rock climbing islamabad

Rock Climbing in Islamabad is Super Fun Activity

Rock climbing in Islamabad Pakistan is enjoyable.

After completing most of the Hiking routes on the Margalla Hills, I had to find something unique and exciting for me for the weekends.

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This eureka moment struck me one Saturday evening when my kids had gone out with their friends and my wife was dragging me to her mother’s.

Someone mentioned midlife crisis, but I call it living life.

I Googled “Rock climbing Islamabad” and texted a few people to include me in their next Crag climb for Sunday.

It is then that I realized that rock climbing is quite a fad in Islamabad.

Many university students regularly loop around the 50 rock faces that have already been surveyed and bolted for enthusiasts.

Many girls were inspired when ex-pat foreign ladies breezed over the toughest mountain face in Pakistan.

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Rock in Shahdara

Rock Climbing Mountains in Pakistan

  • Trango Tower, 6286 m +, Baltoro Glacier, Skardu
  • Amin Brakk Tower, 5850 m, Nangma Valley Karakorum

A kid I was consulting with mentioned “many ladies” and “Gori” and I was completely sold.

Now I know why there is an underground movement of sorts to climb Margalla’s rock faces.

Which Rock Climbing Company is the best?

  • Rock Climbing Club of Islamabad (RCCI) of Nazir Sabir 03457771117
  • Alpine Club of Pakistan 03335176672
  • Rock Climbing Club 03335128519
  • Sadhu’s retreat 03145187977
  • Climax Adventure 03441612024

The person I eventually called to book runs his own adventure company and these are the details.

  • pk
  • Sajid Aslam
  • Phone Number: 923137764702

This guy is a reasonably good climber and has not had any accidents to date – which is crucial.

Luckily he had a climb scheduled for Diane Racheal rock at Shahdara picnic spot the next day.

Diane rachel rock

Weird names of Rock Climbing Walls

Rock climbing Walls in Pakistan have funny names because they were discovered and bolted by foreigners with a sense of humor.

  • Jesus 
  • Islamabad 
  • Cultural Divide
  • Osama Bin Climbing 
  • The reluctant fundamentalist 
  • Puzzled Monkey 

Rock Climbing walls Rating in Islamabad Pakistan

Margalla Hills in Islamabad have about 60 well-equipped climbing routes Rated 4a to 8a, according to difficulty.

The toughest ones are rated 6b+ and above.

  • Girls and other animals (7a)
  • Action Direction (7b+)
  • Well Hidden Rock
  • Legacy (6a+)
  • Progressive Thinking (6b+)
  • Blame God

I confirmed to adventure people that I would be joining in the morning.

Rock climbing activity is usually scheduled early in the morning around 8 am, so that everyone gets a chance to scale the wall.

view during climbing

How to get to Rock Climbing sites

I drove all the way to Shahdara and waited for them to arrive and layout, ropes and harnesses for climbers.

Everyone is welcome to join; novices like me included.

The owner of the adventure club personally gives you a few tips on climbing too.

It costs Rs 1200 per person per session, and you get two attempts to scale the wall.

These adventure companies usually schedule rock climbs on the weekend, both days.

Equipment I took with me

I had to take my wallet with me and nothing else; everything was provided by the adventure company.

Cellphone I took along to brag about my prowess to my anonymous people on social media.

Map of Rock Climbing Spot Shahdara

Shahdara is a few kilometers from the National Center of Physics, on the Murree Highway.

My Rock Climb at Shahdara, Bara Kahu

This Crag rock was about 60 feet but did not look intimidating.

While I waited for the equipment to set up, cars pulled up with foreigners from Czechoslovakia, Japan, and university students from Pakistan.

I managed to climb three-quarters of the way and then repelled down the safety rope like a sack of rice.

At no stage during my ascent or descent did I feel any danger of being hurt.

I developed a camaraderie with climbers there as I was the only one who had not completed the climb in two failed attempts, whereas everyone else, including the ladies, had breezed through.

What was most astounding about the whole experience was watching Pakistan women, educated abroad, wearing tight trouserss and harnessing up for the climb like they had been doing it for ages.

I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

I even tried making my moves on the lady from Stanford University, through her pet Labrador, but the bi*ch (the dog) sensed foul play.

The ladies had a wonderful time as well, and oblivious of the crowd of onlookers watching from the roadside.

What was more mind-blowing was that the Czechoslovakian guy, who was blond, blue-eyed, and looked like a Spetsnaz fighter, had a Muslim name.

I thought allied powers had kicked out all the Muslims from Eastern Europe.

How this guy evaded deportation will be the topic of my next meeting with him

Everyone was helpful to the new guy – me

It was nice hanging out with a nice bunch of educated, good-looking people in Islamabad this day.

Climbing rock

What is the best thing about Rock Climbing in Pakistan?

The best thing about Rock climbing in Islamabad on the weekends is just that, the great people you meet and then you get to exercise your potbelly too.

equipment for climbing

The Best Rock Climbing Equipment

Although I did not take any equipment this time, and the adventure guy arranged everything for me, I recommend you get this equipment if you intend to take up this growing sport in Pakistan.

Rock climbing Shoes

  • Lespodenia or Salomon
  • Cost Ranges from $20 to $100 depending on the condition and quality of the shoes.
  • Get a cheaper pair from Amazon when the sale is on during Covid 19 lockdown.
  • Get a snug fit size, as the show expands during the climb

Climbing Harness (Waist)

  • Black diamond, Primrose, Petzl, or singing rock.


  • Black Diamond Magnetron Rock lock or Grid Lock


  • Half Dome Black Diamond helmet

Belay Device

  • Petzl or Mad Rock
  • Gri Gri Belay Device (pulley on top of the cliff to pull up the climber)
  • Reverso

Quick Draw

  • Black Diamond

Climbing Rope

  • Mammut 9.8mm, at least 60 m climbing rope for Islamabad.

Connect Assist

  • Petzl

Chalk Sock

  • Metolius

Cargo Shorts and hairbands, because most of the climbers have dreadlocks and long tresses.

equipment for climbing

Rock Climbing in Lahore

Lahore has several Indoor Rock Climbing Walls, but no outdoor granite one, like the one in Islamabad.

  • Climbing Arena DHA Phase 5

Rock Climbing in Karachi

Karachi is the same; there are many indoor climbing walls, but I have not heard of any roped and ready outdoor wall – correct me if I am wrong.

  • Arena, Shah Faisal Avenue
  • Swalay’s Point DHA Phase 8, Zone D

Indoor Rock Climbing Walls in Islamabad

The recommended Indoor Rock Climbing walls in Islamabad are 

  • Ibex Club Climbing wall, ( tall with an overhang)
  • Fast climb wall, Pakistan sports Complex Islamabad
  • DHA Islamabad Climbing wall Phase 2 (Short one)

I recommend these clubs because they have dedicated folks running the affairs hands-on – and that is great for safety.

Questions on Rock Climbing

Yes, women and children can safely go and attempt rock climbing in Pakistan, there is no chance of injury or harassment.

Usually, the participants are well educated and are there for fun, so everyone is friendly.

I do not think it is a good idea to go off rock climbing on your own on the already discovered walls and Crags because you always need a wingman and people with experience guiding you.

Rock Climbing in Pakistan was given a huge boost by the ex-pat community in Pakistan, and they saw a large number of hills, but no climbing going on. We Pakistanis think rock climbing is for people with a death wish.

So, there you have it.

Another super fun activity in Pakistan.

Joie de Vivre

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