Gowri's passion for Rock Climbing and Snakes

I’ve always loved the outdoors. I’ve spent a big part of my childhood scrambling on rocks and trees. At the age of 12 I discovered my love for snakes. We had a couple of ex-students at school working on a project with snakes - so every day I would annoy them, asking if I could “hang-out” with the snakes. I would spend all my free classes with a Sand Boa on my lap staring at that beautiful creature.

I had developed a very close relationship with nature and the outdoors. I was in the US studying Environmental Science when I went for my first climb. In climbing I found two of my passions - scrambling and the outdoors - combine together, making the perfect concoction in my elixir of life. I have been rock climbing for the past 7 years. My husband and I are guides, we take people to explore the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest which is great as I can also pursue my love for climbing in the form of tree climbing during these expeditions. I have had the privilege to climb some beautiful trees, some of them more than 1000 years old.
It is believed that women are better climbers than men, we use technique and nimbleness, conserving more energy for longer climbs as compared to men who use brute force. But unfortunately, climbing remains a male dominated sport. We started an initiative - CLAW “Climb Like A Woman" to encourage and nurture more women in the climbing scene. I want more people to experience the joy of climbing, for me it’s almost meditative.
I remember one of the climbs, I was nervous as it was a different terrain. I went with a friend and her boyfriend. They had reached the top and I was half way through. I was lead climbing, trying to keep my mental focus, when they called out to me saying there was a beautiful Perigrine Falcon up there. I didn’t think a falcon would just sit there waiting for me, but nevertheless I inched forward. As I hauled myself up, there - right in front of me, was one of the most beautiful creatures I had ever seen, a majestic Perigrine almost waiting for my arrival. I vividly remember staring at that bird thinking “Wow, THIS is why I climb” - Gowri @gowrivaranashi on Instagram

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