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Bananthimari Betta, Kanakapura

  • Grade context: US
  • Photos: 9
  • Ascents: 4

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Summary

Climbing at BM Betta is an old school adventure, unlike most sport climbing crags, because of the route finding, long approach, etc.

Description

Bananthimari Betta, 80 km to the south-east of Bangalore, near Kanakapura town, has a couple of multi-pitch sport routes. The granite slab facing south is about 800 feet long and has plenty of potential for slab climbing lines.

The top of the BM Betta has an old GTS (Great Trigonometric Survey) mound. This is directly above the top out of High Lonesome. The exit hike after topping out is to the east of the mound. If you get lost, retrace the steps back to the mound and find the trail.

Access issues

This is a minor forest. You can hike and climb, as per the forest guards.

Keep a look out for Snakes, Bears, Leopards, and Elephants.

Approach

There are two approaches to the climbing routes.

One approaches from the east, via Ramanagara-Kanakapura road. Park around provided coordinates (12.563366, 77.391926), and hike west through the valley, looking out for the routes to the right. This used to be the old hiking trail. But as of 2015-16, is overgrown.

The other and more recent approach is from the west. This is about 14 odd km driving directions from Kanakapura town. Drive past Kanakapura town on Bangalore-Kanakapura road for two km, and turn right, just after a lake (Gadasalli Kere, sometimes is just a dried-up lakebed). About eight odd km on this road, look out for an arch on the right side, with shops on either side, and turn right.

Or follow google direction to Sri Bananthimari Temple. The last kilometer and half of the drive is over an uphill rutted mud road to the temple.

To get to the Climbs -

From the temple parking, you can hike through the valley to the base of the climbs. Go past the lake and follow the trail up the right-side hillock. When you see the climbing routes to the left, cut across the valley, through thestream (or the stream bed). A blazed trail was marked in blue. If not faded, follow the blazes.

The valley thicket has undergone significant changes within the last five years. Initially, a trail used to cut through the middle of the valley. Then the bamboo clusters all over the valley tumbled over, blocking the old trail, in 2018. Then a forest fire in the summer of 2019 wiped out the bamboo clusters and vegetation, revealing the old trail.

To exit, after topping out, turn left on the plateau, look for green or red or blue trail blazes or stone cairns, follow the same to get back to the parking lot.

Routes

Add route(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit Convert grades
Grade Route
1 5.5
2 5.4
3 5.6
4 5.6
5 5.4
6 5.4

An easy mixed route. You could use some trad gear to finish the final pitch, but not necessary. Placing gear on the sixth pitch makes the pitch harder.

Gear: 60-meter rope, six-seven alpine draws (quick draws will create rope drag), and a couple of anchor setups. Trad gear is optional (#.3 to #3 cams)

P1: 5.5+, 55 meters, 6 + 2 bolts.

After the first bolt, the section is mossy, but with good solid holds.

P2: 5.4, 55 meters, 3 + 2 bolts.

Long easy pitch, with a bit of headwall, just below the P3 anchor station.

P3: 5.6, 50 meters, 6 + 2 bolts.

Steep slab with good holds all along.

P4: 5.6, 50 meters, 4 + 2 bolts.

Slightly run out, but the grade eases up much more than the previous pitch.

P5: 5.4, 50 meters, 1 + 2 bolt.

As you look up from the anchor station, the bolt is to the right edge of a cacti island, about 15-20 meters above you. From there, the route orients left, along a diagonal crack system. The route grade dips to 5.2-5.3, after the bolt.

P6: 5.4, 50 meters, 0 + 0 bolts.

Traverse left here on, under the roof crack for about 50 meters. The horizontal crack system of the roof will take BD Cams #3 and below up to #.03. Placing gear, requires you to get to the crack, which increases the grade. If using the gear, sling the tree, and run it out on the easy slab.

Top out at a bunch of flat boulders, sling the boulders and belay your second.

Exit: Hike out from the left.

Route Credit: Sohan, Bhaskar Bhat, Satish Venkatachaliah, & Gokul G. Recceing and logistics support: Atul Agarwal, Aby Iyer, Vinay Chandra, Prithvi Wanderer, Anusha Anu, Karthik Vijayakumar. FFA: Kowshik Narayanaswamy, Alok Tater and Gokul G, Jan 2015

1 5.8 G
2 5.7
3 5.6
4 5.6
5 5.7
6 5.6
7 5.7

Starts about 100 meters to the right of Cicada Uprising

The current route is a tamer version of the original that existed between 1995- 2018.

In 1995, Dinesh Kaigonhalli visited this location on three Sundays to create the route ground-up, machine-bolting as he climbed up. Supported by Shyam Krishnan Narayanan, Ajay Thambe, Ramu Muddappa, and Suma Rao.

The last 80 meters entered into the lore of Bangalore climbing scene. Fatigued from having to carry the drill up, each Sunday, Dini supported by Shyam, decided to finish the last bit in a single push. He put in two bolts along the way, on the 5.7 terrain.

Subsequently, there have been two successful repeats of the original route, both by Ravee Bhat. Any other repeats have involved escaping left through the easier terrain, which goes at 5.4-5.5.

In Aug 2018, Dini and Sunny Jamshedji in the process of rebolting the route, added additional bolts.

Defanged of the original notoriety, the route has seen a dozen plus ascents within the year of the retro bolting.

P1: 5.8G. 6 + 2 bolts. 35 meters • Ends left of a cave. One #3 cam needed. Feels one grade harder than the given grade.

P2: 5.7. 5 + 2 bolts. 38 meters.

Traverse to the runout first bolt, and thereafter, well bolted easy terrain.

P3: 5.6. 3 + 2 bolts. 38 meters

Mild traverse to the right after the third bolt

P4: 5.6. 4 + 2 bolts. 38 meters.

P5: 5.7. 3 + 2 bolts. 38 meters.

Traverse left after the 1st bolt. Largely 5.5 pitch, but for a small section between the 2nd and the 3rd bolt. Then angle left, under cactus to reach the anchors.

P6: 5.6. 4 + 2 bolts. 38 meters.

Up straight and angle right.

P7: 5.7. 3 + 2. 35 meters.

A brilliant pitch. Aesthetic moves. Wakes you up for the climax of this experience called ‘High Lonesome’.

In its original form, P6 & P7 had two bolts. The entire route was equipped with 17 bolts originally.

1 5.5
2 5.6
3 5.5
4 5.8
5 5.4
6 5.7
7 5.10
8 5.6
9 5.5
1 5.5
2 5.5
3 5.5
4 5.7
5 5.7
6 5.7
7 5.4
8 5.7

5.7R, 320 plus meters, eight pitches.

The route starts atop a stack of boulders to the far right on the south facing wall of the BM Betta. The hike to the base from the Bananthimaramma temple parking is about 2.4 km.

P1: 5.5, 40+ meters, 5 bolts + 1 plus tree The first bolt is behind the ‘chossy’ tree to the right, under the roof.

P2: 5.5, 40+ meters, 3 +1 + tree The first bolt to the right, after some 20 odd feet.

P3: 5.5, 40+ meters, 4 + 2. Some route finding, as the first bolt is after about 40 feet. But follow the natural line, and you will find it.

A short section (20-25 feet) of scrambling to get to the base of the slab, from this anchor point of being atop the high Boulder. There is an easy down climb from above the anchor.

P4: 5.7, 40+ meters, 4 + tree anchor The sea of slab opens up! High first bolt.

P5: 5.7, 40 meters, 3 + 2 Mildly runout second bolt. A spectacular view beholds down the sea of slab. The money pitch.

P6.5.7, 31 meters, 3 + 2 The first bolt is directly above the anchor station on the only crux of this section.

P7: 5.4. 50 meters. 1 + trees. Angle mildly right towards the upper slab.

P8: 5.7. 30 meters. 6 + 2

The top-out is a rope length of scramble with 1 bolt to protect during the rains.

Walk off. From the GTS mound, follow the trail of cairns. And some painted blazes. Can get tricky at night, so plan to exit before dark.

Route by Sohan and Amrit. Support, Prasanna G.. Dave Gates and Shyam Yeluri helped clean up the choss and equip the anchors with hardware.

The upper three pitches are also what Shyam Yeluri soloed out as an alternative finish to Junoon. Route name by Shyam.

Set: Sohan Pavuluri & Amrit, Mar 2023

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