing material to remain there for ever.
All of it was imported for the Climbing World Cup in 2016 from Europe and it costed us 1 Cr back then.
In 2019 We also arranged the funds to import easy holds for beginners unlike the World cup ones which are tough. we barely started in March 2020 and got locked down due to Covid within 4 days.
Post covid it went into many long delaying government procedures, the place also took a beating during the Covid times due to water leakage, rodents, structural design issues. We were to start in August post paper work but the City Engineer denied starting until the repair/upgrade work is complete. Finally the work is complete and we start on 1st June 2023
Huge amount of efforts has been put Girivihar members and volunteers by not giving up in spite of all the odds. The hurdles are not over yet though but the patience will pay off.
Decade back a rock trip to Europe opened my eyes and after coming back; I was motivated to do something about it.
The way I look at it personally; Whatever shape and form climbing exists in India is a privilege. It’s the efforts from the older generations and our efforts towards the next generation that will take use to that Developed State.
So, if you want any guidance setting up gyms local to you; reach out to us via Whatapp +91 9833717385
Thanks for your time.