Dec 24, 2013
Tuhin Satarkar: the first Indian climber to ascend Ganesh
The Outdoor Journal
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After two Frenchmen and one American, Tuhin becomes the first Indian to redpoint the 8b+ (5.14a) route in Badami
Young Indian climber Tuhin Satarkar became the first Indian to redpoint Ganesh (8b+), India’s toughest sport route, on December 14, the very next day after American climber Paige Claassen became the first woman to do so. After over a week of crimping, deadpointing and falling repeatedly, Tuhin also became the fourth person to finish this 20m sandstone route in Badami, in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.
Red Bull-linked Tuhin and Arjun Vajpai Foundation-sponsored Sandeep Maity were both trying to be the first Indian climbers to redpoint the route. Eventually, Tuhin finished the route “without falling or hangdogging on any of the quickdraws from the start to the finish,” said Jon Glassberg, co-founder of LouderThan11, a US-based production house that shot the entire ascent and plans on releasing the video in January 2014.
With the successful redpoint, Tuhin also became the top claimant for the INR 50,000 (US$ 800) prize money announced last season by Indian outdoor gear retailer Adventure 18 for the first Indian ascent of the route.
Ganesh was bolted by Alex Chabot in 2010, but climbed first by Frenchman Gerome Pouvreau. Etienne Seppecher in 2012 made the second ascent of this overhanging, bulging water-stained orange face.
Contacted by The Outdoor Journal after his feat, Tuhin said,
“Felt awesome on finishing the route. It was the end, but then I realized it was just a beginning for something new. I don’t chase any records, I just climb for myself. Rock Aliens came forward with a INR 25,000 prize money but I donated it to Paige to raise funds for a social cause.”
“It’s great news for the climbing community in India. Many of us are trying to break barriers and I’m glad Tuhin has taken the first step towards it,” said Manikandan Kumar, India’s silver medallist at the Para Climbing World Championships in Italy earlier this year. (Read the full story)
Jon Glassberg said, “There were eight of his close friends watching and Paige and I were at the cliff that morning to support him and watch him make the first Indian ascent of India’s hardest sport climb. It was awesome to watch.”
Jon also commented that the climbing scene in India seemed pretty small but it still stood a chance to grow fast with publicity of great accomplishments from India’s best climbers.
Image © Jon Glassberg – lt11.com