Irshal Pinnacle Climbing
9th April 2006
of the prominent rocky hillock standing high in the vicinity between
Panvel & Chowk. I have always wondered about the place and have
eagerly waited for an opportunity to visit the place. Finally I got an
opportunity to climb this rocky boot shaped pinnacle. But this was not
a routine event since Bhramanti has climbed 3 consecutive pinnacles in
the last 3 Sundays. This is the first time we had ever attempted such a
venture, actually it is to recover our climbing backlog of this year.
We traveled Saturday afternoon from CST by a local Train to
Karjat. From Karjat traveled 12km to the village 'Nanivali'. From
Nanivali another 3 colleague of our team joined us to move ahead. From
this village it’s an hours trek to Irashal Wadi which has around 25
huts and a school. By the time we reached there it was 10:30pm. The
village dog had sensed us from 1 mile and already made a note by
barking and alerted the villagers. They were aggressive when we reached
near the hutments. But the villagers unquestioningly welcomed us by
offering us water & started enquiring about our whereabouts. We
decided to stay in the village school premises. It was a moonlit night.
And in spite of the cold wind wave we had sweat a lot on the way,
carrying our climbing equipment load. We had some food with freshly
made lemon tea on chulha (traditional stove using dry wood).
The next day morning was a surprise to see all known places
in the surrounding. Prabalgadh on the North, Matheran was on the
North-west, Manekgadh on the south & Karnala on the West side.
After Tea & Breakfast we started off to reach the climbing base, it
took 45 min to get there. As per our plan of action we decided to climb
Irshal using the same traditional route till the 2nd patch & then
took a call whether to climb vertical wall or easy traverse.
Our Entire Team was Kaivalya, Rajan (Myself), Hemant, Sonali, Kapil,
Sushil, Pankaj, Apurva, Parag, Rishi & Suresh. Out of these Suresh
had some work, so he left early after the climb started. Kaivalya was
in lead role and started at 11:30am. The first patch was of around 40ft
vertical easy climb then further 110ft walk towards the rock wall.
After reaching here we decided to climb the vertical wall instead of
other route which is of 100ft traverse to the left keeping the pinnacle
on right. The Vertical climb was of around 75ft. Kaivalya fixed 3
anchors on the vertical and horizontal crack using Choks & Friends.
And then I took the lead to tackle the overhang to reach the summit. I
was on the summit at 2:05pm. Then the members sequence followed the
fixed rope route to complete the team summit. We closed the climb by
6:00pm and spent some time at the base where a water cistern helped us
quench our thirst and the sandwiches made by the support team brought
us back to life. It was enjoyable day for us and first time ever had
water melon in the middle of such an activity. We returned back to the
base village by 9:00pm and then set off home to Mumbai. It was
Bhramanti's 20th Pinnacle & my 19th Pinnacle summit. The figure 19
has increased my hunger and encourages me to have more digesting
capacity of climbs. Hope we will make it as I have full confidence on
our ever growing climbing team to succeed in this venture.
21 st April 2006
West Face crack.
This route identified by Kaivalya Varma.
3 Pitch Climb:
1st Pitch 40 ft easy scree walk. Natural Anchor (Tree). One has to
tackle a 10 ft chimney using the tree in between. At the end of the
patch Bolt fixed can be used for anchoring.
2nd Pitch 40 ft Difficult crack on has to climb skillfully specially
the Overhang. Choks & Friends can be used for protection. No firm
anchor at the end of the patch.
3rd Pitch One can either continue further till the summit or
take the left scary travers which is walking on a very thin loos scree.
I am not sure whether this rain can keep the ridge intact. One should
take precaution to while crossing. Then the big rock can be used for
anchoring. Then further no need to descend down since one can walk down
towards Irshal side.
One can stay in the cave for a night having potable water all days of
Our Lead climber was Kishore and 2nd man was myself. Rest of the Team
supported us. It took 2 days to accomplish the task due to opening new
route. One can complete in a day too.
Written By: Rajan Rikame