12 Nov 2006
Climbed Right wall left route & Left wall righgt route:
Leader: Rajan Rikame Deputy: Kaivalaya Varma,
Members: Kishore Chanvan, Hemant M, Nandu C, Rajesh R, Suhas J, Prashant S, Suresh G, Parag.
Summitter: All except Nandu & Prashant since they were coordinating both the team from Base.
Category of the route: RWLR: Difficult & LWRR: Medium
No. of days to summit: 1 complete Day.
It was Bhramanti's second such climb summiting 2 routes in a day. This time there were two teams of Bhramanti attempting paralellely on both the route. We congratulate all Climbers and special thanks to Nandu for the solid support from the base in terms of cordination.
Telbaila, Thanale Cave Trek
25th - 26th Feb 06
This was going to be simple / medium grade trek.
The city had already started experiencing the pre summer heat.
The trek was dated for 25 th & 26 th February.
Telbaila and Thanale Caves lie in-between Lonavla and Pali region and can be approached from both directions.
As per to our schedule, we, a group of six which included 2 guest members started off for Lonavla taking the 9 am bus from Thane (Vandana) ST bus depot. A bus at 12 noon was to be boarded heading directly to Telbaila village. There are 3 buses from Lonavala for Telbaila. 9am, 12 noon & 4.30pm. except for which the 9am bus goes only till Ambavne village (sahara city and base village of Korigad) whereas, rest two go right upto Bhamburde (base village for Ghangad and Navra – Navri Pinnacles) via. – Telbaila. We reached Lonavla well in time to avail the 12 noon bus. Later, after confirming with the ST officials, it was brought to our notice that the bus supposed to leave at 12 noon, which due to unavoidable breakdown condition would not ply. Instead we would have to go in for some private transport or wait for the next bus at 4.30pm. The private transport would definitely run us out of our budget. So no much of alternative left, but to take the 4.30pm bus. A long time to pass. The wait till 4.30pm seemed endless, as no much of activity to do, except for to have the pack lunch, sit at the bus depot and wait, wait and wait. The time seemed to crawl.
The time somehow passed away and it was time for the 4.30 pm bus. A passenger waiting to travel by the same bus was too humble to come and inform us about the bus. The journey finally started at 5pm. We were lucky enough to find seats for ourselves as the bus later got overcrowded. Finally making its way over the winding road and through the beautiful forest via. Ambavne, Mazgao and Salter we finally reached Telbaila at around 6.15 pm, just in time to witness the beautiful sunset. The road onwards Ambavne is in extremely poor condition. ‘Hats off to the ST Mahamandal to provide bus services in such remotest areas’. On the way, the very first glimpse of the unique two grand walls of Telbaila is simply exciting. It’s was a sigh of relief to set foot in the Telbaila village. Kept our sacks at one of the villagers hut, we made our way over the plains to view the setting sun. Spent some time there eating snacks and enjoying the sunset and the cool breeze. It was already dark by now. Retracing our footsteps, we returned back into the village and moved our base into the courtyard of the Hanuman temple where we would spent our night. We had to skip on our much badly wanted evening tea as it was getting late to start with the preparations for dinner, as, per to our schedule (which was already delayed by almost half a day) we would windup for the day as early as possible and start early the next day and try to cover-up some time. In no time, everything was set, and the group got started with their assigned work for making dinner. For a change, after a long time, rice and vegetable curry (potato, cauliflower and green peas) along with another combination of vegetable (brinjal cooked over bonfire) was on the menu (courtesy : KK – Dy. leader), instead of the conventional khichidi. We winded up early for the day.
Next day morning was very pleasant. As per to our plan, keeping the sacks in the temple itself we would visit the col inbetween the two walls of Telbaila, come back and descend down to Thanale caves via. Waghjai Ghat and to Thanale village for further journey to Pali and thereon to Mumbai.
After having coffee and breakfast we started our trek only around 8.30 am. Reaching the base of Telbaila from the village hardly takes around 15 min and approximately 20 min to reach the col from the base. The approach to the col is from the right side of the right wall. The view from the top is simply breath taking. Ghangad with Navra – Navri pinnacles, Sudhagad, Sarasgad, and Dukes Nose can be seen very clearly. From the col onwards to the top, the climb is very vertical and should be attempted only by a good and experienced climber. Climbing equipments are essential. After spending some time and having the cool waters form the cistern we retraced our way back to the village. Descending down was much faster. From the temple it takes about half an hour to reach the start (descend) of the Waghjai Ghat. We were accompanied by two villagers who were on their way to Pali. Descending Waghjai Ghat is simple and would be very picturesque and beautiful in monsoons. On the way down we come across a small temple of Waghjai which lies on the left side somewhere about 40-50 ft away. Descending still further for about 45 min we come on a plateau which looks like to be a junction as a small but prominent trail can be seen going towards the left. This is the path leading to Thanale caves. The initial walk is very flat for about 40min where we come into the col over a dried brook with the route takes a sharp ‘U’ turn towards the right. This a landmark not to be forgotten as a route on the left leads up to the caves. Climbing roughly for about an hour form here we reach the caves. The first sight of the caves is amazing. They appear dotted in a row at a distance. There are about 15-20 caves lined-up in a row. Moving slightly ahead we come across a huge cave ‘Chaityagraha – a buddhist chapel hall’. We rest here for a while. After exploration of the place and spending almost about an hour we retrace our way back to the col where the route takes a sharp ‘U’ turn. This path further leads to Thanale village at the base. Continuing on this trail which descends further, we reached the village in about an hour and a half from the caves.
Unfortunate enough, we missed the 4.15pm bus to Thane starting from the village itself.
The only option left was to walk it down to Dhondse village (2.5 km) to avail autorickshaws and head for Pali. Tired and exhausted walking in the sun the whole day we some how reached Dhondse and from there on to mumbai, via. Pali and Pen.
6th April 2003
Scaling Telbaila is a kind of challenge to the trekkers now days. Telbaila fort is near the Ambey Valley which is currently in the news due to Sahara India. This was Bhramanti's first ever summit attempt of this year.
From Lonavala Telbaila village is 36 Km away. One can see the Korigadh of Ambavane(Ambey Valley) on the way. The area is too remote, only one ST bus in a day goes to this place & that too the bus starts at 12:30pm from Lonavala. So one needs to plan the travel accordingly. Same case for the return journey, at 7:30am a local ST bus will take you to Lonavala from the Telbaila Village. One can reach in 30 minutes from the village to the col of the two walls of Telbaila. The Left wall is called Telbaila Fort, where in the col a small Temple with two water cistern exist. One is with drinkable water & the other one is small & empty. On the Fort wall there exists a cave & water cistern on the first ledge as well on the second ledge. From the top of Telbaila towards east Dhangad exist. Towards west Sudhagadh & Sarasgadh. One can see the Dueknose in the morning towards north-east.
Our plan was to climb the Left wall right route on Saturday & Right wall Left route on Sunday. We started on Friday night by Ashiad & reached Lonavala by 3:00am of Saturday. One member joined us at Lonavala Depot. By this we were a team 5 members including Deepak, Harshal, Santosh, Krishanu & Myself. Deepak was the Leader of the program.
We reached Ambavane by 12:00 noon. We spent one hr. to find another vehicle till Telbaila. Fortunately a Sand truck gave us a lift to the Telbaila phata. The truck was traveling to Bhamburde the next halt of the area. While traveling from Ambavane to Telbaila we tried to take a relief breath but unfortunately the truck tire was damaged. The Truck driver drove the truck skillfully. At one point of time we all got down & used to put a rock to hold the tire for not to reverse on the uphill road. After crossing the last valley we got a first glance of the Telbaila fort wall though it is 3 kms. away still from the road head. We walked to the Telbaila village & enquired in the village regarding the latest attempt & general activity of the village. It took another 30 minutes to reach the col between two walls. As we were reaching the col we all were discussed our next strategy regarding the attempt.
We took little rest in the col. The Temple near the water is maintained by the local Pujari who daily comes to the Temple at around 7:00am. Their is a proper concretized plane recently built by the villagers. After lunch the leader Deepak briefed us our route plan & hoe to go about it. We were carrying one 150ft 9mm rope & two 50ft 10mm rope(actually two 150ft rope required). We three Myself, Harshal & Deepak geared up for the climb.
Phase I : We started from the col. Initially it took time to tackle the initial fear & some technicality on the 30ft climb till the rock cut steps. There are bolts & pegs on the way for anchoring. Harshal took the lead & fixed the rope using the step hole as anchor.
Phase II : There exist a traverse of around 60ft which is a plane walk on the ledge with exposure on the other side. One can get a close view of the left route of the right wall from here which looks difficult than the current route. In-between their exist 2 caves. Once again Harshal fixed the rope till the last cave.
Phase III: After 20ft walk on the ledge from the last anchor Myself took the lead & climbed another rock cut steps of around 15 ft high. their exist a bolt fixed & from here another ledge of 15 ft towards left & further 10 ft climb till the drinkable water cistern & a Square Cave with a hole on the wall which can be used for anchoring. Between the Cave & the Water tank 2 bolts are fixed which I used for fixing the rope. Since it was 6:45pm we all decided to return back & continue further next day. in next one hr. we return back to the col. We did experienced a rappelling in the night using the head torch from the step hole patch to the col almost 40 ft. We had dinner & slept early. Our support team Santosh & Krishanu was in action for the dinner preparation. In the night the cool breeze was relaxing our days effort. Also we were more relaxed when we heard a team of our members will be visiting next day to see our climb. We were more relaxed due to the transport availability with them. Next day (Sunday 6th April 2003) we started our climb from the last left place. We spent some time due to shortage of rope. around 10:00am we all were at the last rope fixed place.
Phase IV: Above the water tank a bolt exist where we put an atterior (sling ladder) to tackle the slight overhang at another 20 ft from here. The total patch till the next anchoring place is of 30 ft. Harshal tactfully climbed the overhang patch & fixed the rope till the next anchoring place. By this time our next team arrived to cheer us.
Phase V: I took the lead from here till another 10ft climb toward right till the base of the tree where a piton is fixed for anchoring.
Phase VI : Once again I took the lead to summit attempt which was another 30ft uphill traverse towards right side. The loose scree with rock support made this patch little easy compare to the all other patches. Before the last patch attempt we recalculated the need of the rope in case if the rope is not sufficient what can be done. As I reached on the top & found a Bolt on the rock; I was cheered up & took a relief breath since we were tackling shortage of rope as well the anchoring place. I reached at 2:25pm. Harshal & Deepak reached one after other within next 20 min. We wished each other. Since we were running behind the schedule we took little rest on the top & started our return journey.
From here onwards Deepak was in action since he was the last person to clear all rope work till the col. Deepak executed his duty up to the expected level & I was too happy to knew his skill set from the Bhramanti's point of view. We all returned back by 6:30pm in the col. It was My 3rd pinnacle & Harshal's first successful attempt. I think Harshal Must be the happiest person among us. The new visitors & the existing support team were anxiously waiting for us to see all Bhramanti's hero. They cooked a lunch for us which they served us in the evening. We are thankful to all the members & hope to see such enthu in future. By the time we reached the village it was dark, 3 members out of five went back with the Milind's Vehicle (Ascent car) which was another dream journey. Myself & Harshal had spent a night in the village.
The family where we took shelter were happy to see us & they were sharing our experience. The village has got severe water problem in these days, what will happen in the May? All youngster of the village are serving in the city like Lonavala/Mumbai. All oldies stay in this village. Max. 4th std. schooling is available for the children. for further study either they need to go to near by village or to city.
Next day return back to Lonavala using the 7:45am ST & further reached home in the afternoon.
Leader: Kaivalya Verma, Members: Rajan Rikame, Benjamin, Surendra
Leader: Deepak Deorukhkar, Members: Milind G., Harshal M., Vijay V.,