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TOPIC: Guidance needed regarding Basic Mountaineering course

Guidance needed regarding Basic Mountaineering course 3 years, 4 months ago #1223

Hello everybody,

I am new to the forum and also new to Mountaineering. I had once gone on a very short trekking course in the forest of Dandeli of about 5 Kms. :) Besides that I do not have any experience in this regard.

I am taking the Basic Mountaineering course at ABVIMAS in June 2017. I have complied with necessary requirements and my seat has been confirmed by the institute.

So I thought I should take guidance from the experienced people out there, before I plunge into the course itself.

I am going through the fitness training, now.

But I have some queries of my own, that are troubling me. So I thought I should start my own thread to discuss my issues. So I am here.

I would greatly appreciate any help bestowed upon me regarding these querries. There are quite a lot of them. So I have made sections in them.

The foremost issue I would like to discuss is about 'Footwear', because I have to get accustomed to any kind of new shoes I would have to buy.

I called on the institute and enquired. I was guided to a senior instructor. He suggested I will have to buy two pairs of shoes besides the gear that is provided by the institute.

One is the regular PT shoes for rock climbing etc, to which I would have to get some rubber sole stitched when I reach the institute.

The other is a pair of sport shoes which I would be extensively using daily for all activities. I am at loss which & what kind of shoes I have to buy, for this. I did my first trekking mentioned above in a pair of reebok sport shoes that were gifted to me. :) But they didn't last long, they are worn out now.

Please kindly help me resolve my issues.

Thank you


  • anilkagi
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Re: Guidance needed regarding Basic Mountaineering course 3 years, 4 months ago #1224

Hi Anil,

Welcome to the forum and to the sport.
These are very general concerns for someone just delving into adventure sports (mountaineering in particular) and not really "concerns".

Since you're already following a training regimen and your post mainly concentrates on footwear, I will address that.

Also checkout other threads about basic course. You'll find some good advise there as well.

Dont buy any technical gear as yet. 90% of the mountaineering course folk don't engage in any sort of adventure activity after the course. I know of guys who wanted to rock the world during their basic course (my basic course fellows) , got an A grade, and are now busy with their corporate and family lives.

Things that you can get and won't be wasted....

A sleeping bag liner (cheap cotton or expensive silk or polartec fleece... You decide)

Thermals or base layers, good pairs of wollen socks, mid weight socks and sock liners, glove/mitt liners, water bottle, balaclava/multi function head gear etc. Why should you get these ?? Cause of hygiene reasons. Sleeping bags and clothing provided by the institute will have been used by hundreds (if not thousands) of people. You don't want their dirt and grime on you. I know I wouldn't. None of these would be wasted cause you could use them even if you're never involved in any adventure activity. You could use base layers during winters , sleeping bag liners during travels , in hotels etc..

Now footwear.

Many years back I went to my basic course with one pair of adidas trail/hike footwear. Now I own (and make available ) all sorts of stuff (technical equipment or apparel) required for an expedition/solo trip. You too could decide to buy stuff once you're sure if you wanna pursue this sport further. Take it easy till then.

You could go with two shoes or one. It is really up to you. But a good hiking shoe with ankle support is a must. Since it is a basic course and since nobody is sure (even if they say they are) if they wanna pursue the sport after the course it is best not to spend a lot on anything.

Most good brands like Salewa, TNF, Scarpa, La Sportiva, Vasque, Salomon, etc make great hiking shoes but, they are also really expensive. Upwards of 10k for good hiking boots. I usually advise against decathlon stuff but perhaps the forclaz 500 is decent enough for the hike to base camp and daily physical training. Woodlands , weinbrenner etc are terrible but may probably get the job done. I would still advise you to refrain from wasting your money on woodlands or weinbrenner. If budget is not a concern then sportiva, scarpa, Salewa, zamberlan, Salomon etc are worth the investment. You could use the boots even if you're not hiking or climbing. So no wasted funds in case of boots. As for something to rock/wall climb in, please be wise. Dont spend a hefty sum for rock climbing shoes ... Something useful and less stiff could get the job done without burning a hole in your pocket. PT shoes? Well I hope you only mean for the duration of the course. After that, if you do decide to carry on, then get proper rock climbing shoes and hiking boots from good brands.

Hope the info here helped you.....
  • jerrypothen
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Last Edit: 3 years, 4 months ago by jerrypothen.
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