The third edition of the Suru Boulder Fest came together between 25 August 25 and September 7 in the Suru Valley, Zanskar, India. With over 50 new problems including two 8A+ by Sandeep Kumar Maity, Suru is gradually attracting climbers both from India’s rapidly growing and coalescing climbing community as well as traveling climbers. This year, 135 people from a diverse set of countries attended the Fest.
The Suru Valley is almost equidistant from Leh and Srinagar, on the Zanskar road that leads to Nun and Kun, two prominent 7,000-meter peaks. I for one got there via a dramatic seven-hour motorbike ride from Leh, though most participants get there via less exhilarating means. Suru is an incredibly beautiful area with open vistas and rugged terrain flanked by towering snow-blanketed slopes.
The rock is mostly Green Schist. Climbers had a number of climbing areas to choose from, with many styles and grades. “Shambala Forest,” a particularly picturesque realm, is right off the road, but still feels private secluded due to tree cover. It felt like a Goldilocks range: not too big, not too small; not too hard, not too easy; plenty of interesting problems to keep dozens of climbers happy. “Quantum” by contrast was rugged, bare and challenging, and home to the highest highballs in the area.
A huge thanks to Tenzing, Suhail and team for putting together an event that brings together athletes, travellers and vagabonds in their love for climbing and adventure to this special part of the world that is only just starting to be explored.