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Copyright (c) 2010 SIDHARTH RAI

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU
Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software
Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.

A copy of the license can be found at


http://www.daad.de/de/GNU_Free_Documentation_License.doc

This document has been written on the basis of personnel experience and Institute
authorities are not responsible for anything written in the document. I will not be responsible
for any change you find in the future BMC (Basic Mountaineering Course). Schedule is
Institute discretion and can be changed depending upon circumstances. For more details
kindly visit adventurehimalya.org and dmas.nic.in.

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Contents

Prologue ................................................................................................................................. 5

Acknowledgement ................................................................................................................... 6

Daily Account of Basic Mountaineering Course .............................................................................. 7

Day 1: ................................................................................................................................... 7
Day 2: ................................................................................................................................... 7
Day 3 .................................................................................................................................... 8
Day 4: ................................................................................................................................... 8
Day 5: ................................................................................................................................... 8
Day 6: ................................................................................................................................... 9
Day 7: ................................................................................................................................... 9
Day 8: ................................................................................................................................... 9
Day 9 .................................................................................................................................. 10
Day 10: ............................................................................................................................... 10
Day 11: ............................................................................................................................... 11
Day 12: ............................................................................................................................... 11
Day 13: ............................................................................................................................... 11
Day 14: ............................................................................................................................... 12
Day 15: ............................................................................................................................... 13
Day 16: ............................................................................................................................... 13
Day 17: ............................................................................................................................... 13
Day 18: ............................................................................................................................... 14
Day 19: ............................................................................................................................... 14
Day 20: ............................................................................................................................... 15
Day 21: ............................................................................................................................... 15
Day 22: ............................................................................................................................... 16
Day 23: ............................................................................................................................... 16
Day 24: ............................................................................................................................... 17
Day 25: ............................................................................................................................... 17
Day 26: ............................................................................................................................... 17
Things they provided us in BMC 297 ............................................................................................ 18

Things to bring (Buying this beforehand will help) ......................................................................... 18

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Prologue

I belong to student fraternity. I had decent health and did not have any
mountaineering experience before. I have done some trekking in Uttarakhand
and ran Delhi Half-Marathon that is all, I can say about my physical activities.

Batch was heterogeneous. It consisted of students from Sainik School,


NCC students, Engineers, MBAs, Army people, photographers, IAS,
lawyer, trekkers, civilians and some foreigners. Himachal local students
were tough and they helped others as well.

Before joining this course, I will recommend you to start running and
pushups from today onwards. It will help a lot because majority of
activities consists of trekking/running and using arms. We trekked
approx 158 KM which was spread over the month.

I have got ‘A’ Grade in the course and will recommend you not to involve in
any fighting or undisciplined activities during the course (this can lead to
disqualification from course). Always follow instructor’s advice and never be
late. These things are also accounted for calculating final grade.

I am writing this document for me and future aspirants of BMC. This will
help you to get glimpse of activities present in the course and prepare
yourself accordingly to get best out of it.

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Acknowledgement

It was pleasure to complete our basic mountaineering course at Atal


Bihari Vajepayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports Manali;
one of the oldest institute in India.

I am thankful to Mr. Rajiv Sharma (Deputy Director) for his motivating,


inspirational lectures. His lecture on Mt. Everest at Bakar-Thach filled us
with energy to go strong.

I want to especially thank Mr. Jagat Thakur (our course in charge) who was
always with us to provide his valuable insights and to oversee all the activities.

I would like to express my heartiest gratitude to our batch instructors;


Mr.Leelakaran Negi, Mr.Kanwar Verma, Mr.Narindra , Mr.Om Parkash
Pandey, Mr.Bhoomidhev, Mr.Namgyal Negi, Mr.Amar Negi, Mr.Narveer
Negi, Mr.Vinod, Mr. Arvind, Mr.Bikram, Mr.Rajesh, Mr.Surinder. They
were always keen to share their experience and ensured that we are
learning basic concepts of mountaineering to our best. They also
ensured our safety while practicing snow/ice/rock craft.

I am also thankful to Govt. of Himachal Pradesh and India for making


this course affordable to the people of India.

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Daily Account of Basic Mountaineering Course

Day 1:

First day of the course consisted of waking up 6


in the morning and going for a morning walk of
3-4Km. There was PT after the walk which
continued for 1 hour. We were served ‘puri-
chole’ in the breakfast. After breakfast there
was registration. Lunch consists of ‘Ghiya’ and
Dal, there was fall in after lunch where ropes
(groups) were decided. Democratically Course
senior, Equipment In charge, Quarter Master
were chosen. I came in rope 4 and my rope
members include I,Siddharth Gadre, Dwapayan

1: Entrance Chatterjee, Rajiv Meshram,Anshul Jain,Vineet


Raj,Abhijit Sir and Vijeyesh.

Then we were asked to collect our equipments from the store. Now there was lecture on
knots where we learned climbing knots. Next day we were called again at 6 AM in the
morning. Our course senior told me to buy canvas shoes of rubber sole as it can offer good
grip while climbing up rocks. I went with him to market and bought a pair for me.

Day 2:

Getting up early, there was a problem of limited number of toilets due to which there was line
and one has to get up even early of others so I decide to wake up at 4:45AM instead of
5:00AM. Morning tea was served at 5:30AM.

It was running today and we ran for 3 Km after which we were being taken to nearby forest where
we did PT for one hour. Believe me this
PT really need hard effort. I took
breakfast and we were called with our
rucksacks. We were given Ditto(mango
juice) and it was 1.5Km walk to training
area. We were given lecture on rock
climbing and about various type of hold.

Today we climbed 4 rocks. My


performance was not very good. Our
instructors helped us in getting
recognized some holds and technique to
catch them. There was lecture today in
2: My Roommates
evening. Lectures were soothing as you
can sit and relax there while listening. As per routine there was fall in after dinner.

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Day 3

We were asked to bring rucksack in the morning


itself .Post breakfast schedule was pretty much same
where we climbed chimney and overhang. Post
Lunch there was again a lecture.

Here come the big news today we had obstacles


after tea. Initially instructors told us to have 5 rounds
of obstacle. Big problem was running from end point
to start point of obstacle area. Finally they told us to
stop after 4 rounds.

After obstacles whole body was aching and we had 3: In Field (Rock Craft)
fall in after dinner.

Day 4:

Today morning trek was towards our training area. We walked up to the mountain side and
came back.

Today I did well in rock climbing. Whole rope


was helping each other and we were enjoying it
today. Today there was knots lecture where we
learned anchoring, joining and special knot.

There was obstacles post tea where we


completed 5 rounds. We were asked to assemble
within 5 mins. Everybody was running and we
came back on time. We went to auditorium hall

where we was shown mountaineering movie.


4: Mountaineering Knots

Day 5:
Today we woke up at 4:15 as fall in was 30 mins
earlier. We went to ‘Suru Devi Temple’ where
some offered prayer and others took photographs.
It was a long walk.

Today in training area course was divided in two parts.


I was in rappelling group, we practiced.

Arm Rappelling
Shoulder Rappelling

Mechanical Rappelling
5: Rock Climbing (Free Style)
Other group was in rock climbing. Rappelling ended

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Soon and we tried acheval (technique to cross mountain with the help of hands).

After lunch we were taken to Snow and Avalanche Study Estt (SASE) undertaking of DRDO.
We learned about snow there. We were served ‘Pakora’ and tea. It started raining and we
came back running to our institute. It was fun to run in rain.

Day 6:

Today we started walking at 5:00AM in the


morning with our rucksacks and it was a trek to
‘Hadimba’ temple.

Post breakfast other group practiced Rappelling


and we went for rock climbing. We climbed two
rocks and sat down for knot practice.

Today we got our climbing shoes and time to visit


library. Library is good, it has some good books. I

got book on treks in Himachal.


6: Climbing and Descending
Overhang

Day 7:
Today is admin day which means a day to buy
stuff that we may need in mountains.
Instructors asked to buy following things if we
do not have them.

Goggles
Gloves
Woolen socks
Torch

I along with my roommates went out. We did


some internet and it started raining. We bought 7: In Manali Market
some chocolates and dry fruits for our stay in
th
mountains. Today we celebrated Purvesh birthday which was on 5 May. We went to watch
‘Badmash Company’. Movie was average and we came back just on time.

Day 8:
Today in the morning we were instructed to wear our climbing shoes to get use to it. We
went to walk of 2-3 Km in nearby places.

Post Breakfast course was divided into two parts. One team went to Jumaring while other
went to river crossing. I was in Jumaring. Today we learned and practiced

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Double Jumaring (which is used on
slope greater than 60 degree)
Single Jumaring (to be used on slope
less than 60 degree)

Single Jumaring was easy while in double


Jumar if one is following instructions it become
easy otherwise one has to use lot of energy.
After lunch we had a lecture from doctor who is
working with BSF Mountaineering team. He

explained us mountain deceases including 8: Our Hostel (Beas)


Frostbite, hypothermia, HAPO, HACO and AMS.

Day 9

In the morning we went for trekking to hydro power project site. It was a long walk.

Today our group went for river crossing. We practiced in tributary of Beas River. Water was
very cold and after each dip, we all were
standing in sun light to make ourselves warm.
We practiced crossing in five techniques.

Crossing using ropes where one has to lie


upside down.
Crossing using pole.
Crossing making team and holding a pole.
Crossing by holding harness of team
member.
To cross by holding rope.

After lunch we had a lecture from environmentalist


9: Obstacle Area
who was working for conservation of snow leopard
in Lahaul and Spiti area of Himachal Pradesh. We had obstacle test today where our team
(rope 4) showed full cooperation and we all completed on time.

Day 10:

In the morning we were asked to being towel and clothing.


We went to ‘Vashisht temple’; it has natural hot water
spring. We all took bath in the water.

Today we had training on artificial wall climbing. I


volunteered to be the first one to climb it. It was really hard
in first time, after learning technique it became easy. There
was one other activity going on where students were
practicing jump from one rock to other.
10: Artificial Wall Climbing
Today post lunch time was admin day; we all can go to

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market. Nobody from my room was ready for market. It was last day before leaving for campsite so I
decided to eat as much as possible; I really enjoyed the day and bought some essential stuff.

Day 11:

It was day to leave for ‘Solang Nala’. We started trek around 8:30AM. Our rucksack was fully
packed with equipment and personnel clothing.

We went through villages of old Manali, Bahang


and Bahua. It was total of 13KM trek and
became tiring in the end. We took some
photographs and reached our ‘Solang Nala’
centre by 1:00 PM. We were allotted tents here.

We went to tourist area where we bought some


biscuits etc and ate maggi in a Tibetan style dhaba.
We had acclimatization walk in the evening where
we also had a lecture on flora and fauna of the

area. In the post dinner fall in, we were instructed


11: On way to Solang
to bring water bottle and day sack in the morning.

Day 12:

We took our breakfast and were ready to move


to ‘Patalsu Peak’. We started at 8:45AM. The trek
passes through ‘Solang Village’.

We were all tired by 12 o’clock and we had


covered majority of the distance. We were at
height of 12,000 feet when our instructors asked
us to stop and take rest. We started back by 1 12: View of Solang Mountains
o’clock and reached our camp site by 3:00 PM.

In evening there was a lecture on tent pitching and we were told we have to pitch our tents
ourselves at our base camp. In night we were asked to bring our rucksack in the morning fall
in so we can move for ‘Bakar-Thach’ (base camp) as soon as possible.

Day 13:

It was day for trek to base camp. We left by 8:30AM. First 7 Km of the trek was road till
‘Dhundhi’; we took some shortcuts and reached the place around 10 o’ clock. Next was 4KM
of trek, we had covered only 2Km and it started raining. It took us 3 hours to cover this
distance and we reached our base camp around 1:30 PM.

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We were served tea there. Dhaval, my roommate in Manali had already occupied tent there.
So finally we were five people in the tent; Purvesh,
Shailesh, Ganesh, Dhaval and I. There was fall in in
the evening where ropes were given task to check
tents, make dustbins and arrange for shelter.

We played volleyball in the evening where we (rope 4)


played against rope 3 and won by 15-5. There was
dinner whistle and we all went to eat. Here up in hill
we did not had the luxury of plates and bowls, we had
to use mess tin to eat our food. It was really pain to

wash it in cold water, so I and purvesh decided to share 13: On way to Bakar-Thach
mess tin for rest of the stay.

Day 14:

We had a luxury of having bed tea where duty rope had to serve tea to each tent. Breakfast
was served at 7:30AM.

Breakfast (everyday breakfast at base camp


was similar)

Veg (Butter, Jam, Roti, Sabji)

Non-Veg (Egg, Roti, Sabji)

Around 8:30AM we left for glacier walk with our


full gear on which include climbing shoes, Wind
sheet suit. First we reached Beas Glacier where
we did photography and took slides in the
snow. Next we moved to Beas Kund, from
where Bear River Starts. While coming back to
camp we crossed Moraine of Beas Glacier.
14: Glacier Walk
It was total of 16Km journey and we came back
to camp by 2:30 PM where we were served hot lunch.

Lunch: Veg and Non-Veg (Dal, Roti, rice, Sabji)

In evening we had lecture on Ice-axe which we will be carrying with us on training from tomorrow
onwards.In Dinner Dal, Roti, Rice was served every day. Mutton was given alternate days for non
veg and some good Sabji like muttor-paneer, kofta etc will be there for veg on the same day.
Food at base-camp was delicious and much better than we had at Manali.

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Day 15:
It was day of training on snow craft. After morning fall in, we marched towards our training
area which is 25mins walk from base camp.

Today we learned following ice craft techniques:

Duck walking
Side step
Zig zag
Single vertical step
Double vertical step
Plunging

Each technique has it own importance and is used 15: Our Snow Training Area
depending upon slope, energy of mountaineer and
weight carried by him/her.

We were walking throughout the day using our climbing shoes which was not very
comfortable due to its heavy weight. Some of us got blisters; shoe was cutting me on left
leg.Post evening tea we had lecture on mountain terms. Due to cold, at start I was feeling
little bit uneasy but after some time Vicks helped me to get good sleep.

Day 16:
Today we had training of falling and recovery
on snow. Today we learned

Self arrest
Team arrest

We were taken to higher slope where each of


us was practicing falling & recovery by falling
on different directions.

Today we got ‘Halwa’ along with tea. Full body is

aching with pain and I slept early today.


16: Kitchen at Bakar-Thach
Day 17:
Weather was not clear today. After breakfast it was announced that next fall in will be at 11
AM. Rain continued and there was no news, we all were sitting inside our tents.

Tea was served inside tents by Neil (one of


our foreigner classmate). Water was coming
inside our tent so I went outside and repaired
the problem. We all ate ‘Chana’ and warned
‘Shailesh’.

Lunch consist of ‘Rajma’ and ‘Bhindi’. There was


17: Inside tent crampon setting after tea where instructors
taught us how to wear and tight our crampons.

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Day 18:

It seemed to be a bad weather today also. Little sunshine came around 8:00 AM and we all
left for training area.

Around 9:00 AM, it started raining again and we all waited. Finally lecture took place in
raining which ended only with demonstrations. We all came back to tent by 12:30 PM.

We were given ‘Pakora’ and tea, after which


there was lecture by ‘Rajiv Sharma’ Deputy
Director of the institute who came to
mountains to meet us. His lecture came
at time when everybody was tired. It was
motivating and inspirational.

Weather was clear. I went to play volleyball.


In the evening wind was blowing at fast
speed and we had to hold to our tent. It was
thundering and lighting in the night and we
were calculating distance of clouds from us
using time gap between lighting and
18: Clear Night in Mountains
thundering (this was taught to us in one of
the lectures).

Day 19:

We (rope 4) were duty rope. It was our duty to serve tea at 6:00AM in the morning. I woke up at
5:15AM. I took some photographs of the beautiful mountains around us with Amit’s camera.

I and Anshul went to serve tea in tents. It was awesome experience to cry ‘chai’ in front of
everybody’s tent. Clouds were playing hide and seek with sun. I took risk of putting my
clothes outside the tent to get some sunlight.

Today we practiced anchoring using:

Axe Horizental
Axe Vdertical
Bollard formation
Snow Stake
Dead man / boy

Belaying using

Hip Axe
Boot Axe

After this we came to know that we had


19: Good Morning

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lecture on crampon and cramponing today.

While coming from training area I fell down on Ice-Axe. Axe’s shovel hit me chest. Luckily
snow was soft, major part of ice axe was already inside snow and it was not a big injury.

There was lecture on glacier in the evening and we went out to collect some wood. We came to
tent and slept. We all missed dinner. In fall in some 10-12 students were missing so instructor
sent somebody to wake us up. Due to mass absence we were left with warning only.

Day 20:
We went to ice training on Beas Glacier. It was 1:30 hour walk from base-camp and we
reached there by 10:00 AM.

We practiced:

Rappelling
Jumaring
Cramponing (Front pointing)
Cramponing (Flat footing)

It was 1:30 PM and it thought day is over.


We had lecture on Crevasse rescue. We
had lunch at glacier (Aloo, Sabji and
Roti). We practiced
20: Ice Training Area

Z pulley rescue
C pulley rescue
Self arrest rescue

Instructors asked us to rope up, then we were asked to do ice wall climbing and glacier
walk. We reached base camp by 6:30PM. We were distributed nuts and refreshments
for tomorrow height gain.

Day 21:
Today I woke up around 4:30 to avoid any queue in toilet. Breakfast whistle was blown
at sharp 5:00 AM. Everyone was ready and we left by 6:00AM.

I was feeling very energetic as we were


allowed to wear our own trekking shoes
till snowline starts and we were carrying
our climbing shoes in our rucksacks. I
reached Beas Kund by 7:30 AM. From
here on as decided I and Purvesh both
were together for the rest of the journey.
We were feeling tired by 10:30 but
somehow we managed to walk. Rajiv
saw destination and we were energetic
again. We reached our target by
21: at 15,800 feet 12:15PM.

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Mobile was working here. I called home, friends and came to know that my offer letter have
arrived home. It was double celebration. It was only when we were returning; we realized
how far we went. Himachal local students had good endurance and instructor decided to go
for peak with them but they came back from half way as they did not have the climbing rope.

Back at tent we were served ‘Pakora’ and tea. Dinner was good today.

Day 22:

I had a refreshing sleep, body was aching.

After 8:30 fall in course was divided into


two groups. 3 Person at a time were called
for different tests. We were judged on
following parameters:

Equipment Knowledge
Rock Climbing
Knot Practice
Rappelling Demo
22: Free after all tests
Ice-Axe Knowledge and it use

I did pretty well and climbed rock easily. Instructors were happy with me. After test we all
took tea and washed our shoes, gaiters, crampons. People were talking about today night
being survival night.

We had lecture on survival in the evening. We were served with ‘Halwa’ and tea. Following
that we were asked to bring (no edible stuff was allowed to be carried):

Torch
Water Bottle
Empty Rucksack
Rain Sheet

Gurvinder found a good space; we were total of 10 people there. After some arrangement he
made out a shelter for us. There was raining in the night but we didn’t came back (some
people came back and they were punished).

Day 23:

Our tent went out for photography today. There was


call for all to pack their stuff. It was raining and we
thought we may not be going today. Finally we left the
place around 9:15AM.

I was in good shape today and was among the first group.
23: Way back to Solang

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By mistake I put my shoe in stream and whole journey became awful for me. Anyways I
reached Solang by 12:30 PM. I decided to go for tea. We were allotted tents again.

In evening we had lecture on improvised stretcher. We were given permission to go outside.


We went to eat maggi and ate lot.

Day 24:

Everyone was ready by 8:30AM. Journey this


time was much easier we took shortcut on the
way and reached our campus by 12:30.

After lunch there was submission of equipments.


Everything went well. We all decided to took bath
after 12 days at Vashisht, place where we took
th
our last bath on 10 day. Hot water Kund was full
with people from BMC. Enjoyed a lot there and
took food on the way back.

There was traffic on ‘Leh Highway’ in evening


time so we reached in fall in just on time. 24: at Vashisht Temple
Tomorrow there was written test, took a reading
of everything in night and slept well.

Day 25:
Woke up early, Read again everything from Purvesh notes.Exam started at 10 AM, It was
easy exam and I came out in 20 mins. After lunch we had interview with Rajiv sir where
whole rope was called in together.

Evening was free again. We took permission from instructors to go for movie. ‘Kites’ was not
a good movie to be seen in such precious time.

Day 26:
I and Purvesh went outside campus to transfer photos from camera to USB. I took photos
from Gadre and Anshul. We had fall in at 12 o’clock.

There was graduation ceremony and small


cultural program. Everyone was happy after
receiving batch from senior scientist of
DRDO, Mr. P.C.Negi.

Majority of the people left today only. I and


Shailesh went to market to spend some time
and left following morning.

25: Last Pic at Institute

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Things they provided us in BMC 297

Rain Coat / Pent


Climbing Shoes
Balaclava
Ice Axe
Rusk Sack
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Bag inner
Feather Jacket (Half-arm)
Crampons
Mess Tin (It will work as a lunchbox and glass)

Things to bring (Buying this beforehand will help)

Woolen socks ( 4pair)


Gloves (2 pair)
Goggles (any dark goggles will work no need to buy expensive if not possible )
One LED Torch (other torch discharge fast)
Trekking Knife (not compulsory , you can bring it)
Rubber Sole Shoes (buy any PT shoes and attach tube rubber on the sole it gives good grip)

Apart from this, there are things mentioned on ABVIMAS website also (kindly take a look).

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