On February 25, after the three part series `Beyond Ganesha’ was published on this blog, Kilian Fischhuber responded to a mail I had sent earlier.
I had asked him whether he had a rough idea of the grades for the two new routes he had created. He said, “ I have tried both routes. The left one seems possible but I think we need Adam Ondra for it…. The other route, next to Samsara, I was close to doing it but in the end I didn’t. I am not absolutely sure about the grade. This comes usually during the process of trying and is normally decided after the climb has been done. But I think it will be around 8c+.”
The “left’’ route Kilian cites, is the route shown in the photo featuring Kilian that you find in part three of the series.
As Kilian’s mail shows, for now Ganesha remains the hardest sport route in India. Initial estimates of Ganesha’s grade too had been around 8c+. It was fixed at 8b+ after being fully climbed.
The potential for routes harder than Ganesha seems to be there in Badami.
(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai)