Aspire to Inspire Before you Expire


Mountaineering Institutes in India

Tenzing Norgay’s ascent of Mount Everest (8848M / 29,028ft.) along with Edmund Hillary, in 1953 provided the desired impetus to mountaineering as an organized sport in India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru then Prime Minister and a visionary, wanted to channelize the abundant energy of the youth of the nation into a constructive field of mountaineering and hence planned to open a Mountaineering Institute.The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) was founded in Darjeeling on 4th November 1954 by Pandit Nehru himself. In this manner Late Pandit Nehru ignited the spark of a new spirit for young Indians. The spark has already developed into a dazzling torch, lighting the path for those who accept the challenge of the Mountains and aspire to climb high.

Formation of Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF)

  • A Sponsoring Committee of the Cho Oyu Expedition was formed in 1957, the success of which on May 15, 1958, encouraged the Committee to sponsor more expeditions.
  • In 1959, it changed its name to the Sponsoring Committee of Everest Expedition and in the following year Sponsoring Committee for Mountaineering Expeditions.
  • Finally, on January 15, 1961 a permanent organization was set up, in its role as the national body, with headquarters in New Delhi and was registered as Indian Mountaineering Foundation on November 3, 1961.

IMF – Objectives

Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) is an apex national body for mountaineering, skiing, rock climbing and trekking at high altitudes in India.

  • The main objectives are to organize, support and provide a base for expeditions for mountaineering, rock climbing, trekking at high altitudes and to promote, encourage, support and execute schemes for related adventure activities and environmental protection work in the Himalaya.
  • IMF coordinates climbing in the Indian Himalaya, organises national and international conferences, training / environment-cleaning camps and climbing competitions.
  • IMF is closely associated with the Ministries of Sports, Home, Defence, Tourism and Environment of the Government of India.
  • Foreigners can climb mountain peaks in India after obtaining the required clearances.

Mountaineering Institutes in India

  • The Indian Himalaya has six mountaineering institutes conducting different types of mountain adventure courses regularly.
  • The institutes are located in the five Himalayan States: Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Himachal Pradesh (H.P.), Uttarakhand (UK), West Bengal, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Representatives of central and state government including the Ministry of Defense manage all the five institutes. The staff is sourced from the Indian defense forces and local community.
  • Each institute has a comprehensive set of training facilities and highly qualified staff. The medium of instruction is English and / or Hindi. They are as follows
  1. Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering & Winter Sports (JIM & WS), Pahalgam
  2. Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, (ABVIMAS), Manali
  3. Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM), Uttarkashi
  4. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), Darjeeling
  5. Sonam Gyatso Mountaineering Institute (SGMI), Sikkim
  6. National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (NIMAS) **

** In 2012, the government planned to set up another adventure institute, National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (NIMAS) Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh.

Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering & Winter Sports (JIM & WS)

  • This mountaineering institute in India was set up at Aru in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in 1983.
  • JIM organized the first basic mountaineering course (BMC) two years later. The institute was relocated in 90s to Batote and then again shifted to Pahalgam in early 2000.
  • The institute with headquarter in Pahalgam comprises of four sub-centers at Nalthi (Bhaderwah), Sanasar (Kud), Shey (Leh) and Gulmarg.
  • JIM was honoured with the Indira Priyadarshini Vriksh Mitra Award by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India in 2002 for hosting environment awareness programs.
  • The institute is governed by the Executive Council consisting of representatives from state and central government, including the Ministry of Defence.
  • Go through the Application Form  & Joining Instructions before applying.

Contact: C/O JIM & WS, Nunwan, Pahalgam District: Anantnag Jammu and Kashmir ,192126
E-mail: principal@jawaharinstitutepahalgam.comJoining
Website: http://www.jawaharinstitutepahalgam.com/
Phone No: 01936-243002

Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, (ABVIMAS)

  • The institute, located on the bank of the Beas River, imparts training in mountaineering, aero sports, water sports and skiing.
  • ABVIMAS offers adventure courses across the state through various sub-centers, including Regional Mountaineering Center (Mcleodganj, Kangra), Regional Water Sports Center (Pong Dam, Kangra), High Altitude Trekking & Skiing Center (Narkanda, Shimla), Adventure Sports Center (Hotkoti, Shimla), Mountaineering Center (Bharmaur, Chamba), Skiing Center (Solang, Kullu) and Water Sports Center (Luhnu, Bilaspur).
  • The mountaineering training area comprises charming Solang Nala, Bakar Thach, Patalsu Peak and Beas glacier. More than 50 years old institute has helped in promoting adventure tourism in Himachal Pradesh and India.
  • The institute, set up in 1961, also offers corporate adventure training programs.
  • General Information is available here.

Contact: Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali, Himachal Pradesh.175131
Email: whmi_manali@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.adventurehimalaya.org/mountaineering.asp
FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/130576133644176/
Phone No: 01902-252342 / 253789

Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM)

  • A prestigious address in the Asian mountaineering landscape, NIM instills sense of adventure and respect for the environment through different courses.
  • The institute, founded in 1965, is located amid the Ladari Reserve Forest. The institutional real estate includes NIM Beach in Rishikesh and Tekla Rocks (Uttarkashi), about 3.5 hectares of boulders and rocks for rock climbing training. Ice and snow craft are taught in Gangotri Glacier area.
  • The institute hosted 1st Uttarakhand Cup, 13th National Cup and 1st Asia Cup for artificial wall climbing at Pine Bowl,15.5 meters tall Himalayan International Artificial Climbing Wall..
  • The institute has led several successful expeditions to virgin and non-virgin peaks including Draupadi Ka Danda, Dudhana, Swaragrohini I and Chaukhamba II.
  • Go through the Application Form  & Medical Form before applying.

Contact: Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand. India. 249193
Email: nimutk2004@gmail.com
Website: http://www.nimindia.net
FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NIMIndia/
Phone No: 01374 -223580

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI)

  • HMI was first set up in Sister Nivedita’s House (Roy Villa) in 1954, was shifted to the current location, Brich Hill’s Western Spur, in 1958.
  • The institute lends itself to the views of Kanchanjunga (8,589 meters).
  • Rock climbing training is imparted at Gombu and Tenzing Rocks, located near the institute.
  • Ice and snow craft is taught at Chowrikhang (about 4,380 meters) and Rathong Glacier area in West Sikkim.
  • The institute features a library, restaurant, cyber café, tea parlor, research wing, mountaineering museum, ice cream parlor, public communication office (PCO), Jayal Auditorium, international sports climbing wall (50*20 feet) and Chima Wall – an indoor training wall.
  • Go through the Application Form  & Medical Form before applying.

Contact: Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Jawahar Parvat, Darjeeling, West Bengal . India. 734101
Email: hmi_darj@rediffmail.com
Website: http://www.hmi-darjeeling.com/
FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/319787844771865/
Phone No: Principal :- 0354-2254083 / Training Office:- 0354-2254087

Sonam Gyatso Mountaineering Institute (SGMI)

  • S.G.M.I., headquartered in Baluwakhani, Gangtok, Sikkim, was set up in 1963.
  • The mountaineering courses are a combination of theory and hands-on experience. The participants learn to crawl on rocks at SGMI Rocks.
  • The new complex was inaugurated in December 2009. The institute, named after Sonam Gyatso, a famous mountaineer from Sikkim, also imparts mountaineering training to Sikkim tour operators and NSS volunteers.
  • A number of preeminent mountaineers like Yangdi Sherpa, Phul Maya Tamang, Nima Wangchuk Sherpa, Phu Dorjee and Sonam Wangyal learned the ropes of mountaineering at the institute. The teams from institute have successfully climbed Everest and Pandim.
  • It has conducted 159 Basic Mountaineering Courses, 29 Advance Mountaineering Courses and trained more than 8,000 personnel from the IB, Assam Rifles and NSS.
  • SGMI trains participants from Armed Forces Only.

Contact: Sonam Gyatso Mountaineering Institute, Baluwakhani, Gangtok Sikkim.
Further details are not yet known.

National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (NIMAS)

  • National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (NIMAS) was set up at Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh in the year 2013.
  • It is the first national institute mandated to conduct activities in land, aero and aqua activities. It has specially designed a course for young students in adventure and outdoor camp life.
  • The entire training team has qualified on mountaineering courses from High Altitude warfare School, Gulmarg (J&K) with minimum of 5 to 6 expeditions to major peaks in Himalayas.
  • Follows the highest HSE (Health, Safety and Environmental) safeguards as quantified in NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety & Health) UK.
  • The institute established four camps at New Melling (9000 feet), Mago (11,600 feet), Jithang (13,500 feet) and Merathang (14000 feet) in Tawang to reach the mountaineering training area.
  • The first BMC was conducted from August 26 to Sept 30, 2013. A total of 25 students participated.
  • The Principal is Colonel Gulshan Chadha, who is also managing HMI Darjeeling.

Contact: National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, C/O 690 FPO, C/O 99 APO.
(This is Army postal service – mail will be received  in 6-7 working days from anywhere in the world . Reliable)
Email: nimasdirang2013@gmail.com (Prefer SMS & Email, as phones are difficult to get through)
Website details will be posted soon

Nimas 1617

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/nimasarunachalpradesh (WIP)
Mobile: 09434054084 / 09435722400 (Phone Numbers may work intermittently), Landline No: 03780-242137. 8:30 am to 13:30 pm , 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Procedure of application

  • Seats are allotted on first come first serve basis. If the required course is not available, vacancy will be given in the next available course.
  • JIM & WS:- Course fee should be remitted through bank DD payable at SBI, Pahalgam, J&K (code 2445) in favour of Principal, JIM&WS Pahalgam-J&K
  • ABVIMAS:-  Course fee should be remitted through bank DD payable at State Bank of India and drawn in favour of Director, ABVIMAS, Manali.
  • NIM:- Course fee should be remitted through a Bank DD, payable at State Bank of India / Punjab National Bank, Uttarkashi in favour of Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi.
  • HMI:- Course fee should be remitted through bank DD payable at SBI, Darjeeling in favour of Principal, HMI, Darjeeling. Course fee can also be remitted directly to State Bank of India, Darjeeling. HMI Acc No:-10833264757 from any branch of SBI in India.
  • SGMI:- Trains personnel of Armed Forces Only.
  • NIMAS:-  Course fee should be remitted through bank DD payable at SBI, Dirang (Branch Code: 06010). The fee can also be paid through NEFT / RTGS. The details are as follows Account Name: National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports
    Bank Name: State Bank of India, Dirang 790101, Arunachal Pradesh
    Account Number: 32776934236
    IFSC Code: 06010, MICR Code: 784002519

Refund Of Fee 

Seats are allotted on first come first serve basis. Refund of fee is categorized as follows in the Mountaineering Institutes.

  • JIM & WS:- 15% deduction if seat cancelled 3 months prior ; 25% if 2 months prior; 50% is 1 month prior and No Refund if less than 15 days prior to course commencement.
  • ABVIMAS:- 100% refund if ABVIMAS cancels the course. 50 % deduction if the seat is cancelled on the individual’s request. No refund after joining the course.
  • NIM:- 25% deduction if seat cancelled 2 months prior. Once participated in the course, training fee will not be refunded or transferred.
  • HMI:- 5% deduction or transfer to a subsequent course if seat cancelled 2 months prior; 15% or transfer if 1 month prior; 25% or transfer  if  21 days prior; 40% or transfer if 14 days prior; 50% & No Transfer if 7 days prior; 60% & No Transfer if 3 days prior; 75% & No Transfer if 1 days prior and No Refund  & No Transfer after the course commencement.
  • NIMAS:- Cancellation of seat two months earlier entitles full refund of fee & No Transfer after the course commencement.

Physical Fitness Standards

  • Trainees should be in good physical condition prior to undertaking any course. 
  • Taking long walk on uneven tracks with load is preferable.
  • Long distance running and regular fingers and arms exercise will prove to be helpful.
  • Trek with 15 – 17 kg load may be taken before a trainee is accepted in the Basic Mountaineering Course.
  • Search & Rescue course requires a high level of physical fitness. A test to qualify 15 kms.

Armed Forces & Para-Military Personnel

  • Serving Armed forces, Para Military and NCC Personnel, should apply through their respective Service Headquarters and Departmental Channels.
  • They can also however apply as private trainees.

Foreign Nationals

  •  NIM – Have to report to the Principal one day in advance along with the Passport and valid Visa for direct admission into a course, USD 650 each for all the courses is to be paid as course fee.
  • HMI – Have to apply for admission in the desired courses to the Principal, HMI, Darjeeling at least three months in advance.
  • ABVIMAS – The application should be submitted 45 days prior to the commencement of course by post /fax or email or through online booking at least a month in adavnce in the prescribed form. Complete in all respects alongwith full course fees by Bank draft in favour of Director, Directorate of Mountaineering & Allied Sports, Manali or the Incharge of the training centre concerned. The fees may also be deposited through the wire transfer SWIFT Account.
  • Forward the following details for Government clearance – (a) Name in Block Letters (b) Father’s Name (c) Date of Birth (d) Educational Qualifications (e) Occupation (f) Permanent Address (g) Postal Address & Email Id (h) Passport No (i) Visa details (j) Married / Unmarried (k) Nationality

Types of Mountaineering Courses

Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC)

  • The applicants must be able to understand, read and write English & Hindi (Language of Instruction may vary among Institutes). It is good to know both.
  • The minimum educational qualification is Secondary School Certificate.
  • It aims to create a correct attitude among the trainee so that we view mountaineering as an art and not merely a physical activity.
  • It stimulates a spirit of adventure.
  • It teaches us to face new challenges with much more confidence & accept responsibility with courage.
  • To work as a team and understand others point of view.
  • To teach them how to make themselves comfortable and manage their health in the mountain environment.
  • To toughen their bodies by increasing their resistance to cold, hunger and fatigue.

Advanced Mountaineering Course (AMC)

  • Only those trainees who obtain “A” grade in BMC from HAWS, C/O 56 APO OR HMI, Darjeeling OR NIM, Uttarkashi OR JIM, Pahalgawn OR ITBP Trg Centre, Auli OR ABVIMAS, Manali OR SGMI, Gangtok OR NIMAS, Dirang are eligible.
  • The course provides information on advanced techniques for planning and execution of expeditions.
  • The aim is to train Trainees to becoming potential leaders and members of expeditions into the Himalayas and produce  ‘Lead Climbers.
  • Trainees are given an exercise on planning an expedition to a peak above 6000 Meters/20,000 feet which is actually executed by them under supervision of their Instructional Staff.
  • You need to submit a report (Thesis) on Expedition Planning of the peak for which you will be graded.
  • You will also learn the various rescue operations in different mountainous terrain.

Method of Instruction (MOI)

  • Trainees must have obtained “A” grade in AMC.
  • Those who have an inclination to pursue mountaineering as a career are Recommended for this course.
  • The trainees knowledge on advance techniques is tested.
  • They are given practical training to handle students and develop instructional ability.
  • It aims to create a pool of potential instructors who can promote mountaineering in their respective areas.

Search and Rescue (SAR)

  • Trainees must have obtained “A” grade in AMC.
  • You must know the basics on GPS & Map Reading.
  • It covers Search & Rescue operations in the Himalayas with particular reference to Rescue techniques on rock, snow and ice.
  • First-aid, Mountain Navigation, Radio Telephony, Liaison with various organizations and their involvement during Rescue operations.
  • Audio and Visual communication Signals and evacuation methods including use of helicopters.
  • This is primarily intended to assist the hill district authorities and other organizations to establish their own Search & Rescue cells.
  • NIM is presently the only institute in India conducting this course.

Comparison of Mountaineering Institutes

  • Mountaineering Courses Vs Institutes

Institute             BMC        AMC           MOI            SAR
JIM & WS           Y                Y                  Y                  N
ABVIMAS           Y                Y                  Y                  N
NIM                      Y                Y                  Y                  Y
HMI                      Y                Y                  Y                  N
NIMAS                Y                Y                  N                  N
SGMI                   Y                Y                  N                  N

  • Duration in Days & Fee (* is the applicant’s fee for SAARC Countries, $ for Foreign Nationals)

Duration in Days & Fee

  •  Age Limit & Number of Seats

Age Limit & No of Seats

  • Number of Batches & Season (Month)

Batches & Season

How to Reach

  • JIM & WS
  • NIM
  • HMI
  • NIMAS – From Guwahati (Nearest Railway Station or Airport) take a public bus to Tezpur (travelling time-4 hours & fare Rs 200). From Tezpur board shared Tata Sumo (between 6 am to 11 am) and ply up to Dirang (travelling time-6 hours & taxi fare Rs 500). At Dirang keep walking towards Regional Apple Nursery or Apple farm from Police station, after 2 kms you will see NIMAS.

Mountains are calling

Hope this information will be helpful to those striving to do a mountaineering course in India. 




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


  • 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.”



  • 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


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.