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India’s Hardest Route: Ganesh 5.14a

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The trend for hard sport climbing in India is set to begin. India is best known for it’s Himalayan mountaineering, but southern India hosts world class
bouldering at Hampi and a wealth of new routing potential at Badami.

Abhishek Mehta, a professional speed climber from Delhi, India, doesn’t usually focus on sport climbing, but earlier this year he set his sights on sending
India’s hardest route, Ganesh (5.14a), in Badami. The line was originally bolted by the French climber Alex Chabot and first climbed
by Gêrome Pouvreau in 2011. U.S. climber Paige Claassen sent the route back in 2013 and told Rock and Ice that “Ganesh is certainly
the most powerful route I’ve ever climbed, and also makes it on my top-five-routes-of-all-time list.”

After a redpoint struggle, which we can all relate to, Abhishek sent the route, along with several other 5.13 climbs nearby. Watch this space, as hard
sport climbing is only set to grow in this region, and if the Ganesha crag and Hampi bouldering are anything to go by, it’s going to be class.