Bengaluru-based rock climber scores a top

Bengaluru-based rock climber scores a top

Bengaluru-based rock climber scores a top

On January 19,  Gowri  Varanasi became the first Indian woman to execute the climbing route 'French Indian Masala', a popular rock climbing route in Badami.

She climbed at a grade of 5.12c (Yosemite Decimal System, US) or 7B+ (a French rock climbing rating).

Happiness of the 26-year-old now knows no leaps and bounds as she is again planning to scale the same heights with a team of women climbers from Delhi next week.

"I am excited, even more after I learnt that I am the first Indian to do so under the Live your Dream grant given by the American Alpine Club and North Face. I have been climbing for the past five years and over the last  three years, this has become my passion. I dedicate this achievement to all the women climbers. This achievement also shows that men and women are equal in this sport," Gowri, a Bengalurean, told DH.

She studied the route from January 11 to 19 and on January 19, she completed it within a few minutes.

Complicated route

"The route is different and complicated from the others. Here shade is only for a few hours in the morning and it is very hot for the rest of the day, so one cannot climb. The climb is steep and vertical with a bulge at the top," she said.

She recollects that she had visited Badami last year also for three days, where she climbed a small route of a smaller grade. She has practiced climbing on the hills of Ramanagaram with rock climbers from Bengaluru.

Gowri  is also an avid wildlife conservationist and works along with local communities in the Amazon Rainforest to help provide sustainable employment and habitat protection.

In the US, Gowri  also works with schoolchildren by taking them for outdoor nature education.

She is an amateur climber from a non-competitive background.

In the, US she has climbed in New York, Arizona and California at the Yosemite National Park. She splits her time between India, the US and Peru. She is also planning her next climb in Thailand in March.