A Career in Mountaineering in India

A thrill-seeker, adventure junkie, die-hard fan of mountains, an acrophile, are you? Well, then it’s high time to orchestrate your recreational activity and passion into a happening and promising revenue-generating career. There is the scope of establishing a vocation for oneself in almost any sphere of this world. Today we shall discuss one such extraordinary livelihood which is not known by many and yet adequately doing well.

What is Mountaineering?

Mountaineering is referred to as the sport or activity of climbing mountains. The person who takes part in mountaineering is known as a mountaineer. There subsists even major mountain ranges in India and they have peaks of over 1000 meters from amongst those Kangchenjunga is the third highest summit in the world ranging straight 28,169 ft. Earlier the career score and interest of people in this area were almost non-existent due to numerous factors. However, the advancement in technology has brought about a change in this sector and made it available as a career. The mountaineers have a spirited and fierce lifestyle and a career in this sector is a dream come true for mountain lovers. However, there are multiple drawbacks as well so let us discuss a few of the prominent merits and demerits of mountaineering. 

Pros

  1. Adventurous life
  2. Learning new skills
  3. Challenging oneself
  4. Exploration and Research Opportunities
  5. The resurrection of health and mind

Cons

  1. High Risk
  2. Isolation
  3. Climate changes
  4. Too many challenges
  5. No luxury

Career Options In Mountaineering

As soon as we hear the word mountaineering the first thing that comes to mind is the climbers who go and about the hard work to reach the summits and make a name for themselves. Apart from this component, the career range in mountaineering is quite broad. One need not only go on with the only aim of climbing the highest peak but they can also pursue a career in the field of mountaineering in numerous other ways. The word mountaineering comprises walking, hiking, camping, snow trekking, and climbing and one can make a career out of any of these recreational activities. Let us now get to know the career classification in this sector.

1. Porter:

The job of a porter in the mountaineering activities is to manage and provide assistance to the individuals who are climbing or hiking or trekking on the mountains in lifting the load that they carry. This job requires no specific qualification or certificate and one can seek to become a porter as long as he/she is physically fit and mentally strong and if they are passionate about working in the mountains.

A porter can earn somewhere near Rs.60,000-Rs.1,80,000 per year.

2. Trekking Guide:

A trekking guide is a person who provides assistance and guidance to the individuals who seek to go trekking. The main objective of such guides is to make sure that the clients are safe and secure as well as they ensure that the onlookers get to make the most of their trip by all possible means. The basic mountaineering course is best suited for this job and one can make sure to get to know about the places and knowledge of the landscapes.

A trekking guide can earn a sum of Rs.3-5 lakhs per year in most cases.

3. Climbing Guide:

As the name suggests, a claiming guide is the individual assisting in climbing trips or events and basically, he/she is in charge of making sure of the security and timely return of the climbers. This is a pretty cool job as it enables meeting a vast variety of people from across the globe which definitely enhances the communication skills of an individual.

A climbing guide can expect an income of Rs.4-5 lakhs per annum based on the experience and goodwill on one’s name.

4. Liaison Officer:

Liaison officers are officers who are appointed by the government in order to oversee the proper administration of trekking, climbing, hiking, or camping activities organized in the states so as to ensure the safety and credibility of the individuals in the government part.

A liaison officer can earn up to Rs.15,000-Rs.16,000 depending on the post and years of practice.

5. Agency Owner:

Every place where the services of trekking, climbing, hiking, snow trekking, or camping can be availed, there is always an agency that manages all such activities. Hence, one can look forward to becoming an agency owner where all the mountaineering activities can be attended to and many people would work to ensure that.

An agency owner can expect to earn a revenue of Rs.5-10 lakh per annum and there are high chances of increasing it if the agency operates well.

Eligibility Criteria

As far as eligibility is concerned one may not really need to pass any certain entrance test or require a minimum percentage in particular subjects as further training pertains to the inclusion of both the physical as well as theoretical knowledge which can be learned on the training itself. Nonetheless, the requirement of physical fitness is always fundamental in any sports activity, so let us now discuss a few such practices which can benefit the aspirant in the training term for the basic mountaineering course.

Firstly, the age of the candidate should be somewhere between 18-35 years which may be readjusted in rare circumstances. The practice for physical training should be enforced right before 6-7 months and most such practices include at least a few of the ones mentioned below.

  • Running ( 5-6 km )
  • Weightlifting practice for a few miles ( 10-20 kg )
  • Trekking
  • Climbing
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Yoga

The physical training will strengthen the physical and mental prospects as well as improve one’s ability to perform better in the course duration and so it is highly recommended. The individual seeking admission to the mountaineering institute should make sure to remain true to his/her practice schedule and intensify the physical activities gradually.

Training Fees

The training fees stand different for the varied courses one opts for. There are specifically four courses which are popular when it comes to mountaineering and hence the expenses differ for each one of them. Also, the institutions play a vital role in determining how much one needs to spend on the training. For the courses whose duration is somewhere between 15-20 days, one may need to pay Rs.8,000-Rs.15,000. Accordingly, for courses ranging between 20-28 days, one may have to spend Rs.15,000-20,000.

Various Courses

The courses are usually standardized for outshining the classic skills that one may have in mountain climbing. The course duration varies between a period of 20-28 days depending on the course that one opts for. The aspirant has to go through a series of physical strain during the period of training. The training usually comprises of the rock craft, ropework, camp craft, navigation, first aid, physiology, endurance, strength, mental fitness, and ice craft potentials of the prospect. One thing for which the individual must be definitely prepared is the lifting of weight as the training requires walking for miles and miles with around 15-20 kg backpack in which the essentials and equipment are held up.

Any aspirant ready to devour the rest of their existence on the tentative heights of mountains can look forward to any of the courses mentioned below.

  • Basic Mountaineering Course
  • Advance Mountaineering Course
  • Search And Rescue Course
  • Method of Instruction Course
  • Rock Climbing Course
  • Short Term Adventure Course
  • Mountaineering Refresher Course

These courses are indeed very practical in nature yet the theoretical knowledge cannot be neglected. Henceforth, the candidates are provided training throughout the day and at the end of the day, lessons on mountain terminology, rescue techniques, species, glaciers, mountain equipment are provided.

Training Institutions

In India, the most prominent institutes in delivering mountaineering skills to several aspirants count up to five. They have prevailed for decades and their contribution towards furnishing the future of mountaineers has made a massive difference in the way people perceive this sport as a career at present. They provide specialized training to their students by providing them situational expeditions and camping virtues and their names are enlisted below.

  • Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali
  • Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering, Pahalgam
  • Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi
  • National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Arunachal Pradesh

Other than the above-mentioned prominent and recognized institutes there are a few others who are doing relatively good and they are enumerated below.

  • Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Gulmarg
  • Sonam Gyatso Mountaineering Institute, Gangtok

Career Scope

All in all, a career in mountaineering can be the best choice as the hustle in the lifestyles of people has brought about a huge modification in the way people perceive outings. The onset of globalization has enabled individuals to travel any part of any country which brings the desire to visit the wilderness. Hence, the demand for mountaineers is always high. Talent and skill must not be blown away and one can always strive hard to become the decent and the best version of themselves by entering into a career that is closer to nature and full of compassion.

Leave a Reply