Yes! Kathmandu offers some really terrific places for people who like crawling up vertical cliffs with the help of their fingernails. If you dont have the time to take on some Himalayan peak during this visit, the Valley perimeter offers a number of stone walls guaranteed to keep you on your toes. So, instead of hanging around gathering moss, why not try your hand at rock climbing and get a grip on things?
WHERE AND HOW TO GET THERE
Nagarjun (also known as Jamacho) is the forested hill which lies to the northwest of the Swayambhu stupa. The climbing cliff here is located inside the Royal Forest and is suitable for both beginners and regulars. The limestone face is about 10-12 meters high, and there are several piton-equipped routes. To get there, take a taxi to Balaju (3 km from downtown Kathmandu) and then walk to the Park entrance. From the gate, follow the dirt road to a point just before the army checkpost where you will come across a track leading to the right. Follow this trail through trees and shrubs for about five minutes, and theres the cliff.
Another interesting rock wall is situated on the slope of Shivapuri hill to the north of Kathmandu. The granite faces here lie scattered about, and the big cliff in the center is equipped with a single route. To get there, go by taxi or bus to Budhanilkantha (9 km), the shrine of the Sleeping Bishnu, then walk west from the bus stop passing Budhanilkantha School on your right. The trail then climbs along the left bank of the Bishnumati stream through terraced fields and enters the Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve. The cliffs can be seen from a distance, so you wont have much difficulty finding the place.
MD Publishing Co.
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Tel: 260327, 256003 . Telex: 2611 EMC NP. Fax: 977-1-261159.
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Last Updated: 24 July, 2000
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