I get to know about Mountaineering through my friend and I was too much interested that I started doing Research about institutes in INDIA. Mountaineering in India has been growing rapidly, increasingly people are taking these courses. Since most of the institutes were already full in advance I got a seat in NIMAS (National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports), Arunachal Pradesh.
NIMAS is located in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. Situated on a hill which is at a height of somewhere between 7000 and 8000 feet, the Institute overlooks the town of Dirang.
The Institute conducts Aqua adventure, Aero Adventure, Basic, Advance Mountaineering Courses, Trekking, Rock Climbing, Skiing, River-rafting, Kayaking, Canoeing, Parasailing, and Paragliding. Short intensive courses for civil and military personal. Courses on character building training through self-discipline, teamwork, adventure, hardship, risk, and workshops on familiarity with nature. Special courses are also conducted on request.
Adventure Course: Adventure course is organized separately for boys and girls as well as mixed in the age group of 14 to 18 years. The objective of this 14/15 days course is to develop the physical and mental capabilities of trainees and to inculcate in them the spirit of Adventure. It is designed to instill a sense of comradeship, self-discipline, selflessness, self-reliance and physical fitness. The course includes lessons in rock climbing, trekking in high Mountains (up to 12,000 feet), waterman-ship including kayaking, cross country race and live exercise on leadership and communication skill.
Basic Mountaineering Course: The objective of this 28 days’ course is to attract young men & women towards the sport of mountaineering and teach them its techniques. The course includes theoretical and practical training in rock climbing, snow and ice crafts up to an altitude of 16,200 feet. Basic knowledge of meteorology, geography, map reading, first aid, and ecology and environment preservation are also imparted. The maximum number of participants in each course is 40 students.
Advance Mountaineering Course: Trainees of Basic Course, who have achieved the desired standards and graded ‘A’ are eligible to undergo this 28 days’ advance course. The capacity of each advance course is 40 students. The objective of the course is to make the trainees fit to join mountaineering expeditions. Training is imparted on advanced techniques of mountain climbing including unaided climbing and snow & ice crafts at and beyond 17,000 feet. Trainees attempt to scale a peak of 19,000 feet during this course.
National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (NIMAS)
- Dirang, west kameng Arunachal Pradesh Postal address-NIMAS, Pin 900190 c/o 99 APO
- Nearest Railway Station- Dekhargaon (Tejpur Assam)
- Nearest Airport: Guwahati (Assam)
- For Course Reservations+91-8171329941
How to Reach NIMAS.
Guwahati – Tezpur – Bhalukpong – Bomdila – Dirang = 380Km
First, you need to reach Guwahati, Assam.
- From Guwahati, there are 1-2 direct shared Sumo to Dirang. You need to book in advance. You can contact Dream Tour &Travels(+91-9435196981, +91-9436075941, 0361-2639617) to book seat in advance.
- From Guwahati Sumo stand, you could ride a sumo all the way to Tezpur. From Tezpur you could transit to Bomdila, from there many options are available to Dirang.
- There is a direct bus early morning from Guwahati to Bomdila by ASTC (Assam State Transport Corporation. It departs from Guwahati ISBT at 6 in the morning and arrives at Bomdila in the evening. It takes about 10 hours to cover the distance of around 340 KM between Guwahati and Bomdila.
NIMAS – ADVENTURE AWAITS
Advance Mountaineering Course: 28 Days Duration
With an opening ceremony by the Director Col Sarfraz Singh and prayers at the school the course started with an introduction on the school history and the upcoming program for the next 28days. Both Basic Mountaineering batch and Advance Mountaineering batch were excited about the upcoming programs. We were issued with all the mountaineering gears which were needed for the next 28days.
The next one week of the program started with a daily morning walk(5km-8km) to get students acclimatizes to the high altitude. Followed by the morning breakfast we used to head towards the Rock area to practice Rock Climbing, Jumaring, Abseiling, Bouldering etc. Advance teams were exposed to intensive training on Jumaring, & load carrying all the way up.
After lunch, we had theory classes like introduction to mountaineering equipment, types of knots and hitches, map reading, medical class.
After a week we packed all our gears and equipment needed for the next adventure and started our journey to New Mewling. The Sumo ride to New Mewling takes you through SELA pass. The Sela Pass is a high-altitude mountain pass located on the border between the Tawang and West Kameng Districts of Arunachal Pradesh state in India. It is at an altitude of 13700 feet. Snow covering all over the place, the view was too stunning.
Next few days we spent on Rock Climbing area more focus was given on this as it’s one of the basics of mountaineering. Then we went to Mago (24km from New Mewling) which was at an altitude of around 12,000 feet.
Then from Mago, we trekked to the next campsite which was Jithang. It was a long day of walk. We reached around noon at the site had our lunch. In the evening we saw heavy snowfall, which I was witnessing for the first time. Next morning, we started our journey to Meerathang (15500 feet) and then we went to Meerathang Glacier (16200 feet).
We pitched our tents and rested for the day. Next 5. Passing through beautiful trains and snow bridges we all managed to arrive at the campsite safely. While heavy winds make setting up tents at the high altitude a bit challenging. We made human chains to beat the snow until the floor was hard enough then started to pitch the tents. Some were very much exhausted and just rested. It started to continue heavy snowing. We had to keep clearing off our tents roof to avoid it from dropping off.
An awesome sunrise in the valley just amazed the beauty of nature and there stood our mighty 30-meter ice wall waiting for us to start our training. Prior to the actual climb, we did a few rounds of training on the nearby slope. 10-Point, 2-Point, 3-point and 4-Point climbing was revised and we practiced for few sessions. All the safety measures were taken and then we started to practice our climbing on the Ice Wall.
Being in the hands of well-experienced teachers learning to climb an ice wall was much more interesting. Our teacher climbed up and fixed the rope and we had to jumar up. It was much easier, exciting to jumar on ice wall than on a rock surface. The crampons supported with a good grip
Last day of the glacier training was an acclimatization hike up to the Gorichen glacier. We had roped in the group and started to take a glacier marching. We would always stay active to take note of the hidden crevasses. The experience and nature are just too awesome make you immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. After 3 hour walk, we reached one of the highest point, as we did not have much time we decided to make a stop at that point and detour back as we had to move our camp back to the basecamp.
As our snow training was over we had to head back to New Mewling, we spent a night at Mago before descending. Then we have an endurance test at New Mewling. For endurance, one has to carry 20Kg load for guys and 15kg load for girls, we had to run a distance of 8km at high altitude. It was a bit exhausting to carry the heavy load and run but was fun to see and experience as most finished the race successfully. From New Mewling vehicle had to pick us up for our next stop to Tawang. At Tawang, we visit Tawang Monastery, which is the largest monastery in India and second largest in the world. We went for sightseeing around the location for the rest of the day. Next day early morning we departed back to institute at Dirang. We had last few more day left to complete the course. Classes on Expedition Planning & final written exam was conducted. On the last day, all were awarded the certificates with a campfire in evening and ends our journey at NIMAS.
NIMAS is not for the soft-hearted people. To successfully accomplish Mountaineering training at NIMAS:
- one should have a very strong determination and never give up mindset because NIMAS has the toughest trek in comparison to other institutes.
- Endure in harsh weather. We get a lot of rainfall and snowfall. Initially, we were afraid but then we know how to tackle this. I know how lucky we feel now to get a situation like this though we were complaining a lot at that time.
- You won’t get luxury which some institutes provide. This will definitely help you in becoming successful mountaineer
- Instructors are very supportive and helpful and will always motivate you to push your limits which will help you in polishing your skills
- Just Don’t expect a luxury and be prepared to listen “mountains main aesa hota hai” and believe me this line will help you in adjusting yourself which in turn will help you in becoming a successful mountaineer.