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TOPIC: Organizing a mountaineering expedition in India

Organizing a mountaineering expedition in India 5 years, 5 months ago #476

What are the challenges in organizing a mountaineering expedition in India? Overall what is involved in the preparation?
  • maddy
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Last Edit: 5 years, 5 months ago by maddy.

Re: Organizing a mountaineering expedition in India 5 years, 5 months ago #490

Right, to answer your question in a nutshell, there is a whole bunch of challenges in organizing a mountaineering expedition. So we have peaks mainly near 5800+ meter. this means it is no small trek, it is no mean feat.Climbing Himalayas calls for a big expedition. Now, the time required for reaching the base from road head is considerable. There are a lot of problems -
There is no mountaineering equipment manufacturing in India.
Equipment rental is available very few places, Indian Mountaineering Foundation and NIM - Nehru institute of mountaineering.
There is no proper rescue system and hence no rescue insurance available
So basically, there are a lot of challenges while organizing an expedition. But with patience and taking all the care possible, you can successfully accomplish an expedition in Himalayas.. All the best!
  • sheereeb
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Re: Organizing a mountaineering expedition in India 4 years, 2 months ago #1078

As part of a Mountaineering Club, these are the steps we follow usually:-

1) Decide on the peak, after a thorough study about the routes, difficulty levels, technical challenges, budget, etc.
2) Study Leader's Reports of previous expeditions; Get the maps and study the same to finalise trek and climbing route.
3) Finalise team.
4) Decide on Expedition Budget.
5) FInalise equipment requirements.

'IF' all the above suits well and looks manageable, then :-

7) Apply to IMF for approval. It takes about 2-3 weeks for the approval. If you go through the info on IMF website, you will notice that IMF provides rescue helicopters for a very high charge. If your budget permits, you can opt for the same.
8) Contact mountaineering institutes/ organisations for equipment hire (if required)
9) Finalise ration list based on no. of camps, team size, days. You can purchase ration either from your home town, in which case you will carrying cost and labour will increase, OR you can purchase ration and supplies from the town or city closest to your trailhead.
10) Contact and negotiate with guides and arrange porters, mules/yaks (depending on region)
11) Once you reach the town/city closest to your trailhead, contact and inform local administrations in writing about your expedition and get permissions (if required).
12) Arrange transportation to trailhead. Check availability, timings, regularity, charges, etc.; as in some areas, local buses on a particular route are not very regular, with frequent breakdowns, etc. You might want to arrange reserved vehicles, for pick-up/ drop at/ from trailhead.
13) Purchase of supplies like ration, fixed ropes and final packing of supplies to be done here.

The rest would be challenges you face en-route. Others in the forum would add here if I have missed out on something.

Now, the biggest challenge we face as a Mountaineering Club is the FUND. For a peak in the ChandraBhaga range or in the Bara Sigri Glacier region in Himachal Pradesh, it costs in the range of 3 Lacs to 3.5 Lacs for a team of 10-12 members. Being a non-profit organisation, we have to arrange this fund from donations, personal contributions and sponsorships. Sponsorships are tough to get these days as there are many similar clubs in the city and all of these clubs are approaching the same sponsors every year. Secondly, very few organisations treat mountaineering as a sport....they usually say- 'Aap log ghumne jaoge, hum keu paisa lagaye?'. And this sport doesn't have spectators, so the sponsors are usually not interested.

Once back from your expedition, the leader is supposed to send a Leader's Report to IMF with write-ups, day-wise details of the expedition, photo evidence, etc.; and if IMF is happy with the report, they will issue a payment, which somewhat covers the ration cost from Base-Camp to Base-Camp. This amount depends on the peak, technical challenges, route taken, etc.

In a nutshell, if you have the expedition fund ready, there is not much hassle arranging an expedition, if you know what to do. Arranging an expedition becomes pretty easy if you have a good team to work with you and if you start working a few months before hand.

Just shared my few cents,
Hope that helps.
- Srikant Chakraborty.
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Last Edit: 4 years, 2 months ago by srikant.c.

Re: Organizing a mountaineering expedition in India 4 years, 1 month ago #1089

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  • Loneranger
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Last Edit: 1 year, 2 months ago by Loneranger.
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