Astrek Wall Spiders

The first of its kind Wall Climbing competition, jointly organized by Astrek Climbing Wall and NepalSutra, was held on 22nd and 23rd February in Kathmandu.

A total of 45 males and 8 females qualified to participate in the finals in three different categories – Lead, Speed and Bouldering.

With a height of 15 meters, Astrek Climbing Wall is the tallest climbing centre in Nepal. This competition attracted participants from all over Nepal and outside Nepal as well.


Vinayak Jaya Malla, who was the winner of both Men Speed and Lead Finals, is from the Parbat District in the Western Nepal. With a climbing experience of less than a year, Vinayak enjoys bouldering the most. “I really enjoyed bouldering, it is very interesting and it’s a fair game.”

Amongst the ladies, Anna Kathrina Gundewald, won the Female Lead and Bouldering finals. Anna is a German national, living in Kathmandu for a month, pursuing her medical internship and volunteering at a non-profit project, Hariyo Chowk, to which she donated all her winning prize money.

Anna has been climbing for about three years and she enjoys it tremendously.  “Climbing makes me focus and live in the moment and forget everything else.”

Mara Johnson Groh, from the USA, took the second place in the Female Lead Finals. Mara is living in Nepal on a study abroad program. She has been climbing for less than a year and she enjoys the feeling of being high. “When I was little, I liked climbing trees, so it was just natural that I started rock climbing.”

Panchmaya Tamang, a first time climber, only 14 years of age, won the Speed finals. She was definitely the fastest. She enjoys climbing and intends to continue it from now on.

All in all, with an influx of amateurs and trained climbers, it was a day full of adventure, for both climbers and the audience. “This competition is a good way for youth to start climbing.” – said Sanjay Bhatta, who took the third place in Male Speed Finals. Sanjay, who has been climbing for four years, also teaches basic climbing to amateurs.

Text: Mithila Jariwala

Images: Probin Koirala & Kumar Ale

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