India – Basic Alpine Mountaineering Course

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  • Duration: 22 Days
  • Grading: 3C
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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:

1) Mountaineers

  • 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 cardio-vascular and strong endurance 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.  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.
  • 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.

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DAY DESCRIPTION MEALS
1

Arrive Amritsar. Transfer to Dharamsala.

Overnight: Dharamsala hotel (1457m)

-/L/D
2-3

Transfer to Manali. Next day go for an cclimatisation trek.

Overnight: Manali hotel (2050m)

B/L/D
4-12

Transfer to Solang. Trek to camp. Start of BAMC.

Overnight: Tent at BAMC camp (—-m)

B/L/D
13

Expedition phase – Friendship Peak: Load ferry to high camp.

Overnight: Tent at BAMC camp (—-m)

B/L/D
14

Expedition phase – Friendship Peak: trek to high camp.

Overnight: Tent at high camp (—-m)

B/L/D
15

Expedition phase – Friendship Peak: Summit day.

Overnight: Tent at high camp (—-m)

B/L/D
16-17

Expedition phase – Friendship Peak: Spare & rest day.

Overnight: Tent at high camp (—-m)

B/L/D
18-19

Transfer to Manali & stay for a day. BAMC debrief.

Overnight: Manali hotel (2050m)

B/L/D
20-21

Transfer to Dharamsala & Amritsar.

Overnight: Dharamsala hotel (1457m), Amritsar hotel (234m)

B/L/D
22 Depart Amritsar B/-/-
DATES PRICE
15 May-05 June 2021 $3,800.00 (SGD)  / person
29 May-19 June 2021 $3,800.00 (SGD)  / person

Inclusions

  • 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), dining tents with dining 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

Exclusions

  • Visa
  • 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.

Visa

A visa to enter into India is required for all foreign nationals except Maldives, Nepal and Bhutan. An e-Visa can be applied online at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in. The e-Visa is valid for 30-60 days depending on nationality and type.

For latest updates and details of visa application, please visit https://www.mha.gov.in/MHA1/TourVisa.html.

Money

Money changing services can be found at the airports within the customs area, banks and moneychangers in the cities. They accept the major currencies of USD, EUR and GBP. Do not accept dirty and torn notes as they may not be accepted at the shops. Double count your money before leaving the moneychangers to make sure the accurate amount is given. Such facilities are rarely available in more remote towns.

ATMs are widespread and cards operating the international network of Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro would work with most.

Credit cards are gaining useability and may be accepted in most hotels, major retail outlets and mid-range to top-end restaurants/cafes. Small local retail or food stalls are highly unlikely to take credit cards. So, it is useful to keep a moderate amount of cash on hand.

Electricity

In India the standard voltage is 230V. The standard frequency is 50Hz. The power sockets that are used are either the two narrow round pins (Type C) commonly used in Europe, or the three-pronged thick round pins (Type D).

Language

The official language of India is Hindi and English, amongst 21 other dialects of the country. Hindi is the most spoken language while English is commonly used for national, political and commercial communication. Hotel and tourist service staff would be conversant in English.

Drinking Water

It is strictly not recommended to drink water straight from the tap. Bottles of mineral water can be easily purchased in hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. Many hotels also provide a small bottle of complimentary mineral water upon check in.

Tipping

Tipping is common practice in India. In hotels, the bellman or porter can be given a token Rps10-20. Full service restaurants typically impose a service charge and that is usually considered to be sufficient. Tipping is not expected in taxis but good to tip if drivers are honest about the fare. Trekking guides and porters should be tipped as this is a major contribution to their income.

 

Travel Safety Advice

With evolving world situations that may occur unexpectedly due to natural disasters, pandemics/epidemics, conflicts and unrests, it is best to read up and keep tabs on news and developments at your destination country and region before the trip. Check on the country’s official website and/or your own foreign ministry website for any travel advisory or safety precautions to be taken while abroad.

As with traveling in anywhere in the world, regardless of the local crime rate, stay vigilant and take care of personal safety. Good to read up on any possible exposure in the country prior to departure.

It is a good practice to register with your respective foreign ministry if there is such a service provided to citizens, to contact you in order to make sure that you are safe and, if need be, assist you should an emergency (e.g. natural disasters, civil unrest, etc.) occur when you are overseas.

For Singaporeans, this is the link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ eRegister:
https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/eregisterportal/common/preLoginEregisterView.action.

 

Travel Insurance

It is highly recommended to purchase comprehensive travel insurance(s), upon payment of your trip, to cover adverse situations that may occur while you are overseas or even before departure. Ensure that the coverage is suitable for your destination and the activities that you are participating in. Be familiar with the terms and conditions before purchasing and travelling abroad.

 

Travel Immunization Advice

There is no compulsory vaccine to be taken to enter India. You should, however, be up to date on routine vaccinations, especially vaccines against water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (examples: hepatitis, typhoid and tuberculosis) while traveling to any destination. You are encouraged to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition.

Recommended routine vaccinations for travellers in general:

Hepatitis A

Spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route. Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation are poor.

Hepatitis B

Spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse. Risk is higher for those at occupational risk, long stays or frequent travel, children (exposed through cuts and scratches) and individuals who may need, or request, surgical procedures abroad.

Rabies

 

Spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.

Tetanus

 

Spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A primary series of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine is recommended for life. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.

Typhoid Fever

Spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.

Influenza

A vaccine specific for a given year to protect against the highly variable influenza virus.

For more information and professional advice on travel vaccinations, please consult your doctor or travel clinic.

For people residing in Singapore, you may visit The Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Clinic (THVC) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital:

Travellers’ Health & Vaccination Clinic
Address: Level 4, Clinic 4B, Tan Tock Seng Hospital Medical Centre
Contact number: 6357 2222
Website : https://www.ttsh.com.sg/Patients-and-Visitors/Medical-Services/Travellers-Health-and-Vaccination-Clinic/Pages/default.aspx.