Delhi Rock’s Anuraag Interview

This week on FitMonk Spotlight, we delve into the adventurous world of rock climbing and Delhi Rock’s own,
Anuraag.

Tell us about The Delhi Rock.

Delhi Rock is India’s first climbing gym, and we also host other inspiring forms like aerial silks and acroyoga. We think it’s important to motivate people beyond just cosmetic fitness, and also engage creativity, skill, learning and challenge. For more information on what we do, please see www.delhirock.com.

How did you get started with Climbing and beyond.

I got started climbing in Seattle 15 years ago, and for me climbing came via learning mountaineering, so it was very outdoors focused. I still retain that, and generally really enjoy being outside and doing challenging things. My teachers were the folks who publish Freedom of the Hills, which is a textbook on mountain / rock / ice climbing.

How has your experience with Climbing and the Delhi Rock changed you and your lifestyle.

I think the biggest thing you learn running a place which is open to everybody is how unique everyone’s approach is to their sport and practice. Their motivations, habits and needs are all quite unique. We try to provide a common ground where everybody meets, but we also need to really stay tuned to people’s individual needs.
On a personal level, it’s great having a job which keeps you active and where you’re constantly working to help people accomplish their individual goals. When that’s being done well, it’s a great feeling.

How does one get into rock climbing. Within Delhi or otherwise.

In Delhi, we are currently the only place which teaches climbing systematically. A lot of climbers also learn from friends and informally, which is also fine, and in many ways the sport lends itself to a master / apprentice model. But for safety and systematic training, cutting out mistakes and learning modern methods, Delhi Rock is really unique in India.

The Indian Mountaineering Foundation has also been around for a long time, and has a great community of climbers. So that’s another place where people in Delhi go climb. They don’t teach though, so a bit less friendly for folks getting into climbing.

There are also old and established volunteer, non profit groups in Pune and Bangalore which do a great job of taking people out and teaching climbing principles thoroughly.

Top 3 places or centres for climbing from your experience.

#1: Hampi, Karnataka, India’s bouldering capital.
#2: Manali, Himachal, has great access to sport and trad climbing, including places a bit further beyond like Chatru.
#3: Bangalore, Karnataka, has a very active climbing scene, and access to lots of bolted sport routes nearby.

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