India – Basic Alpine Mountaineering Course
The aim of the Basic Alpine Mountaineering Course is to provide the course participants with a head start with the necessary skill to become a confident and competent mountaineer in an alpine environment. It also reinforces the skill and knowledge that the participants might have already acquired through basic mountaineering theory, practices from books, or through your sports and rock climbing experiences. Upon the completion of the training, participants will get the chance to apply the newly learned skill to climb Friendship Peak (5280m).
The course is conducted by Edwin Siew from Incredible Journeys and his team of associate trainers who are qualified Indian Mountaineering Instructors. A participants to instructor ratio of 4:1 has been established to provide enough safety, personal attention and maximising learning opportunities.
The course is conducted in the cultural rich Manali highland, India.
Training in India, Manali
Manali is a well-established mountaineering training site over the last few decades. It is also one of India’s major mountaineering institute in India. This institute has produced many of India’s mountaineers and instructors including, Edwin Siew, blessed to be the first who stepped foot on Everest summiteer representing the First Singapore Everest Expedition in 1998.
Manali is easily accessible from New Delhi by road, rail or air and it is situated at the foot of the northern Himalayas. The easy access to training sites makes the whole training experience more efficient. The low lying snow-line reduces the risk of altitude sickness, yet it is high enough to provide a holistic approach to mountaineering training. There are many peaks of just over 5000m so that participants can put the training into practice to complete the basic mountaineering course. The relatively short climb of a peak will provide participants a taste of alpine mountaineering.
Basic Alpine Mountaineering Course Syllabus Overview:
- Mountain terrain and features (Understanding the origin of mountains and its birth, Different layers from tropical t alpine terrain, Mountaineering terms)
- Mountain weather / Hazards (Micro-climate on the mountain ranges, Summit window, Mountain weather study)
- Mountain first aid (AMS, Cold injury, Dehydration, Burns, Snow blindness,etc)
- Mountain Navigation (White out, Cannes / Markers, Open terrain navigation, Steep ground management)
- Shelters (Camping in snow and its hazards, Selection of campsite / Bivouac)
- Mountaineering etiquettes and Hygiene
2) Technical skills on the mountains
- Knots & Hitches (Basic mountaineering and climbing knots on snow and ice)
- Belay techniques / system (Different types of belay on rock, snow and ice)
- Attaching to Anchors (Different types of anchors attachment on the different terrain)
- Abseiling (Type of abseils and its techniques on various mountain terrain)
- Alpine rock climb (Rock climb on high altitude)
- Rope techniques (e.g. rope up, tie in, etc)
- Equipment (Basic understanding of mountain equipment and its usage, Layering; boots; over-boots; crampons; gaiters; extremities protection, Navigation equipment, Camping equipment (Sleeping bags; HA tents; HA bags, etc), Climbing equipment (General axe; technical axe; hammer; stakes; ice screws; route markers; Dead man / Dead boy; pulleys, etc) )
3) Snow craft
- Glacier travel and its technique (Safe movement on mountain (e.g. negotiating steep terrain, crevasse crossing, etc), Crevasse crossing & rescue (e.g. assisted and unassisted hoist), Types of crevasses (e.g. Open, hidden, masked, Bridged, Marginal, Transverse, etc) )
- Snow & Ice climbing (Types of snow and ice (e.g. soft, powdery, crusted, wet, etc) / (e.g. white, blue, black, etc), Climbing techniques on snow and ice (e.g. direct, French technique, Front point, glissading, etc))
- Belay on snow (Equipment and its usage on snow (e.g. running belay, dead man/boy anchor, etc)
- Belay on ice (Equipment and its usage on ice (Ice screws, V-thread belay, etc)
- Avalanche awareness (Types of avalanches (e.g. Loose snow, Dry snow, Wet snow, Packed snow, combination, Cornice and Serac, etc), How to understand avalanches in relation to snow and its causes (e.g. terrain, gradient, profile, surface, snow fall, snow anchorage, etc), Trigger action (e.g. gravity, shearing, temperature, vibrations, etc), Survival in avalanche)
About Friendship Peak
Friendship Peak (5280m), located at Pir Panjal range in Himachal Pradesh, is a mountain that remains snow bound all year round. It is one of the most challenging peaks in Himachal Pradesh with a base camp and high camp. From high camp onwards, the trail to the summit is almost always covered in thick snow.
BAMC & Friendship Peak Trekking Seasons
The best time to climb Friendship Peak is from June- mid October. The BAMC is conducted in May and June when there's usually good snow conditions for skills training.
Pre-Requisite to Join the BAMC
The experiences of the participant are crucial to determine the success of the training, be it both the individual and the team per-se. The following are the broad guidelines for joining the BAMC:
- High Altitude exposure or experience - Participants must have some altitude experience (3000m or above), have an approach experience onto high altitude terrain and are familiar to the cold environment and its hazards.
- Fitness - Apart from high altitude experience, participants should have a good level of fitness and most importantly medically fit to carry out intensive activities over a long period of time. Age may post no significance as long as the participant is conditioned to high intensity exercises and is medically and physically fit for the training. If there is any doubt, it is best to consult a physician to state the intention of the training before signing up.
- Attitude - The attitude towards training is paramount and an essential pre-requisite in all expeditions. It is the attitude to withstand challenges and discomfort that the mountain or the environment that heave upon each individual and the team. The passion and the desire to complete the training are important, but participants must possess the right attitude to safeguard the safety of the team and self. The instructors and the staff will provide the necessary lessons, mentorship and management to the training, but participants must also be responsible for the daily well-being or handling chores during the training at the base camp or while at high camps (examples cooking, melting snow or ice, packing self-ration, etc).
Equipment and Gear
You will need thermal base layers, a fleece jacket, a down jacket, a water/wind proof outershell jacket, gloves and outer shell pants. A good down sleeping bag is also needed.
BAMC gear (provided): All technical equipment including ice axes, harnesses, crampons, helmets and mountaineering boots
A packing list will be provided for all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to read about the layering system to be better prepared and choose the right gear/equipment for your climb.
The BAMC is a collaboration with Incredible Journeys.
|Day||Itinerary||Meals||Altitude At Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive Amritsar. Transfer to Dharamsala.||-/L/D||1460m|
|Day 2||Transfer to Manali.||B/L/D||2050m|
|Day 3||Acclimatization trek.||B/L/D||2050m|
|Day 4||Transfer to Solang. Trek to camp. Start of BAMC.||B/L/D||2500m or 3600m|
|Day 5-12||BAMC||B/L/D||2500m or 3600m|
|Day 13||Expedition phase (Friendship Peak): Load ferry to high camp||B/L/D||2500m or 3600m|
|Day 14||Expedition phase (Friendship Peak): trek to high camp||B/L/D||4500m|
|Day 15||Expedition phase (Friendship Peak): Summit day||B/L/D||4500m|
|Day 16||Expedition phase (Friendship Peak): Spare day||B/L/D||4500m or 3600m|
|Day 17||Rest day||B/L/D||2500m or 3600m|
|Day 18-19||Transfer to Manali & stay in Manali for a day. BAMC debrief.||B/L/D||2050m|
|Day 20-21||Transfer to Dharamshala & Amritsar||B/L/D||Dharamshala - 1460m|
Amritsar - 235m
|Day 22||Depart Amritsar||B/-/-|
- International flight by Scoot Airways including fuel surcharge & 20kg check-in baggage
- Domestic flight from Delhi to Chandigarh
- Return airport transfer
- All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
- Meals as indicated in itinerary
- Twin/triple sharing local hotel accommodation in Manali, Shimla & Delhi
- Training equipment: All technical equipment including ice axes, harnesses, crampons, helmets and mountaineering boots
- Camping equipment during BAMC: sleeping tent (twin/triple sharing), dinning tents with dinning table and chairs, sleeping bag and mat
- BAMC support: 1 instructor to 4-5 participants
- Boiled drinking water
- Booking fees for Friendship Peak for climbing from Indian Mountaineering Foundation
- Single Supplement
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- All tipping
- Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover agent insolvency and trekking up to 6000m)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal travel & trekking gear – warm clothing, trekking boots, backpacks etc
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items etc)
- Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions and Incredible Journeys
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the trip:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
The BAMC is conducted by Mr Edwin Siew and his team of associate trainers who are qualified Indian Mountaineering Instructors. We have established a safety of participants to instructor ratio of 4-5:1 to provide enough personal attention and maximising learning opportunities.
Good cardio-vascular and strong endurance fitness is necessary. There will be many days of training on snow and ice terrain at 2500m to 3600m. Participants are expected to carry own climbing gear and ropes during the training. Participants are also expected to load ferry from training camp to higher camp during the expedition phase. The backpack load can easily be 16-18kg. There will be steep ice and snow slopes to negotiate at close to 5000m elevation for Friendship Peak . You should have the ability to trek with personal backpack load of above 10kg for a few hours each day. You will need to wear mountaineering boots and crampons.
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a climb or trek. A training recommendation specific to the climb or trek will be given upon signing up. A good four to five months of training would be a good preparation for the trek. Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trip.