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High Altitude Siachen Glacier Trek – 2013

Siachen Glacier:-

The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalaya Mountains at about 35.421226°N 77.109540°E, just northeast of the point NJ9842 where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends. At 70 km (43 mi) long, it is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second-longest in the world’s non-polar areas. It falls from an altitude of 5,753 m (18,875 ft) above sea level at its head at Indira Col on the China border down to 3,620 m (11,875 ft) at the snout.

“Sia” in the Balti language refers to the rose family plant widely dispersed in the region. “Chun” references any object found in abundance. Thus the name Siachen refers to a land with an abundance of roses

The Siachen Trek is an annual program sponsored by the Army Adventure Wing. The Army has announced plans to take around 10 civilians to the forbidding Siachen Glacier-Saltoro Ridge in September. This is the only chance for a civilian to visit the highest and coldest battlefield in the world.

The civilian trek to Siachen, the first edition of which was held in 2007, would include civilians from all walks of life, will be held in the months of September and / or October each year.

The trek, being organised by the (AAW) Army Adventure Wing , will involve a 60-km climb up the glacier to the Kumar Post at a height of over 18,300 ft braving chilly winds, lack of oxygen and sub-zero temperatures. The one-month trek will include acclimatization of the civilian trekkers in Leh and Siachen base camp.

Role of Indian Mountaineering Foundation(IMF):-

The Army Adventure Wing, HQ, New Delhi each year requests IMF to select 10 civilians from all over India for the Siachen Trek. IMF sends out a notification to all its Members (Clubs & Tour Operators) to submit applications in a week’s time.

  • Generally this process happens from Mid- August to Mid-September.
  • The selection is purely on first come first serve basis.
  • Participants must have completed the  Basic Mountaineering Course and / or attended a few expeditions / treks.
  • The entire process in completed in 20 days and the selected participants receive a confirmation letter to the attend the trek from their respective Clubs / Tour Operators.
  • The letter has the details required for the trek (whom, when to report, things to bring etc)

Application Form:

  • Reference Copy of Application Form.
  • First take a print out on plain paper and fill the form in the prescribed format, also attach all necessary documents (Appendix A, B, C & Certificates of your Mountaineering Course if available) and send it to the provided address.
  • “Indemnity Bond is a declaration form to be filled by the participant.” 
  • Appendix D mentions a list of special equipment. Please take them along to cross Khardung La.
  • For further clarifications you may also e-mail to <armyadventurewing@gmail.com>

Report to Leh:

  1. The selected civilians would be asked to report on a specific date at Leh Airport.
  2. Do NOT report early by a day or two, as no accommodation will be provided, you must stay on your own.
  3. Do NOT report a day late, as there are chances of being sent back.
  4. The 30- day trek is well organized by the Army Adventure Wing.
  5. Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is followed.
  6. Please refrain from smoking if you want to complete this trek.

Stage 1A

About Leh:-

Mountains dominate the landscape around the Leh as it is at an altitude of 3,500m. Leh has a cold desert climate with long, harsh winters from October to early March, with minimum temperatures well below freezing for most of the winter. The city gets occasional snowfall during winter. The weather in the remaining months is generally fine and warm during the day. The temperature can range from −28 °C (-18.4 °F) in winter to 33 °C (91.4 °F) in summer.

The principal access roads include the 434 km Srinagar-Leh highway which connects Leh with Srinagar and the 473 km Leh-Manali Highway which connects Manali with Leh. Both roads are open only on a seasonal basis. The access roads from Srinagar and Manali are often blocked by snow in winter. There is scarce tree line, hence it is difficult to breathe. Hence drink a lot of water to maintain the levels of oxygen in your body.

Stage 1B

Acclimatization:-

  • The available amount of oxygen to sustain mental and physical alertness decreases with altitude.
  • Available oxygen drops as the air density itself, the number of molecules (of both oxygen and nitrogen) per given volume, drops as altitude increases.
  • Dehydration due to the higher rate of water vapor lost from the lungs at higher altitudes may contribute to the symptoms of altitude sickness.
  • The percentage saturation of hemoglobin with oxygen determines the content of oxygen in our blood.
  • The rate of ascent, altitude attained, amount of physical activity at high altitude, as well as individual susceptibility, are contributing factors to the onset and severity of high-altitude illness.
  • After the human body reaches around 2,100 m (7,000 feet) above sea level, the saturation of oxyhemoglobin begins to plummet.However, the human body has both short-term and long-term adaptations to altitude that allow it to partially compensate for the lack of oxygen.
  • There is a limit to the level of adaptation; mountaineers refer to the altitudes above 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) as the “death zone”, where no human body can acclimatize.
  • Altitude sickness usually occurs following a rapid ascent and can usually be prevented by ascending slowly.
  • The symptoms are temporary and usually abate as altitude acclimatization occurs. However, in extreme cases, altitude sickness can be fatal.

Cost of the Trek:

  • You have to bear for the costs of travelling, food, boarding and lodging from your place to Leh Reporting Point and back. Also for your personal expenses during the entire trek.
  • In case you damage any of the equipment issued for the trek, you have to pay the amount as you will be issued Brand New Equipment (SEALED BOXES). Equipment’s will be issue in Base Camp ONLY (Stage II).
  • No charge on Transportation, Food, Boarding & Lodging from Reporting Point in Leh to Kumar Post & Back .

Travelling Information:

By Road:

Via Srinagar:  

  • Board a train to Jammu Tawi.
  • Take a shared cab from Jammu Tourist Centre  to Srinagar (Tourist Centre). Innova / Tavera / Tempo Traveler Rs 1500 / Rs 1300 / Rs 1100 per person (10 hours  or more – weather conditions apply).
  • Take a shared cab from Srinagar Bus Stand to Leh Bus Stand. Innova / Tavera Rs. 1800 / Rs 1500 per person (12 – 14 hours or more – weather conditions apply).
  • You may get down at Leh Airport if you are reaching on the time specified.
  • By J&KSRTC – Jammu to Srinagar Rs. 400 & Srinagar to Leh Rs. 1100. Beware that sometimes the staff goes on strike without any information. Conditions Apply.

Via Keylong:

  • Board a night bus to Manali from Delhi. (check Redbus) or the Delhi / HP State Transport for details.
  • Board a shared cab from Manali to Leh via Keylong. Innova / Tavera Rs. 2000 / Rs. 1800. Weather conditions apply.
  • You need to acclimatize well on this route by drinking a lot of water. Altitude touches an alarming 15,400 ft after Rohtang pass. Contradicting the pace at which altitude has to be gained.

By Flight: Board a flight from Delhi to Leh which will save you time  Costs vary as per season.

Mobile Connectivity

  • Only Postpaid connections work in Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Aircel & BSNL are the only two networks which work in Leh.
  • BSNL is the only carrier which you can rely upon in Stage II & Stage III.
  • All Mobile Phones & Cameras (Digital Electronic Equipment, GPS Trackers etc) will be collected and deposited at Base Camp before starting for the Stage IV. These will be returned after reaching Base Camp.

Stages of Acclimatization:- The acclimatization stage is subdivided into 3 stages.

I stage: for height above 9000ft -12000ft. (Leh – 257 Transit Camp @ ht 11,550 ft)

  • Day1 & 2 : Rest, short walks
  • Day 3 & 4 : 3 km walk without load (No steep climbs)
  • Day 5 & 6 : 5 km walk with load or 300m steep climb with load.

II stage: for height above 12000 ft -15000ft. (Base Camp @ ht 12,500 ft)

  • Day1 & 2 : 1.5 km walk without load (No steep climbs)
  • Day 3 : 3 km walk without load or 300m steep climb without load
  • Day 4 : 3 km walk with load or 300m steep climb with load.

III stage: for height above 15000 ft -18000 ft. (North Pullu @ ht 15,300 ft)

  • Day1 & 2 : 1.5 km walk without load (No steep climbs)
  • Day 3 : 3 km walk without load or 300m steep climb without load
  • Day 4 : 3 km walk with load or 300m steep climb with load.

The Siachen Trek 2013

I Stage: for height above 9000ft -12000ft. (Leh – 257 Transit Camp @ ht 11,550 ft)

Breakfast – 8.30am to 9.30am; Lunch – 1.30pm to 2.30pm; Dinner – 8.30pm to 9.30pm

Stage 1C

Note:-

  1. BP checkup is done every evening.
  2. Blood, Sugar, Urine, ECG & 2D Echo(if recommended), Dental checkup is done at 153 GH(Army Hospital).
  3. Based on the medical reports & BP pattern for 6 days, after a thorough discussion with the CMO(Chief Medical Officer) the candidates are selected and sent for the II stage of acclimatisation.

Day 1: – Brief Introduction & Allotment of rooms.

Day 2:- Visited the Polo ground (last day of Ladakh Festival-2013)

Day 3:- 3km acclimatization walk at 7.30am, watched Chennai Express at Rinchen Auditorium.

Day 4:- Visited 153 GH for Blood, Sugar, Urine, Dental checkup. Sightseeing – Sangam of Indus & Zanskar Rivers, Lunch at Patiala Brigade (Nimmu), Magnetic Hill and Pathar Sahib Gurudwara.

Day 5:- 5km walk cancelled (Rain). Visited Dalai Lama’s Residence & Hemis Monastery.

Day 6:- Visited 14 Corps HQ (Flag off ceremony rehersal). Post lunch visited Stok Palace & Museum, Thiksey Monastery, 3 Idiots(Druk White Lotus School), Shey palace, Shanti Stupa, Leh Market.

Day 7:- Flag off ceremony at 14 Corps HQ, Visited Hall of Fame, Kali Mandir. Declaration of Fit candidates.

Flag Off

II Stage: for height above 12000 ft -15000ft. (Base Camp @ ht 12,500 ft)

Breakfast – 7.30am to 8.30am; Lunch – 1.30pm to 2.30pm; Dinner – 8.30pm to 9.30pm

Note:-

  1. BP checkup is done everyday at 12.30 pm.
  2. Dental checkup is done at Medical Inspection (MI) Room.
  3. Based on dental reports & BP pattern for 6 days, after thorough discussion with the CMO (Chief Medical Officer) the candidates are selected and sent for the III stage of acclimatization.

Day 8:- Early start off to Base Camp which is 205 km from Leh, via South Pullu(15300 ft), Khardung La(18380 ft), North Pullu(15300 ft).

Day 9:- Brief Introduction, Allotment of rooms & Issue of Equipment. Post Lunch Introduction of Instructors from Army Mountaineering Institute(AMI) & Siachen Battle School(SBS), Base Camp.

Day 10:- Walk to Rock Craft area. Techniques of RockCraft, Climbing Session – Rocks numbered 1,2&3. Jumaring & Rappelling.

Day 11:- 3 km walk with load to Ice Craft area on route visited OP Baba. Techniques of Ice Craft – 2 point, 3 point, 10 point techniques. Post Lunch lectures on Flora & Fauna of Ladakh Region, First Aid, Acclimatisation & Diseases at High Altitude.

Day 12:- 6 km glacier walk with load from SBS training area to Half Link. Post lunch visited the Core Commander Campus of 7 Kumaon Unit. (Unit organizing Siachen Trek 2013 for tea & snacks)

Day 13:- 8km trek cum glacier walk with load from base camp. Crevasse Rescue techniques – I, N, Z Methods.

Day 14:- 4km trek with load to SBS Training area. Knots practice & Ice Craft Demo – 2pt, 3pt, 4pt, Crevasse Crossing, Crevasse Rescue, Shifting of Injured etc. Post lunch watched Vertical Limit @ SBS Auditorium.

Day 15:- Steep Hill climb of 2000 ft with load. Post lunch visited the Siachen War Memorial (names of 986 soldiers who sacrificed their lives for India). Declaration of Fit candidates.

Stage 2

III Stage: for height above 15000 ft -18000 ft. (North Pullu @ ht 15,300 ft)

Breakfast – 8.30am to 9.30am; Lunch – 1.30pm to 2.30pm; Dinner – 8.30pm to 9.30pm

Note:-

  1. BP checkup is done everyday at MI Room at 1pm.
  2. Based on BP pattern for 4 days and after thorough discussion with the CMO(Chief Medical Officer) the candidates are selected and sent for the IV- last stage of the trek.

Day 16:- Early start off to North Pullu which is 150km from Base Camp, via Sasoma, Khalsar. Visited Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment(SASE – DRDO) at Sasoma. Post lunch rooms were allocated, followed by BP checkup.

Day 17:- Rest Day

Day 18:- 4km walk without load.

Day 19:- 5km walk without load.

Day 20:- Start off to Base Camp, after breakfast. Post lunch rooms were allocated, followed by BP checkup. Evening Fall In – Instructions about 4th stage schedule.

Stage 3

IV Stage – Trek from Base Camp to Kumar Post & back

Day 21:- Early start off from Base Camp to Camp I. (12 km)

Day 22:- Camp I to Camp II. (14km)

Day 23:- Camp II to Camp III. (16km)

Day 24:- Camp III to Kumar Post. (18km)

Day 25:- Return from Kumar Post to Camp III.

Day 26:- Camp III to Camp II.

Day 27:- Camp II to Camp I.

Day 28:- Camp I to Base Camp. Celebrations at Core Commander Campus.
Certificates & a CD of Pics taken during the entire trek are given to every successful participant.

Return to Leh

Day 29:- Early start off from Base Camp to Leh, via Sasoma, N.Pullu, Khardung La & S. Pullu.

Day 30:- Flag In celebrations at 14 Corps HQ. Dispersal of candidates at 5pm.

Summary & Final Notes:-

  • BP Check up is done every day.
  • Health is the prime factor in “THE SIACHEN GLACIER TREK”.
  • Every stage of acclimatization, unfit candidates are sent back immediately.
  • You will be asked about your health condition every day. In case of a slight headache bring it to the notice of the doctor or Officer In Charge of the trek.
  • In the IV stage, after the BP check up unfit candidates are sent back to Base Camp every day immediately without any delay
  • In case of chilblains / frostbite, the person is airlifted in an helicopter to the 153 GH in Leh.
  • Everyone participating in the trek irrespective of whether civilian or armed personnel has to follow the SOP and has to obey the instructions.
  • Candidates are eliminated in every stage, make sure you are fit by all means (Ex: BP, ECG was taken at 153 GH at around 11 pm, a day before flag off)
  • In all 21 people participated (8 Civilians, 4 kin of Armed Forces, 9 students from Rashtriya Indian Military School/College)
  • Stage I – 2 participants (both civilians) were declared unfit (Reason – High Sugar levels, High BP & ECG)
  • Stage II – 1 participant (civilian) was declared unfit (Reason – High BP)
  • Stage III – 4 participants (1 kin of armed forces, 2 students of RIMS & 1 civilian) were declared unfit (Reason – High BP, Nausea)
  • Stage IV –  After reaching Kumar Post , 1 student of RIMC reported frozen palms so was shifted immediately to Leh in a chopper (Reason – 1st degree Frost Bite)
  • No accommodation will be provided at Leh for the participants who are sent back from Stage I, II, III.

Info of Siachen :-

http://www.siachenglacier.com/counting-cost-siachen.html (Siachen & its cost per day as on 28/07/2007)

Ice Craft Training

Edit 1 – Poster of Siachen Trek 2016

Download application form from the Indian Army website.

Appx – A

  1. Your Name
  2. Your Designation (if working or just student)
  3. Working organisation name
  4. Address with Phone numbers
  5.  Indemnity bond date (Appx – B) signed date.
  6. Medical Certificate (Appx – C) signed date.
  7. Experience if any , if place not sufficient attach a separate list of places you have trekked or participated for expeditions.
  8. Declaration – Signature of Sponsoring Organization (take seal and stamp of Principal – school/college & Incharge – company(if you are working)

Appx – B (Indemnity Bond) – Stamp Paper NOT required. Just fill the form and attach photo also.

  1. In consideration of —-Your Name S/o or D/o— Father’s Name belong to —–School / College / Organization Name
  2. COUNTERSIGNATURE BY HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT/CO/OC – means Signature of Commanding Officer (CO) / Officer in Command (OC) when your application is received at the Unit Command for the Siachen Trek.

Appx – C (Medical Certificate)


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Introduction to Basic Mountaineering Course

Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC):

“Please park your vehicle at specified parking lots. Parking at owner’s risk”…

Please read the above disclaimer carefully before enrolling for a Basic Mountaineering Course. This course is the first step towards adventure in mountains, however the decision is yours!!!!

First Time Mountaineers; General Mountain Enthusiasts; people enrolled or thinking of enrolling themselves in Basic Mountaineering Course in India; folks who have an addiction of being in the mountains, so on and so forth……

View from Base Camp

Why enroll for BMC:-

    1. Listen, Learn & Enjoy means Listen to your lectures / instructors / friends / team members / chirping of birds; Learn from Personal Experiences before / during / after the course; Enjoy the beauty of NATURE.
    2. Meeting new people who become your Good friends for LIFE.

Why NOT to enroll for BMC:-

This is a course… does it sound to you like PICNIC… if yes, then think again….

Warning: There has been a craze among people in India to do mountaineering… All thanks to the movie “Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani”…..This course is a hard core mountaineering course, where skills to survive in the mountains are taught. Mountain life is out-of-your comfort zone, harsh & dangerous!! So the blog writer will not accept responsibility for your decision, damage or losses.

What you should do at the institute:

    1. Maintain a low profile
    2. Don’t try to show-off your stamina
    3. Mountaineering is a team sport. Help, support, and encourage others in your rope/team.Remember: You win, only when your team wins!
    4. If you’re experienced in the outdoors, help and support fellow students

What NOT to expect at the institute:-

  • Low student-to-instructor ratio
  • Latest, lightweight mountaineering equipment & gear
  • Multi Cuisine Food
  • Wearing Shorts, sandals, and flip flops/slippers .

What to expect from the institute

  1. Moderately high safety standards
  2. Some breathtaking scenery
  3. Army style training, punishments
  4. Cosmopolitan assembly of students, from all over India & a few foreigners

Trek to Base Camp

Be Prepared…..

For the first timers this is going to be like HELL, though you might be surrounded by beautiful landscapes yet you have to undergo a lot of suffering and pain to see such beauty.

For experienced “ active in outdoor activities” this course might be a bit easier however the pain and suffering still exists. In other words a lot of preparation needs to be done before attending this course…

Aspects of Preparation:-  1. Mental Preparation    2. Physical Preparation

Mental Preparation –  

  • Be aware of your surroundings and situations at all times.
  • There has to be perfect balance between Mind & Heart.
  • Will Power, Determination and Patience… these are the 3 words used to best describe your preparedness.

“The mind is a very powerful thing. If you can train your mind to keep going even when your body wants to quit, you can achieve some incredible things.”

A Few Facts about Mountains –

1. Less Oxygen Molecules in air, so large effort is required to breathe.
2. Drink lots of water (1 glass / hour) even at Cold or freezing temperatures (drink warm water)
3. Eat a lot of whatever is provided,…. NOT Hungry = 1st degree / symptom of Mountain Sickness
4. Blood Pressure Increase….. try to  maintain your cool at all times

Physical Preparation –

“In Rome do as Romans do”…
“Don’t be a Gamma in the Land of Lama”
Since moving in the mountains is not an easy task, you need to be well prepared.
The simplest mistake is by not knowing the weather & climate of a place before your visit.

“You cannot reach the finish line unless you start.”

Glacier Walk

Fitness plays a key role in achieving the grades in a mountaineering course. It is important for you to enjoy the scenery, rather than experiencing the adverse effects of low fitness. So be well prepared before attending the course.

  • Start slow and gradually build up to longer distances in the same amount of time. If you start too fast you will injure yourself in the first few weeks of training and you will need to take time off to recover. This will delay your progress by a month or more and will ultimately reduce your final fitness rather than enhance it.
  • Eat well – dieticians recommend that we eat five helpings of vegetables, salad or fruit every day and plenty of complex carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, beans, peas and lentils.
  • When training, eat little and often (e.g. nuts, fruit) and drink small amounts of water at frequent intervals, even before you’re thirsty.  Don’t make the mistake of not drinking in order to avoid having to go to the loo! Please note alcohol is a diuretic which means it actually dehydrates you which is completely the opposite of what you are trying to achieve – sorry!
  • Ensure your shoes or boots fit well and wear socks to prevent blisters. Start training now in the footwear that you will be wearing when you take part in your event to ensure they are well worn in! (avoid cuts & bruises of the new shoes)

Fitness programs are divided into 3 categories – Stretch, Training & Relax.

Before you start doing anything please observe this cardinal rule: You should only stretch warmed up muscles – so before you do any of these stretches please do a light warm-up first. Don’t stretch too far, all you should feel is a slow pull, never any pain. Never bounce, always stretch slowly. People with old injuries or bad backs should be especially careful whilst exercising and stretching.

Rule #1 – warm up, stretch, training, warm down, stretch

Before doing any exercise you should stretch – and that before doing any stretching you should do a light warm-up. You should NEVER stretch cold muscles and you should NEVER run without warming up and stretching. If you are short for time and eager to get out on the road just consider how much lost time an injury is going to cost you! Not only will you have to wait weeks to recover from the injury you will have gone backwards during this time due to not being able to train.

Additionally, after your run if you stop running abruptly waste products will build up in your muscles leading to stiffness and discomfort. So after your run you should warm down (with a light jog) and stretch once more. This simple ‘boring’ advice will keep you on the road and training towards your goals and reward you with a much more pleasant and injury-free training experience. The Basic Stretch Program & the Exercise Circuit are mentioned further below.

“Even if you fall, even if you cannot finish today, you can and should pick yourself up and try again tomorrow.”

Height gain

Trek – Walk on uneven surfaces / paths. So lets know more information about walking…..

Why Walk?

  1. It strengthens your heart, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  2. It improves circulation, breathing and endocrine functions.
  3. It tones muscles and strengthens bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
  4. It reduces blood fat and cholesterol.
  5. It burns calories and helps you manage your weight.
  6. It boosts mental performance and improves psychological well-being.
  7. It enables you to solve problems, manage stress and reduce anxiety.

Walking Techniques – ways to avoid injury and discomfort

  • Touch the ground heel first, roll forward through the arch, over the ball of your foot to your toes, which push off to start another step. This reduces the risk of shin splints and tendon pulls.
  • Walk with your head up and eyes focused ahead.
  • Keep your shoulders level, pulled back and down, lift your chest.
  • Contract your abdominal muscles, pressing them towards your spine.
  • Carry your arms at 90° angles and pump them forward and back, rather than side to side.
  • The faster you move, the better your cardiovascular workout. But try to keep an even stride and maintain a steady pace.

To walk faster….

  1. Accelerate your arm movements.
  2. Take smaller, quicker steps.
  3. To prevent lower back pain avoid leaning forward and arching your back.

Even if you walk regularly and have a good level of fitness, you will still need to train for this type of long-distance walking, though you may find that it will not take you as long to reach the stages outlined below. If you do not walk often and have only a basic level of fitness you should allow more than the 16 weeks outlined.

“If winning is your objective, realize that you have to work 10 times harder than the next best person.”

Return to Road Head

Shoes – Choose a comfortable pair of walking shoes designed for the specific activity of walking. It should have a reasonably high ankle and a stiff heel counter to give lateral support. The midsole should be firm yet comfortable. It is worth investing in a good pair of trekking or hiking boots, and appropriate socks. New boots must be worn in. Wear them around the house, on the way to work, etc, and then on longer trips. Once they have conformed to the shape of your feet there is less likelihood of getting blisters.

Feet first!! There are some common foot problems which are very easy to treat and avoid:

  • To avoid blisters keep your feet dry and wear socks made with fibers which draw moisture away from your skin – steer clear of pure cotton. Don’t lace your shoes too tightly or too loosely. The irritation from the pinching and rubbing may cause blisters.
  • Aching arches are usually caused by pounding when you walk. Make sure you touch the ground with your heel first and pushing off with your toe. Arch supports may help.
  • Blackened toenails are caused by the big toe hitting the front of your shoe. Keep your toenails neatly trimmed. Make sure that if one of your feet is slightly larger than the other, as most are, that your boots fit the larger one.

Fitting training into your busy life – There are plenty of ways to ensure that you maximize your training, even if you feel you have no time due to work.

  • You must organize your week to make time to get out to do some training.
  • Get up an hour earlier and go out for a quick walk with some stretching in the morning before work while it is still light.
  • If you can walk to work, do so. If you get to work by public transport, get off a stop or two earlier than usual, so that you walk some distance each day. If you drive, park further away than usual, or walk a longer route to work.
  • Use your lunchtimes to take regular brisk walks around your work area, not just a stroll around the shops.
  • Find a steep set of stairs i.e. five floors of a department store/office block and climb them five times, at least three times per week.
  • Swimming, squash, badminton, cycling, sport climbing and any other sport will also help get you prepared.
  • Joining a leisure center is a good idea as the local fitness instructors may well be able to design a program specifically for you. Most good gyms have a walking machine, or even better a stair climber, where you can clock up mileage more safely and comfortably, but do try to walk as much as possible in ‘real’ conditions and wearing your rucksack and boots.
  • It is important at weekends to get into some hilly areas to experience walking on different surfaces, get used to the hills and of course the weather. You should wear the boots and rucksack you will take on the trek.
  • You should make the time to walk some consecutive long days: an isolated Sunday walk does not have the same effect as two consecutive days. Nothing will prepare you for the trek better than actually walking. Even if you’re only doing an hour around the park or streets put your rucksack and boots on, you may look silly but it’s worth it.

You may not stick to the training schedule exactly but you need to keep it in mind and to do regular exercise every week. You will enjoy the challenges far more if you are physically fit.

“Learn the difference between physically being unable to continue and giving up.”

Hike to Interim Camp

Note

  • If you are feeling tired or injured you should NOT push ahead with the your training program regardless.
  • Remember that rest is the most important ‘training’ you can do and over-training can lead to serious injuries. If you only miss a few days training you should be able to pick up the training plan with no negative benefits. If you miss 2 weeks or more you will have to revise your training program and probably revise your goal in terms of how fast you are expecting to run your race

“Sometimes you need a day off, a day off from everything.”

Foggy

Summary

  • Always do a light warm up before you stretch – and stretch before you run
  • Always warm down and stretch after your run to prevent stiffness and muscle discomfort
  • Take rest days to give your body time to adapt to the increased training load
  • Alternate hard and easy training days and weeks to allow for recovery time
  • Keep it varied to maintain your interest and to gain varied training benefits
  • Use the steady-state run to build up mental and physical endurance
  • Use the recovery day(REST DAY) once a week to build up to your target mileage.

Please note the following:

  1. If you want to increase your strength then do less circuits but with more weight/resistance on each exercise
  2. If you want to increase your endurance then increase the number of circuits you do and do not use weights at all
  3. If at any time during any of the exercises you feel faint or dizzy you should stop immediately and seek medical advice.

Best Energy Foods – Carbohydrates are the primary human energy fuels, generating the glucose that makes work and play possible. With a bit of protein to sustain your endurance and some vitamins and minerals to battle inflammation, minimally processed carbs, which raise your blood sugar slowly and moderately, are the star players in a diet for active people. Sugary foods (candy, cookies, soda, fruit drinks), elevate your energy level briefly but then drop you to new lows as your body attempts to balance its sugar-fired insulin level. High-fat foods slow down digestion and thereby delay access to energy.

Lentil Soup (Toor or Black Gram or Masoor Dal) – To a healthy carbohydrate load, lentils add heaps of fiber and don’t cause gas. Kidney beans, black beans and chickpeas are also good legume choices and are a great source of cardiovascular-friendly folic acid.

Oranges – Natural sugars, carbohydrates, vitamin C and fiber combine to make oranges both quick and sustaining in their benefit to your energy level and cardiovascular system. Apples are another heart-healthy and cholesterol-lowering fruit, and figs are extremely rich in vitamins.

Blueberries – Like other fruits and vegetables, blueberries release sugar into your blood slowly and have high fiber content, lowering your cholesterol level and the risk of digestive problems. That same little blueberry contains cancer-preventing antioxidants as well as properties that slow cognitive decline associated with age.

Nuts and Seeds – The energy-boosting carbohydrate and protein loads in nuts and seeds are complemented by hefty amounts of vitamins, amino acids, monounsaturated fats and fiber. The large quantities of fat in nuts and seeds suggest they should be eaten in moderation.

Fish – The omega-3 fatty acids in fish increase your energy level by accelerating the flow of blood that distributes oxygen throughout your body. Cook your fish in olive oil to add an anti-inflammatory benefit.

Sweet Potatoes are the fountain-of-youth entry among energy-giving foods, as the vitamin A-fixing properties of the antioxidant beta-carotene are thought to slow the aging process. Sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Rice Bran is packed with carbohydrates, fiber and antioxidants. It also contains minerals that assist in energy during exercise. Use it in equal parts with flour for baking; add it to casseroles or shake a bit of it on cereal.

Low-fat Yogurt (Curd) – Yogurt’s glycogen-replenishing capability and vitamin B12 provide energy; help prevent fatigue and aid in muscle recovery after exercise.

Rolled Oats – Another great glucose stabilizer, rolled oats also aid in digestion, and they contain energy-making vitamin B and immune-strengthening zinc.

Flattened rice (also called beaten rice) is a de-husked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes. These flakes of rice swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids. The thicknesses of these flakes vary between almost translucently thin (the more expensive varieties) to nearly four times thicker than a normal rice grain.

Whole-wheat (Pasta or Chapathi) – The health perks provided by whole wheat reach far beyond energy production; its high fiber and antioxidant levels reduce the chance of heart disease and diabetes. Compared with other pastas, the whole wheat variety is lower in calories and higher in fiber.

Things to Bring:

  • Woolen socks – 3 pairs
  • Cotton socks – 2 pairs
  • Monkey Cap (woolen) – 1
  • Sunscreen – PHOTOBAN (SPF 30 – use till tree line) – 1 & MELAGARD (SPF 50 – use from snow line) – 2
  • Vaseline lip balm – 1
  • T Shirts – 4 to 6.
  • Underpants – 3 to 4 & Sports bra for women
  • Track suits – 2 to 3
  • Plastic Covers – 2 to 4 big size (each for wet, dry, used & unused clothes)
  • Foot Powder – ABSORB – 1 (with blue cap)
  • Track T Shirt (with zip) – 1 (used while running)
  • Deodorant – 1
  • Woolen gloves – 2 pairs
  • Snow / Waterproof Gloves – 2 pairs
  • Glucon D – 1 kg (pack in 2 half kg bottles) or Electral Powder – 30 packets
  • Trek shoes / Goldstar Shoes – 1pair (if your shoe size is 7 then buy 8)
  • Sunglasses (Polarized & UVA, UVB) – 1
  • Poncho (barsati) – 1 (raincoat for u & rucksack while trekking in case of rain)
  • Mosquito Repellent ODOMOS – 1 (big)
  • Lock & Key – 2 pairs
  • Toilet Paper -2 rolls.
  • Wet Wipes – 2 packs (Big) – to wipe your complete body (no bath for a minimum 15 days)
  • Toiletries & Nail Clippers
  • Camera with sets of Extra Spare Batteries (Duracell / Energiser) & SD Cards
  • Electricity converters  for charging as India uses 220 volt system.
  • Herbal Body Moisturizer (Himalaya / Boro Plus)
  • Spike Guard (optional)

Eyesight – People with eye sight check Eye Kit (Need Prescription Tab in the left side)

Final Note:-

  1. Dress in layers.
  2. Drinks plenty of water.
  3. Practice basic knots – Thumb Knot, Fig of 8, Double Fig of 8, Reef Knot, Bowline, Prussik Knot, Clove Hitch, Running Clove Hitch. The rest are taught at the institute.
  4. Basic knowledge of High Altitude Acclimatization (Will be updated in my post soon)
  5. The rest of the necessary equipment is issued at the institute.
  6. Fitness

Me

It is not always about winning, its just a thought to complete the course without giving up.  

Basic Stretch Program 

1 – Calves: Stand approximately 1 metre away from wall with your left leg straight and your left heel flat on the floor. Lean forward and slowly push your hips towards the wall. Should feel a slow pull in your left calf muscle. Hold this for 10 seconds, swap legs, and then repeat 3 times. You should feel a gentle pull but no pain.
2 – Hamstrings: Stand with feet 1 metre apart. With legs straight and hands behind your back slowly bend forward at the hips keeping your back straight and your head up. You should feel a slow pull in the muscles at the back of your legs. Hold for 10 seconds, stand up and lean slightly backwards to relieve any tightness in your back. Repeat this 3 times. You should feel a gentle pull but no pain.
3 – Quads: Standing with your feet together, bring your left foot up and put your left hand on your lower left shin by the ankle – and pull your left leg up behind your bottom. Keep your back straight, you head up and keep your other leg slightly bent. You may need to balance with your right hand on a wall. You should feel a gentle pull down the front of your left leg. Hold for 10 seconds, swap legs, and repeat 3 times. As always you should feel a gentle pull but no pain.
4 – Groin: Stand with your feet 1 metre apart and with both feet pointing forward. Keeping your back straight and your head up, step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your left hip towards the floor. You should feel a gradual pull on the inside of your left leg. Hold for 10 seconds, swap legs, and repeat 3 times. You should feel a gentle pull but no pain.
5 – Hips: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and with your hands on your hips. Keeping your head still, rotate your hips clockwise 10 times and anti clockwise 10 times. Repeat three times.
6 – Torso: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and with your hands on your head. Keep your feet pointing forward but twist your body to the left as far as is comfortable, hold for 1 second and face forward. Then twist your body to the right as far as is comfortable, hold for 1 second and face forward. Repeat 10 times.
7 – Shoulders: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Start with your hands by your hips and keeping your arms straight slowly swing your arms round backwards 10 times. Then change direction and swing your arms forwards 10 times. Repeat 3 times.
8 – Standing stretch: Stand with your feet together. Place your hands together and reach as high as you can, hold for 10 seconds and then relax. Repeat 3 times.

Exercise Circuit – These exercises are designed to strengthen specific muscle groups. It is important to just use your own body weight in the early weeks. In the latter weeks, small weights can be added to the ankles or you can put on your rucksack to help build extra strength. The idea of the circuit is to complete each exercise then move onto the next.
Once all exercises are completed, (i.e. one circuit), you then go round the circuit again 3, 4, or 5 times. You can also increase the number of repetitions for each exercise from 20 to 30, 40 or 50 depending on how strong you’re feeling. It is essential you stretch before and after the session to keep your muscles loose and long, not tight and short.
1 – Calf Raises: Stand with your feet together, about an arm’s length away from a wall. Your fingers should just be touching the wall for balance. Raise yourself slowly onto tip toes and then slowly lower. Repeat 20 times.
2 – Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your hands on your hips. Keeping your back straight and your head up slowly lower yourself so your knees are bent 90 degrees. Then stand up so your knees are almost (but not quite) locked straight. Repeat 20 times.
3 – Step ups: Using the bottom step of a staircase or low bench, start with your left foot on the step and your right foot on floor. Stand up straight on your left leg and bring your right foot up to next step above and then lower your right back down to floor. Repeat 20 times. Change to having your right leg on the step and repeat.
4 – Leg extensions: Sit on a high sofa/bed/bench with the backs of your knees just on the edge and your feet hanging down. Lean back with your hands behind your head for support. Keeping the backs of your knees on the surface, slowly lift your left foot up so your leg becomes straight and then lower it down again. Repeat 20 times. Change to your right leg and repeat.
5 – Leg Raises: Lie front down on a mat or soft floor with your hands under your chin. Keeping your left leg straight slowly raise it six inches off the floor and then slowly lower it again. Repeat 20 times. Change to your right leg and repeat.