Primary Mountaineering Course – Be taught Mountain Climbing

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What Occurs in a Primary Mountaineering Course? Mountain Climbing aspirants can be taught from my expertise.

“Life is both a daring journey or nothing else.” – Helen Keller

The majestic great thing about mountains is a supply of pleasure for nearly each nature lover. The pure magnificence untouched by the air pollution of contemporary life, brings a brand new perspective to our lives. In recent times, we now have seen with the arrival of many trekking corporations there are numerous people who find themselves going for high-altitude treks.

There are lots of treks or sure components on a path that’s technical in nature. They require an understanding of mountaineering gear and survival expertise in a high-altitude space. One must have fundamental coaching in mountaineering to climb tough peaks. A Primary Mountaineering Course (BMC) serves that objective very properly.

Height-gaining training exercise part of Basic Mountaineering Course
Peak-gaining coaching train

I’ve all the time beloved mountains and trekking all the time excites me. After doing many small treks within the Sahyadri hills of Maharashtra, and some high-altitude treks within the mighty Himalayas, I considered taking over my curiosity within the mountains to the subsequent degree.

I enrolled for the 26 days BMC from Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports activities (ABVIMAS), Manali, Himachal Pradesh in October’2022.

Primary Mountaineering Course for Mountain Climbing

BMC is the very first step to studying mountaineering and changing into knowledgeable mountaineer. BMC gives you the fundamental information in mountain climbing, rock craft, ice craft, survival expertise, publicity to glaciers and excessive Himalayan Ranges, fundamental first assist, and many others.

Primary Mountaineering Course teaches you the fundamental issues that one ought to concentrate on earlier than occurring Mountain Climbing missions. You’ll discover ways to perceive climate and local weather, map-reading, the way to pack your bag pack, mountain terminology, the way to use mountaineering gear, the way to stroll in mountains, and way more.

Mountain Climbing Trainee

Anybody who desires a profession in out of doors actions or desires to turn into a high-altitude trek chief ought to do larger programs after doing BMC. Anybody who thinks that BMC is only for enjoyable and is simply one other trek or simple Mountain Climbing, ought to assume once more.

The place to do the Primary Mountaineering Course in India?

In India, there are few Authorities registered mountaineering Institute from the place BMC could be carried out, and they’re:

  1. Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM), Uttarkashi, Uttrakhand
  2. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), Darjeeling, West Bengal
  3. Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports activities (ABVIMAS), Manali, Himachal Pradesh
  4. Nationwide Institute of Mountaineering and Journey Sports activities (NIMAS), Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh
  5. Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports activities, Pahalgam, Jammu

NIM and HMI are the oldest and are thought of to be the very best mountaineering institutes in India. You’ll have to attend for two years to get a seat there. Nonetheless, the ready interval is much less in different Institutes.

What’s the course price?

The course price is completely different in each Institute. Nonetheless, the price ranges from INR 18,000 to INR 23,000. Payment for a foreigner is completely different in each Institute. The price is sponsored or free for individuals who come for the course by means of NCC or the armed forces.

Who can do that course?

Anybody who’s bodily match and is within the age group of 16-45 years can go for this course. Some Institutes have an age restrict of 40 years.


Nearly all of the Institutes settle for functions on-line mode. You too can go to their campus and apply for the course there itself. On the time of making use of, it’s good to produce a medical certificates that proves that you’re match sufficient to use for the course.

put together for the course?

Although it’s a fundamental course, Primary Mountaineering Course could be very demanding on the subject of bodily health. Daily of the course will take a look at your energy bodily and your capability to take stress mentally.

One should put together for the course as early as 6 months, if not 6 then a minimum of 3 months. Nonetheless, the sooner you put together the higher you’ll carry out within the course. HMI gives a twelve-week pre-course exercise plan to arrange for the course which is out there on their web site.

The instructors all the time watch you through the course and so they hold a notice on how bodily match you might be. There are marks as properly on bodily health. So, it’s essential to put together properly earlier than going for the course.

Artificial Wall Climbing
Synthetic Wall Climbing

One ought to be capable of run for five KMS inside half-hour to make the stamina robust. Aside from stamina, your core energy can be vital. Throughout the course, you’ll have to carry your bag pack which shall be round 15-20 kg, and trek for hours on a vertical slope. It’s essential to stroll with weights to make your endurance stronger.

Psychological Power for BMC and Mountain Climbing

Lastly, one should needless to say bodily energy is barely 30% and psychological energy is 70%. No matter you put together, your persistence will nonetheless be examined. There shall be occasions you’ll need to simply hand over and return residence. No matter often is the state of affairs, simply ensure you keep mentally robust and don’t hand over.

To share my expertise, there have been days after I would battle to get up, there have been occasions when my entire physique used to ache and I simply couldn’t climb one other rock or stroll one other mile. I used to query my determination to come back for BMC and wished to give up.

Fortunately, my instructors motivated me and I pushed my limits to the utmost. If I had by no means been to BMC I’d have by no means recognized that my physique is so robust. I realized that ‘We create our personal limits and we’re stronger than we expect we’re’.

What are the issues to pack for the course?

All Institutes present varied gear like – trekking bag, ice axe, snow sneakers, jacket, mess tin, sling, carabiners, harness, helmet, windproof swimsuit, rucksack (100L), rain cowl for the rucksack, sleeping bag, and liner, carry mat, gaiters, crampons.

Each Institute will present a listing of things one wants to hold with them which could be discovered on their web site. Beneath are a few of the options that one ought to maintain:

  • Garments – Throughout your keep on campus you’re going to get time to scrub your garments however at excessive altitudes, you’ll hardly get any time to scrub your garments. So, it’s advisable to hold additional pair of garments with you. Be ready to repeat your garments. You possibly can carry talcum powder/deodorant/dusting powder to take away dangerous smells.
  • Sneakers – Good trekking sneakers (ideally waterproof) are a should. Carry a working shoe for morning/night PT as a result of working in heavy sneakers is just not snug. Additionally, carry slippers with you. You too can carry climbing sneakers (PA sneakers) for mountain climbing lessons (some Institutes present them).
  • Meals – On the institute, one needn’t fear in regards to the meals. Nonetheless, throughout excessive altitude, you may carry snacks, protein bars, and dry fruits with you.
  • Medicines – Although each institute has a medical retailer and a health care provider. However it’s advisable to hold your individual fundamental medicines.
  • Different objects which it is best to carry with you might be – a torch, energy financial institution (carry a minimum of 20000 MAH), multi-purpose bandana, detergent, toiletries, tissue papers, polythene bag, and ORS.

Nonetheless, one should solely pack what they want as a result of you’ll have to carry your baggage. Though they supply an possibility to make use of a porter service for carrying baggage, however it’s going to have an effect on Grades. There’s additionally an choice to hold extra objects on campus earlier than leaving for high-altitude camps.

Primary Mountaineering Course Schedule

Primary Mountaineering Course is a 24-28 days course relying upon the Institute. The course is cut up into three components – rock craft, snow craft, and ice craft.

We had been a batch of 145 individuals. Typically, the batch dimension is 70-80 individuals, ours was an exception. There have been individuals from NCC, BSF, and Himachal Police as properly.

The self-discipline through the course is much like what we see within the armed forces. Getting late for any exercise, even for a minute, was not tolerated and the eventual punishment for getting late was doing push-ups.

Rock Craft (8-10 days) for Mountain Climbing

The primary 8-10 days are spent on campus whereby through the preliminary 1-2 days we’re given an introduction to the course and are launched to our instructors. The individuals are given the gear which they are going to be utilizing in the whole course, there may be a gap deal with, a go to to the museum, and a film proven on mountaineering.

Rock Climbing exercise part of Basic Mountaineering Course
Rock Climbing train

All of the individuals are divided into small teams that are known as ‘Rope’. Each Rope has a Rope chief. Their accountability is to handle the gear given to each Rope and coordinate with the instructors every day. Each batch additionally has a Chief or a Senior whose accountability is to coordinate with all of the individuals for the every day actions and organize routine issues of the course.

Rock craft consists of the coaching of mountain climbing, rappelling, river crossing, and jumaring. Each Institute takes individuals to a pure rock-climbing space that’s near the campus for the above actions.

Day by day Routine

My days at ABVIMAS used to begin at round 6 AM within the morning and the very first thing is to do bodily coaching workouts which embody working for five Km and cardio workouts for round 1.5 hours which is adopted by breakfast.

In ABVIMAS, we used to go away our campus by 8:30 AM for our every day actions. The rock-climbing space was round 30 minutes from the campus. Each Rope had a person teacher for the coaching. Our coaching used to recover from by 1 – 1:30 PM and we used to achieve again to campus by 2:00 PM.

After lunch and a few relaxation, we had a lecture each day from 3:00 PM to five:00 PM on varied subjects. Matters included understanding climate and local weather, mountain terminology, fundamental first assist, mountain manners, Avalanches, and understanding the mighty Himalayas.

Within the night, there have been once more bodily coaching workouts. These had been within the type of impediment course racing the place we needed to undergo a number of obstacles like climbing an enormous wall, strolling underneath the mud, and many others. Everybody should clear a minimum of three rounds of this coaching.

River crossing training
River crossing coaching

After impediment working, round 7:00 PM we used to have periods on the way to use a rope and tie fundamental knots. Ropes are crucial factor in mountaineering. Ropes are used each time in mountaineering whether or not whereas ascending or descending. We additionally had two exams as properly on the way to tie knots.

We used to have our dinner from 8:00 – 9:00 PM and lights had been switched off by 10:00 PM.

Bodily Difficult

We hardly used to get time for ourselves. Our whole day was bodily very difficult. We needed to be attentive for each exercise because the instructors all the time hold a watch on each participant. If we skip any exercise or don’t listen it’s going to have an effect on our Grades.

Adam’s Day – Each Institute provides one Adam’s Day throughout Rock craft coaching which principally means there are not any actions for the day and we’re free to do no matter we want to. We’re additionally allowed to exit of the campus.

We additionally had a rock-climbing sensible take a look at on the finish of the rock craft coaching session the place we had been informed to climb a pure rock patch. The take a look at was not solely about climbing the rock patch however the instructors additionally famous if we’re utilizing the right methods for climbing or falling as properly.

Ice Craft and Snow Craft (12-14 days) for Mountain Climbing

Rock craft coaching gave the impression to be tough however we didn’t know {that a} tougher coaching was ready for us and the rock craft coaching days had been truly enjoyable.

Ice and snow craft coaching occur in excessive altitude space at round 10,000-11,000 ft. Each Institute change 1-2 basecamps earlier than reaching the ultimate basecamp.

We began from the ABVIMAS campus in Manali to our base camp in Solang Valley (8,500 ft). We walked for round 4 straight hours with a heavy bag pack of round 15-20 Kg. After reaching Solang Valley we got lectures on the way to pitch our tent. We had been additionally taken for an acclimatization stroll in close by locations.

Snow Craft Training Basic Mountaineering Course
Snow Craft Coaching

From Solang Valley, we moved to our ultimate base camp at Bakarthach (10,500 ft) which took us round 5 hours. These two days after we needed to trek for hours with such heavyweight had been the hardest days of our course.

Base Camp

After reaching the ultimate base camp at Bakarthach, we had been awestruck by the attractive mountains surrounding us. We pitched our tents over there and it was residence for us for the subsequent 10 days.

Ice and snow craft coaching are about studying:

  • stroll on ice and snow
  • climb an ice wall
  • arrest your self for those who fall within the snow
  • About glaciers
  • rescue your teammate within the occasion of an accident
  • use the gear utilized in excessive altitude treks like ice axe, boots, crampons, and many others.

Fortunately there have been no bodily coaching workouts and our typical day used to begin at 8:00 AM with breakfast. We used to go away by round 8:30 AM from our base camp to achieve our coaching space at round 11,500 ft. Our coaching used to recover from by 2:00 PM and we’d attain our base camp all exhausted by round 4:00 PM or typically 5:00 PM. We used to have lunch after coming to the bottom camp.

Within the night we used to have lectures within the open floor each day. Matters included the way to put on boots and crampons, the way to perceive glaciers, the way to make a stretcher and do a rescue, the way to survive open air, and many others.

Peak-Gaining and Survival Night time for Mountain Climbing

After the completion of ice craft and snow craft coaching, we had probably the most tough exercise – a height-gaining day. To provide us an expertise of the way it feels in a high-altitude space we walked from our base camp of 10,500 ft to a top of 14,500 ft in 4 hours.

We got a selected time to achieve the endpoint in any other case it might have an effect on our Grades. One would possibly face well being points throughout Mountain Climbing by gaining such top in such a short while. There have been just a few individuals who misplaced consciousness on at the present time and needed to be taken again to low altitude space.

Height Gaining Mountain Climbing Training
Peak Gaining Mountain Climbing Coaching

We additionally had a survival night time exercise whereby we weren’t given our dinner and we weren’t alleged to sleep in our tents or use sleeping luggage. Such are the conditions one will face whereas on Mountain Climbing missions.

Out of doors Sleep

We had been informed to sleep open air under the open sky. We got some plastic sheets and we needed to put together our personal tents utilizing rocks/ bushes. For meals, we had been informed to hunt within the jungle however fortunately they gave us some dry fruits and snacks so we managed with it as an alternative of being Bear Grylls. The target of this exercise was to make us discover ways to survive with fundamental facilities within the case of an unlucky occasion within the mountains.

Typical high-altitude campsite for trainees
Typical high-altitude campsite for trainees

In the whole course, the survival night time was probably the most memorable and delightful one. We lit the bonfire and had enjoyable until late at night time. We had been pleased that our painful high-altitude coaching is over and the subsequent morning, we shall be going again to our campus.

On the finish of the coaching, we had a sensible take a look at on what we had realized up to now. We had been requested to determine the mountaineering gear, clarify its use and display the methods we realized to climb an ice wall.

Written take a look at (2 days)

After snow and ice craft coaching, we got here again to our campus and had been so pleased that we now have efficiently accomplished the course. We submitted all of the gear which the Institute had offered us. Each Institute has a written take a look at whereby the theoretical information of the individuals is examined.

Efficiency in all of the exams decides the Grades we get on the finish of the Course. Aside from sensible and theoretical exams, Grades additionally rely on how we behave through the course.

Like self-discipline, how a lot we take part in every exercise, and the way a lot bodily match we’re. Grade ‘A’ signifies that we are able to go for Advance Mountaineering Course (‘AMC’), Grade ‘B’ signifies that although one has accomplished the course however can’t go for AMC, and Grade ‘C’ signifies that one has not handed the Course.

Closing Ceremony

Essentially the most thrilling a part of the course is the closing ceremony and the ultimate deal with on the final day. Everyone seems to be rewarded with certificates and mountaineering badges. There are particular prizes for the very best Participant of the batch. Clear Himalaya prize is awarded to the one who helps in protecting the coaching space all the time clear. Individuals can dance, sing or do any exercise after the ceremony ends.

Group photo of a batch of trainees - Basic Mountaineering Course
Group picture of a batch of trainees

The Primary Mountaineering Course is difficult. Testing you at each step. You’ll really feel many a time to present it up and return residence. One has to push oneself and be robust mentally.

You’ll get so many recollections of the early levels of Mountain Climbing to cherish on your lifetime. Want you all the very best for the course. Get pleasure from each second of it. It’s as soon as in a lifetime expertise.


It is a Visitor Publish, together with photos by Rahul Jaju. He’s a Chartered Accountant by occupation and lives in Kolkata. After working for 7 years in an MNC, he took a profession break and left his company job to journey and discover Life. He’s an avid traveler and loves mountains over seashores. 


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