Mountaineering is a sport or an adventure activity that enjoys massive popularity around the globe. However, not many know that mountaineering is a technique-based activity that requires expertise and that there are institutes that specially trains mountaineers. These are some of the prominent mountaineering institutes in India that trains young mountaineering enthusiasts to scale the summits.
Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarkasi in Uttarakhand is a pioneer institute that was established in 1965. The Defense Minister is the President of the institute. Website www.nimindia.net. Training in various adventure sports is offered in the 15-day long adventure course. There are two types of adventure courses for the age groups of 14 – 18 and 20 – 25. Meanwhile, the fee for these courses is Rs 9983.
The Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) is a foundation course in which trainees are initiated into mountaineering and are taught the basic techniques of it. Rs 20,500 is the fee for this 28 day long course. There are separate courses for men and women and mixed courses too. The trainees would undergo training in rock climbing and snow crafting.
Those who pass the Basic Mountaineering Course with A grade can enroll for the Advanced Mountaineering Course. This is a 21 day long intensive training program. The fee for this course is Rs 18,634. Besides, there are higher courses in Search and Rescue and Method of Instruction for the trainees to acquire more professional skills. The fee of these 21 day long courses is also Rs 18,634.
Other courses that are offered at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering are basic skiing course, intermediate skiing course and sports climbing course.
Other institutes in India
National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports in Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh (NIMAS, nimasdirang.com, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling, West Bengal (hmidarjeeling.com), Atal Bihari Vajpayee Mountaineering and Allied Sports Institute in Manali, Himachal Pradesh (abvimas.org) and the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering in Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir (www.jawaharinstitutepahalgam.com) are some of the other premier institutes in India. These institutes too offer courses that are similar to the ones that are offered at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. However, there are a few other courses and specializations at NIMAS, Arunachal Pradesh. Besides these institutes, there are lots of private institutes too.
Degree or any other specific educational qualification isn’t required for enrolling for the courses at these institutes. However, the trainees need to be in excellent physical and mental shape. As soldiers are the trainers here, strict discipline and impressive professional quality are the highlights of these institutions. After applying, it might take some time (probably years) before the applicants receive the invitation for admission.
Courses in Kerala
A basic course based on adventure tourism has been designed at the Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS) in Thycaud, Thiruvananthapuram. This course offers basic training and knowledge in the risk factor in adventure tourism, equipment and strategies. The fee for this course is Rs 7250 (besides GST). Email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Career in adventure sports
Those who are interested in pursuing a career as trekking guide, climbing guide, liaison officer and expedition guide can apply for these courses. Besides, being a trained mountaineer could gain you celebrity status on various social media platforms like Instagram, Youtube and Facebook. Those who are famous in these fields are likely to get sponsorship for their expeditions and adventure activities. After completing the course, they could take part in many rock climbing, hiking and mountaineering activities that are held in various parts of India to build their profile.
Pradeep Moorthy, the treasurer and executive of Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) and director of noted adventure tour operator Muddy Boots thinks that adventure tourism is the next step of tourism. From working as guides to trainers, there is an incredible scope for career in adventure tourism. It is estimated that there are around 15,000 adventure tour operators in India. As per the data in 2019, adventure tourism is a mega industry that has a turn over of over 60,900 billion dollars (more than Rs 4.5 trillion). It is predicted that these numbers could sky rocket to over 1.8 billion dollars (Rs 133 billion).
“More than a career, one should approach mountaineering as a passion. However, amazing career opportunities in adventure parks await those who pass such courses. They will be appointed in posts like technical head, instructor, activity head and supervisor. Experience is vital in such jobs,” Irish Valsamma, mountaineer who trained at the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering in Jammu and Kashmir