With the Malabar river festival, close at hand, the finals this year has been decided to be held at the Arippara falls or Fire Alarm rapid. The terrain around that region is treacherous, and crossing the river or getting a shot from the middle, almost impossible. And keeping that in mind, especially for safety, there was a special Tyrolean Traverse training camp held for the climbers and photo/video team coming to the event.

Pictures by Praveen Jayakaran. Organised by Bangalore Climbers Initiative (Sohan and Gaurav) for the Malabar River Festival and Goodwave adventures.


Tyrolean traverse is a method of crossing through free space between two high points on a rope without a hanging cart or cart equivalent. Using static ropes, we made anchors on 2 trees, about 50ft apart, and setup 2 ropes to traverse across. The 2nd rope being for safety. As you can see in the pictures, photography equipment is quite heavy, and can cause the lines to slack a lot in the middle. It was not because of our weight.

Lots of technical jargon was thrown around by the climbers, which largely went over my head. Main concerns were how slippery the trees might get in the rain, height of the trees from the water line, and distance across the river that were actually going to set it up. Getting up to the height of the setup itself was a challenge. But pulling yourself across itself is a breeze. A little bit of a good core work-out, if I may add.

All in all, the Tyrolean traverse training camp was a reality check, and showed us in reality, how much time in advance we would have have to be at the venues in the morning, to setup the lines.

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