Musa Masala is so proud to have been a part of the March 9th Open Lead Climbing Championship at Kathmandu Sport Climbing Center. We co-sponsored the event with our friends at Wongchhu Peak Promotion. We did this for a very simple reason: to allow indoor climbers in Nepal to compete and challenge each other to grow the sport and community. This great group is wonderful at inspiring one another and we believe in supporting their dream of being able to one day represent Nepal internationally. 

Learning to climb takes discipline. Good, safe climbing is an education and a healthcare issue. Education and healthcare are core issues with Musa Masala, and in Nepal, many of the climbers are trekking and climbing guides. What they learn inside, they take to the mountains. And education is what keeps them and their clients safe. This sport benefits everyone who treks and climbs in Nepal.

Here’s the story of a great event, wonderful people, and a look into the future.

Kathmandu Sport Climbing Center (KSCC) was established in 2018. At that time, Nepal had only two operational climbing gyms. The climbing community was relatively small then, but it has since grown significantly. The KSCC board consists of:

  • Pranil Man Shrestha: Managing Director at KSCC, former national climbing champion, Nepal’s Sport Climbing representative in Asian Games at Palembang, Indonesia 2018. Performance coach for advanced climbing class at KSCC. Sub- Treasurer at Nepal Climbing Sport Association.
  • Rusha Pradhan: Board of director at KSCC, former national sport climber, and a part-time graphic designer. Nepal’s first youth representative at Asian Youth Championship 2015 in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
  • Sujit Kandel: Board of Director at KSCC, former sport climbing athlete and Secretary at Nepal Climbing Sport Association
  • Madhu Shrestha: Board of Director at KSCC, Acquainted with Sport Climbing Field

The staff organized the “Open Lead Climbing Championship 2024” with the goal of providing participants with challenging climbing routes of world-class standards, creating a supportive community for climbers, and inspiring young athletes. Special to this event was the inclusion of new holds, provided by SUP’R Climbing.These holds met the standards of the International Federation of Sport Climbing, (IFSC), fiberglass and macro holds, which had not been used in competitions before in Nepal. 

A total of 34 climbers participated: 20 men and 14 women. The competition adhered to the rules of the IFSC and was authorized by the Nepal Climbing Sport Association (NCSA). The Nepal National Mountain Guide Association (NNMGA) technical judges oversaw the event. The judges were:

Chief Judge – Tshiring Jangbu Sherpa

Asst Judges – Anup Gurung, Niraj Karki, Ashok Lama

We all know the behind the scenes team makes a competition. The stars that made it happen were:

Route setter – Cooper May

Asst route setter – Suresh Tamang

Belayers – Nirawjol Shakya, Sudip Rana, Laxmi Pandey, Pasang Kaji Sherpa

As the climbers checked in, they all got an awesome shirt designed by the KSCC staff and provided by Makalu e Traders, another co-sponsor of the event. 

Everyone looked great in the shirts, and they helped create a sense of community with the climbers. 

The event kicked off with a blast, thanks to emcee, Rajesh Lama! He kept the pace and excitement going for the entire competition. His knowledge and energy made the day an entertaining happening, beyond just a climbing event. Thank you, Lama Dai! 

The opening ceremony included the cutting the seal of the new competition ropes supplied by Beal, by the event’s Chief honored guest Mr. Hari Dharel, President of NCSA.

By the time the final round had come, there was a big crowd. Many people had come from hearing the excitement and wanted to see what was going on, hopeful of some future visitors to KSCC! Eight climbers from both the male and female divisions entered the final round.

Each climber entered to a rousing intro and pumped up music as they took their place on the wall, the crowd cheered each successive move as they got higher. Both routes were stout, the new holds from SUP’R were challenging and the climbers faced it all boldly and with style. The staff of KSCC did a remarkable job keeping things moving. Well done, everyone!!

The top three finishers in each division certainly overcame a lot to reach the podium. Their climbs were so exciting to watch and we are thankful for their sportsmanship and dedication to training and pushing the sport forward. Here they are!

  • 3rd place, women’s division: Sirjana Tamang
  • 3rd place men’s division: Ronak Upreti 
  • 2nd place women’s division: Swastika Chaudhary
  • 2nd place men’s division: Sajan Lama
  • Winner of women’s division: Panchamaya Tamang
  • Winner of men’s division: Tenzing (Tin Tin) Rai
Women’s Division, 1st place Panchamaya Tamang; 2nd place Swastika Chaudhary; 3rd place Sirjana Tamang

Significant awards awaited all of the top winners, presented by Mr. Hari Dharel, and, representing Musa Masala, Mike McLaughlin. The cash prizes for the winners included 20,000 NR for 1st place, 10,000 NR for 2nd place and 5,000 NR for 3rd place.

Men’s division: 1st place Tenzing (Tin Tin) Rai; 2nd place Sajan Lama, 3rd place Ronak Upreti 
KSCC Staff, Emcee Lama Dai and Wongchhu Peak Promotion Staff

Awards were donated by:

  • Scarpa
  • Black Diamond
  • Beal
  • Casual
  • Bajra 
  • Tokyo Powder Industries
  • Pangro 
  • Infinity
  • Periwinkle Services
  • Hospitality Partner – Landmark
  • Medical Partner – Star Hospital
  • Security Partner – Vision Security Services

The day ended early, ahead of schedule! How can that even happen in a climbing competition? Great people and good planning.

Congratulations to all the climbers. We hope it was a great day of climbing, fun and an awesome learning experience.

Sponsors, Honored Guests, KSCC Staff and Route Setters/Belayers with the Winners

Musa Masala and Wongchhu Peak Promotion feel this was a special day and we were so happy to be a part of it. This growing climbing community is a great example of people coming together and making good things happen. 

We are so happy to have worked with Pranil, Sujit, Rusha and Madhu and the rest of the team at Kathmandu Sport Climbing Center. We look forward to more collaborations and exciting events in the future, Jam Jam!!

On the podium! 2nd place men’s division: Sajan Lama
2nd place women’s division: Swastika Chaudhary
Winner of women’s division: Panchamaya Tamang
Winner of men’s division: Tenzing (Tin Tin) Rai
3rd place, women’s division: Sirjana Tamang
3rd place men’s division: Ronak Upreti 

KSCC photos by Luja Manandhar: @lujaw_

For more about KSCC, visit:

IG and FB: @kathmandusportclimbingcenter

For more from Wongchhu Peak Promotion, check out:

IG and FB: @wongchhu_peak

And for more from Makalu e Traders, go to:

IG: @makaluetraders