HMI (HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINEERING INSTITUTE)
After the successful ascent of Mount Everest on 29th May 1953, by Late Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary, the mountaineering in India got impetus. Consequently the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was established on 4th November 1954 by personal initiative of Late Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru the first Prime Minister of India and Dr.B.C.Roy the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, which was then the hub centre of all mountaineering activities in India.
Late Maj N.D. Jayal was the first Principal whereas Late Tenzing Norgay was the Director of Field Training of the institute.
The institute is located at an altitude of 6,800 feet above sea level.
AIM OF THE INSTITUTE:
The object of the institute as contained in Memorandum of Association is as under
"The object of the institute will be to encourage and promote the science and art of mountaineering among -
a ) Its members , including honorary , associate and life members , and
b ) Such outsiders as may be especially enrolled as students by the Executive Council for the purpose , for a specified term or terms , in order that the enterprising member of the community may take a healthy interest in the development of mountaineering activities in the Himalayan and Karakoram range as the sport or as scientific pursuit."
The H.M.I conducts the following courses:
A) BASIC MOUNTAINEERING COURSE:
The objects of the basic course are:
(a) to teach the trainees both theoretical and practical mountaineering techniques
(b) to create attitude among the trainees so that they may view mountaineering as an art and not exclusively as a physical activity
(c) to stimulate in them an incentive to higher endeavour
(d) to infuse in them in outline, scientific subject dealing with all important aspects of the mountains and mountaineering
(e) to make available to the trainees suitable and relevant literature and reading material on mountaineering
(f) to teach them how to make themselves comfortable and preserve their health in new environment,
(g) to toughen up their bodies, thereby increasing their resistance to cold, hunger and fatigue.
No effort is spared at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute to cultivate all these essential traits and qualities amongst the trainees. An aspiring mountaineer is conditioned and shaped here by a tough Basic Course for 28 days, 20 of which are spent on the mountains, up to 6097m/20,000 ft in altitude. The Base Camp, 4 days trek and 85 km from Darjeeling, is situated at an altitude of 14,700 ft amidst beautiful surroundings in Western Sikkim. The trainees attempt the neighbouring peaks during field training.
Basic Courses are organised 6 times a year, during March-April-May, September-October, October-November and November-December.
Note: May course is reserved for women only.
B) ADVANCE MOUNTAINEERING COURSE:
The Advance Course provides additional training and experience of climbing after obtaining appropriate grades in the Basic Course and recommended for Advance Course. Beside advance techniques of climbing, the course includes lessons and exercise in planning and organizing expeditions. The course is of 28 days.
Beside attending lectures on the academic aspects of mountaineering and bouldering on Tenzing and Gombu rocks, the trainees under take exercise in load carrying and trekking around Darjeeling to prepare themselves for the approach march to the Base Camp and field beyond snowline.
Approach to Base Camp begins from Yoksum in West Sikkim 5,800 ft., the end of 90 km bus journey from Darjeeling. The 75 km distance to Base Camp is covered by trekking in 4 days. The trek provides experience of passing through a sub-alpine forest of Western Sikkim.
It includes training in snow and ice craft, advanced rock climbing, use of latest climbing equipment, skills of crevasse crossing and mountain rescue and camp setting and climbing peaks in course of training. The course terminates with a formal Graduation Ceremony when the students are presented with their qualification badges.
C) ADVENTURE COURSE:
The aim of the Adventure Course is to instil the spirit of Adventure among boys and girls and also among adults. It also provides a stimulating experience of physical outdoor pursuits, such as canoeing, rock climbing, trekking and various events of leisure sports, offered by the course.
The Adventure Course is open to foreign candidates as well.
Subsidised fee mentioned above is for Indian citizens only. Foreign Nationals may join Adventure, Basic and Advance courses by paying course fee of US$250, $500, $500 respectively. They will be permitted to join these courses subject to their obtaining Restricted /Protected Area Permits, wherever necessary from the Competent Authority, prior to their visit and their complying with the instructions of the Government of India in this regard. Foreign nationals should apply for admission in the said courses to the Principal, H.M.I, Darjeeling three months in advance giving their full particulars e.g., name, age, nationality, occupation/profession, passport number, visa number, permanent address and local address(if any) along with a copy of the Restricted /Protected Area Permits obtained by them for their visit from the Competent Authority. Total of 10 Foreign Students can be accommodated in every course.
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