Bouldering in Chatru, India – Outside The Labyrinth

Bouldering in Chatru is an ‘escape’ for climbers. The valley was discovered as a bouldering paradise in the year 2000 by a seasoned British climber named Pil Lockey. He explored all the boulders in and between Chotadhara and Chatru. Consequently, he designed topo maps of the place for other climbers and posted them over the internet. Harry and Dave were among the first four climbers who developed this bouldering retreat for the community.

It has been over a decade now and all and sundry from around the globe flock to the place during summers. For some it’s a destination for climbing and for others it’s a place to disconnect from a ‘world of technology and worries’ by going off the grid. There are a plenty of options for non-climbers as well. Chatru – Outside the Labyrinth is a short film that aims to showcase this beautiful climbing destination to the masses. This fantasy land in Spiti Valley is a place outside the maze that beholds the conundrum and difficulties of a city life. The film explores the perspective and ideology of dedicated climbers and meditators while giving a balanced overview of some of the boulders that one would love to climb there. The Smiling Goddess is one such boulder that steals everyone’s fancy. The boulder has a range of problems ranging from 5 graders to 8, which means all sorts of climbers can climb it. So, plenty of options to choose from if someone is planning to spend a few months there. The quality of rock (granite) is good too.

The film discusses the history of the place, prominent boulders including the Smiling Godess, and describes how it is the best place to unwind, meditate, and practice yoga.  A visual treat for climbers and non-climbers alike.


Author: 4Play is India’s first adventure sports channel which curates stories from the outdoor extreme and adventure sports. An outcome of roughing it up in the outdoors, living on the cutting edge of what may be termed as extreme, and basking in the experiences that came along.


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