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Ganesh-Kartik Climbing

21-23 Jan 2005

26th Jan Celebration Trek & Climb This was the third consecutive 26th Jan Celebration Trek organinsed by Bhramanti. This time due to holiday structure we had pre-pone our plans i.e. from 21-23rd Jan 2005. There were two activities as usual like Trek & Climb. But this time both the venues were at different location. We had selected Mahabaleshwar Range for a Trek & Tavali (Kalyan) range for Climbing. The trek from Mahipat to Rasal via Sumar & Ganesh, Kartik pinnacle climb was the identified destinations.

Reaching the Base of the Ganesh Kartik is a half-day trek if one finds the route. Else it's a treasure hunt for a route. Though these pinnacle are prominent but one has to sweat a lot to reach the base. While we were deciding the climbing location one of our member Kaivalya asked one of the best lead climber of Mumbai Hitendra More (Gotu) to join us out of curiosity. Gotu rejected the offer on the spot saying, "That will trek a such long route to reach the base". I was not able to visualise why he replied that way. When we tried to reach the base on 21st Jan, I got to know that he was right. We started from the Kushivali (Kusoli) village by 8:30am keeping the Malang Gadh on the right (South) while moving in the direction of Ganesh Kartik Pinnacle towards East. Our 1st halt was near the water point almost after 1 hr. The same route enters into the col joining Ganesh-Kartik mountain ridge & the Malang gadh ridge. From this col we took left turn where after some time one can find a Sindhi Villager trying his luck to serve the travelers for monetary benefits, kind of hotel. Whatever it is he is one source where one can rely on in case if someone decide to stay on the mountain. We moved further towards the Babu Bhai Ashram, which was demolished by locals recently. This was one of the good resources for base camp. There is good water source near this location. We took a right turn from this place. The straight route goes towards Tavali. We found some villager making Charcoal. We continue the same route as per info from these villager to reach the Climbing Base. Almost after 15 minutes we were at the ridge where we lost our routes. We were in the water stream exactly below the pinnacle but it was not the correct route. It was 2:00pm. So we decided to return back to the Charcoal location to reconfirm the route and for the lunch. We all were drained out by this time. So after food and little rest we decided to return the identified base to recharge ourselves for next day. The Charcoal maker assured us that he would do so next day morning since he will be there till 10:00am.

As soon we reached the base the owner (Mama) offered cup of black tea to all of us. He allocated us one hut, which he prepared for such occasions. Henceforth our support team member "Shreyas" was incharge of all our activity till next day morning. He prepared a tea and then "Khichadi" for all of us. We spent some time out in the moonlight gossiping about martial art etc like subjects where "Hemant" was in very good listening mood along with others. We spent the night in the hut, which has just 4 walls, and almost open roof. So we closed our eyes by watching the stars.

Next day 22nd Jan we left our extra clothing's to our base and went through the same route to catch the Charcoal maker in next 1 hr. (by 9:30am). Then I remember that these people have no relation with watch like amenities to be on time. I cursed myself for the mistake. Then we decided to continue the same route and make route for us till the base. It was quite adventurous due to the scree and dried grass, where Shreyas had enjoyed all sorts of fall, which he used to do in his childhood. We reached the west side of the Pinnacle. We moved towards left keeping the pinnacle on right almost by touching the rock wall and finally land up at the climbing base by 11:00am. We decided to climb Kartik 1st and the Ganesh.

By 12:00pm we started the climb. There is a good conditioned peg fixed on the Kartik base. This time Kiran was lead climber. One can find a bolt 10 ft below the Chok-Stone. There is a good condition bolt near the Chok-stone. I was the second man. I reached there in next 15 min after Kiran. Then we spent some time to observe the route. There are 2 bolt & 1 Pitons fixed on the Kartik above the chok stone and below the overhang. One has to tackle this patch properly to reach another bolt fixed on the overhang. Once this is done then further route is easy climb. Kiran summated the pinnacle by 2:00pm. I reached by 2:15pm. Then in next 1 hr. Rishi & Hemant were on the top. After spending some time we descend down to the chok-stone and decided the strategy for Ganesh since it was 4:00pm by now. We decided to reach the ledge of the Ganesh to fix the rope and check the further climb. A Piton can be used for anchoring on this ledge. Then we decided to return back to the base and attempt the climb next day since we were supposed to find the proper route too.

We wind up our gears and started by 5:00pm. We moved down towards the entry point in the direction of Tavali and just below the rocks took left turn keeping kartik to the back. It was the route, which we were searching for since from yesterday. We filled our water gallons near Babu Bahi ashram water point and reached by 6:00pm to the base.

We all were in happy mood. Shreyas once again prepared Khichadi for us for dinner along with readyment Theplas etc. We had a Gazal night since Shreyas and Hemant were in good mood of singing. Shreyas is going to be a "Tabla Visharad"; He had his own songs album.

Next day we reach the base in one hr. via the correctly identified route. This time I took a lead. From the ledge I took left traverse tackling the vertical rock towards the eastern face. As I was tackling the scree 2 choks came out in one of my move and I was caught in the situation where my belay rope was hindering me to move further. That means a direct fall of almost 25 ft. Since I was on the other side I was not able toFrom left Hemant, Rishi, Kiran, Rajan communicate with Kiran, as he was the second man. So shreyas was the communicator for us who was keeping eye on our movement. I pooled sufficient rope anyhow and manage to reach the top using the dry grass routes. It was 10:35 when I reached on the top. In next 2 Hrs we all had reached on top with some time spent for photography etc. We reached safely to the base by 2:00pm We left the Pinnacle by 2:40pm to reach our base. Then after food break we left the place to move to Kushivali and then to Mumbai. Due to "ID" Festival the area was crowded even all local transport. We managed anyhow to reach home tackling this entire crowd. It was one of the best experiences we had enjoyed. This was 9th climb for Bhramanti and 10 for me. While returning the Base we saluted the pinnacles as it was standing like King. I totally agreed when Kiran pronounced this statement that "The Pinnacle looks like King". I said yes this is due to respect generated by the mountain when we tackle the difficulties to reach on top. So Its Natural, that means Nature is a ruler.

-- Rajan Rikame
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