Dave and I love to rock climb. For a couple of years in our life, we climbed regularly all around the Toronto area. We were regulars at Joe Rockhead’s climbing gym in the city and we hung out with our climbing friends to tackle the local crag on the weekends.
That is why when we heard that there was bouldering in Hampi India, we just had to check it out for ourselves.
Bouldering in Hampi
I can understand why there is so much climbing here. Giant boulders dot the landscape making for perfect bouldering conditions.
There are a few bolted routes for sport climbing here, but what people come to Hampi for is the bouldering.
People come here to climb atop big rocks and climb they do.
All of the bouldering happens across the river from the Hampi Bazaar and the main bouldering hangout is at Goan Corner.
How to get to Hampi bouldering: Walk straight once you have gotten off the boat crossing the river. Go up the steps and follow the path as it veers to the right.
If you stay at Goan Corner, you will receive free crash mats, shoes, and chalk for your entire duration.
Most people bring their own gear here as it is a destination for some serious bouldering.
What is Bouldering?
Bouldering is a lot like rock climbing, but you do it without a rope. You don’t climb as high, but it can be just as challenging. If not more challenging than climbing and easy top rope route.
People search for routes and problems and tackle them the same way as they would a climbing route.
You either are trying to get to the top of the rock,or to traverse across.
We had bouldered a few times. At the Niagara Glen near Niagara Falls in Canada, there are some great boulders.
Joe Rockheads in Toronto has bouldering problems in the gym and we would try to tackle them once in a while, but we always liked to stick to climbing.
We left the bouldering to the young fit guys that can pump themselves up to hold in a quick dynamic move while holding on with two fingers.
We were never very good at bouldering and here in Hampi, things haven’t changed.
In Hampi, we rented our shoes, mat, and chalk and set out along the trail in search of some easy problem.
Right away we found a pretty good set of boulders and proceeded to try to tackle them. They are easy to find, just look for chalk marks on the rocks.
We set up our mats and spotted each other as we made our way across by following the chalk marks from other climbers.
We did alright.
My biggest problem was trying to figure out how to get down when I got to the top of a rock.
It didn’t seem that high from the ground. When climbing I didn’t think I was that high, but once perched above, it seemed a lot higher.
Dave of course had no fear.
We thought we were so cool.
Dave and I always encourage each other whether we deserve it or not. We are always telling each other, “that was awesome, or great move.“
Then when we watch it back on video, we get mad at each other and say “why did you tell me that looked good?” “It looked like crap!”
It is a habit that neither of us has been able to break for 20 years.
But trust me, we thought we were doing great on the boulders but we looked like crap. Luckily nobody was around to watch us!
Boulder for as long as you like
But we had a fun day anyway. We spent a few hours in the baking heat during the hottest part of the day.
We finished up just as all of the pros came out and were quite happy to be done.
They put us to shame as they scrambled up these giant boulders with ease and then hopped from rock to rock to figure out a safe way back down.
The real climbers and boulderers in Hampi are impressive I must say!
Bouldering takes a lot of strength, skill and finesse.
It has become very popular over the years with competitions and in the gym, the great boulderer’s always drawing a crowd.
We may not be great at bouldering, but we can now brag that we have bouldered in India.
Bouldering in Hampi Tips
- bouldering happens across the river from Hampi Town
- 15 rupees to cross on boat
- If you stay across river, it is 5 rupees extra for luggage
- Goan Corner offers free gear to patrons
- You can rent from Charmella if you do not stay there for 70 rupees per day (includes shoes and mat) – sometimes gear not available and sometime the staff will have a little attitude if you aren’t staying there. They will not offer up that Charmella rents gear. If you don’t ask, they will send you away stating that they don’t give gear to anyone not staying at Goan Corner.
- Shiva Guest House also rents gear 100 Rupees for Mat, chalk and shoes
- Rollo Guest House also rents gear.