Never linked adventure sports and Haryana together? At least I never did.- Till I got to know about Dhauj.
Located in Faridabad district of Hayrana, Dhauj has been infamous for its mining mafia. The mining activity has subsided by now
but one can still see lakes dried up due to the digging and hills blasted through, in this village.
It is more famous as the place where Camp Wild hosts its camps, rock climbing, rappelling and birding activities. People come here on weekends in search of a small gate away. With its resort huts and tented accommodation, Camp Wild meets those needs.
But the post is not about Camp Wild as I have no experience with that company. I ended up in Dhauj, 30 km from Delhi, with my climbing friends from Indian Mountaineering Foundation. The road from Delhi/Gurgaon to Dhauj is not great but the distance is less. Within one hour of driving, we were at the climbing area.
Dhauj is surrounded by huge Granite boulders and cliffs. It is well suited for climbing and some routes are even bolted already. There's also a small pond at the base of one of the cliffs.
I would strongly advise taking crash pads along if one intends to engage in bouldering here as the terrain is undulating and full of sharp rocks.
The morning was very cold and we warmed our bodies through some attempts on boulders. We had recently returned from a bouldering trip in Hampi, Karnataka and the confidence was visible in our moves.
The rock here is sharp. So be ready for some cuts and bruises.
After about an hour on the boulders, we moved out attention to a cliff which we intended to climb. We had expert climbers in the group who set up the anchor using the bolts already planted at the top of the cliff. The rope was set up and the belayer got ready.
The first climber, using the top rope, summitted the route! The route had a beautiful overhang halfway through and there's no way up if one can't tackle the overhang. It needs a lot of skill, a bit of power and loads of courage to even attempt this overhang move. Your hand slips and you might just collide with the rocks, even though you will be arrested from a fatal fall due to your belayer.
Most of us climbed till the overhang but gave up after about 4-5 tries. It was scary and seemed impossible.
But we had 3 climbers who overcame their fears and went for it, and they were rewarded with success. Find hand holds, position your feet, dig them in the wall, pull, move, pull and you are above the overhang. One of the 3 climbers was so strong, he pulled himself up all the way through using just hand holds, without having to use any foot holds. This technique is called campusing.
Tackling this route needed a lot of determination and it is what these guys had in abundance.
It was mid-noon by the time we finished our tries and got into the car to return home.