After the Government of India passed the mandate in 2012 for an advanced sport training institute to be
established in Arunachal Pradesh, the journey of the National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied
Sports (NIMAS) has been a slow and steady one. From the confines of official documents to the freedom
of structured training provided to defense personnel as well as civilians, the institute now stands
alongside the historic Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and a few
others. Successful collaboration between the Ministry of Defence, Govt of India, the Government of Arunachal Pradesh and the "Core"
team has finally made the institute not just the first of its kind in the state but also in India.
The National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (NIMAS) was metaphorically born when the
Government of India felt the need for an institute with a holistic approach towards adventure sports.
The institute was carefully crafted to offer training across land, air and water – a first of its kind that allows
civilians to experience challenges across a variety of outdoor surfaces as well as pursue a career in adventure sports.
Right from its concept stage, the idea behind NIMAS has been to drive home the true spirit behind adventure. We have created every training programme at NIMAS to draw upon the ideas of self- exploration and individual evolution – much of which have been inspired by the splendid inner and outer journeys of individuals closely associated with the institute. Another continuing goal that has driven us forward is to contribute to the local economy through sustainable employment. Over the years, the institute has seen a plethora of locals intent on working hard and making NIMAS a success, every step of the way.
Spread over an area of 52 acres, NIMAS is located in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
Situated on a hill which is at a height of somewhere between 6000-7000 feet, the institute overlooks
the town of Dirang and the Sela Pass and boasts of wonderful scenery all around. The state-of- the-art
campus with traditional style houses is being built to provide accommodation to hundreds of students at
any given time. Separate hostels for men and women are being constructed and the entire campus is
expected to be fully constructed by the next four years.
One of the main roles of the NIMAS campus is to act as the base camp for all the different programmes that the institute conducts. Dirang is accessible from both Tawang, where most of the mountaineering activities are conducted as well as East Kameng, where students are taken for their training in rafting and aero sports.
Dirang is highly regarded for its amazing landscape and beautiful weather, winters being sunny and monsoons being lush and long. The rich bio-diversity of the region makes it the ideal place for a well- equipped adventure sports establishment like NIMAS. Strategic thought and design is currently being applied to recreate Dirang's bio-diversity within the institute campus.
National Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports at Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh operates under the control and superintendence of ministry of defense, Government of India. Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman Defence Minister is the president of the institute and Shri Pema Khandu chief minister is the vice president of the institute. Shri Rajiv singh thakur, Joint Secretary (Army), Ministry of defense is the Secretary of the institute. The institute has seven member governing council with representatives from central and Arunachal Pradesh government. The institute started functioning with effect from 30th may 2013
1. Director. Col Sarfraz Singh is from the elite Parachute Regiment of the Indian Army. After having commanded his unit 6 PARA, he took over as Director and Principal of NIMAS on 09 Feb 2017. It is his love for adventure that brought him to this unique Institute. Adventurism is in his blood, he is a sky diver, a combat free faller, an avid mountaineer and has a passion for scuba diving.
An alumni a Rashtriya Indian Military college (RIMC), Dehradun and National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla.
Col Sarfraz Singh is the fourth generation officer in the Indian Army who hails from Punjab.
He has rich mountaineering experience with privilege of summiting several prominent peaks like
Mt Nun, Mt Trishul, Mt Acancagua (Argentina), Mt Gorichen, Mt Elbrus (Russia),
Mt Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Mt Harmukh, Mt Stok Kargiri and Mt Margherita (Ruwenzori Mountains-Congo).
He is also amongst those few mountaineers from India who could reach the base of Mt Nyegi Kangstang(a virgin 7000 M peak)
from Seppa in Arunachal Pradesh. In 2018, he successfully conducted the first ever International Rafting Expedition on the untamed and technically challenging Kameng River of Arunachal Pradesh.
(aa) Sub Maj Jogeswar Rajbongshi (Training Subedar Major).
Sub Maj Jogeswar Rajbongshi having done two tenures at HAWS as mountain instructor is
now posted at NIMAS as Chief Instr wef 12 Dec 2016. He is sincere, dedicated and his work up in the mountain is praise worthy.
(ab) Sub Pooran Puri (Senior Instructor).
He has long years of teaching experience both at the Siachen Battle School as well as at High Altitude Warfare School. Sub Pooran Puri considers adventure training more a necessity and less a choice. An excellent mountaineer who has scaled numerous difficult and challenging peaks likely Mt Nun, Mt Trishul and Mt Gorichen.
(ac) Sub Dan Singh.
Sub Dan Singh, who has undergone extensive winter warfare and mountain warfare training, adventure is one of the rarest ways to truly get in touch with oneself. With years of experience in teaching as well as being part of expeditions to Mt Trishul, Mt Kamet, Mt Chaukhamba, Mt Friendship and Mt Machoi. He was also part of Nandadevi Rescue team in 2017.
(ad) Nb Sub Shiv Kumar Jyu.
Nb Sub Shiv Kumar Jyu who hails from Nepal is an experienced climber and has gone through intensive physical and mental routines as part of his training at the HAWS. He is spiritual and believers adventure training is must for the youth of India.
(ae) Kharad Bhausaheb Maruti.
Resilience, Confidence and leadership are the top things Kharad Bahusaheb Maruti associates with. A former NSG Commando has rich experience in teaching as well as in mountaineering. He was also part of HAWS Avalanche rescue in 2010.
(af) Amit Chowdhry (Civil Instr).
With a highly acclaimed record, civil instructor Amit Chowdhry has scaled a number of important peaks, which include Mt Gangotri I, Bhagirathi II, Rudgaira, Mt Bandar Puch and Mt Gorichen. Amit believes that the primary goal of adventure sports is self-realisation. His contribution in raising NIMAS training team is praiseworthy.
(ag) Hav L D Attajepu.
Hav LD Attajepu is the new member to join NIMAS team as mountaineering instructor. He belongs to 2 ASSAM of the Indian Army. He has qualified in winter and mountain warfare training with excellent grading. He has also served as a instructor at HAWS.
(ah) Hav Devendra Singh.
Hav Devendra Singh is from the elite Parachute Regiment of the Indian Army. After serving his unit he has been posted as mountaineering instructor. His years of training and experience will definitely benefit the students who undergo mountaineering courses at NIMAS.
(aj) Hav Harpreet Singh.
Hav Harpreet Singh is from 20 SIKH Regt of the Indian Army. He is posted at NIMAS as a mountaineering instructor with effect from 15 Jan 2017. In addition to his mountaineering qualification he is also qualified in Ghatak (Cdo Couse), LICO and Search & Rescue Course.
(ak) Nk Ram Singh.
Nk Ram Singh is from the 2 GARH RIF of the Indian Army. A former HAWS instructor has outstanding physical fitness and sound teaching abilities.
(al) Nk Hem Singh.
Nk Hem Singh is an experienced climber who has earlier done his tenure at HAWS as instructor. He hails from Himachal and his love for mountains has brought him to NIMAS as mountain instructor.
(am) Nk Ishwar Singh.
Nk Ishwar Singh is from the elite Parachute Regt of the Indian Army. A thoroughly trained adventure expert he has guided his way to the top of famous peaks like Mt Nun and Mt Machoi in Kashmir.
(an) Nk Manohar Singh.
Nk Manohar Singh is an experienced climber who has gone through intensive physical and mental routines as part of his training at HAWS.
(ao) Nk Sanjay Kumar.
A tough climber from Himachal with sound mountaineering skills. He has scaled Mt Trishul, Mt Gorichen, Mt Stock Kangri and Machoi Peak.
(ap) Nk Shankar Nath Goswami.
He joins NIMAS team as the new mountaineering Instructor. He has participated in expeditions like as Mt Rajrambha, Mt Devtibba and Mt Trishul.
(aq) Nk Bijendra Singh.
A mountain and winter warfare specialist. Nk Bijendra Singh belongs to GARH RIF. He has tremendous mountains stamina and Will Power.
(ar) Nk Pravendra Kumar.
He is a young mountain instructor at NIMAS. He scaled Mt Trishul in 2017 with NIMAS team.
(as) LNK Gajur Man Rai.
LNK Gajur Man Rai belongs to Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army. He hails from Nepal and is God-Gifted with exceptional mountaineering skills.
(at) Tashi Yangjom (Civil Instr).
Civil instructor Tashi Yangjom is the only permanent lady mountain instructor at NIMAS. She has a passion for mountaineering and loves white water rafting. She belongs to Lubrang village in West Kameng district and presently lives in Dirang Arunachal Pradesh.
(aa) Hav Jadhav Laxman Vishnu.
Hav Jadhav Laxman Vishnu is the senior rafting instructor of NIMAS. He has participated in many National and International white water rafting expeditions. He has deep knowledge of his profession and is an excellent swimmer.
(ab) Hav L Labango Singh.
Hav Loushambam Lobango Singh who hails from Manipur is a Rafting and Scuba Diving instructor at NIMAS. He has passion for aquatic adventure sports and has outstanding instructional abilities.
(ac) Nk Patil Suraj.
A former aquatic instructor at Raiwala Army Node, is now posted to NIMAS as a white water rafting instructor. He has participated in numerous rafting expeditions.
(ad) NK Kadam Sujit.
NK Kadam Sujit Vijay is from Engineer Regiment and has been posted with NIMAS as instructor for Rafting and Scuba Diving.
(ae) Nk Ade Rajesham.
Nk Ade Rajesham joins NIMAS team as white water rafting instructor. In his Army carrier he has earned many laurels for aquatic adventure sports. He has also been an instructor at various Army aquatic nodes.
(aa) Nk Rohit Kumar.
Nk Rohit Kumar joins NIMAS team as an instructor of Para Motor. He is from the elite Parachute Regiment and was an instructor at Army PARA node at Agra.
(i) Capt Abhishek Tripathi (Medical Officer). Having trained at the Armed Forces Medical College and served earlier in an infantry unit, Capt Abhishek Tripathi is indispensable member of the NIMAS team. He is not only the medical officer on board but also an avid adventurer himself. He has been an active member during NIMAS Mountaineering Expeditions to Mt Gorichen and Mt Trishul.
(ii) Hav/NA Ravindra Kumar Singh.
Hav/NA Ravindra Kumar Singh is posted at NIMAS as a nursing assistant. His long experience in the medical field make him perfect to perform his duty.
(iii) Nk/NA Anil Kumar.
Enthusiasm is the other name for Anil Kumar posted at NIMAS as a nursing assistant. He has underone nursing training and practice at Military Hospital Kannur (Kerala).
(i) Sub Maj BK Bisoi (Supdt) Sub Maj BK Bisoi is from the elite Sikh Regiment. His thorough understanding about documentation processes makes him an able and priceless part of the “NIMAS Core Team”. His experience in all round staff duties assist the institute and make him as the best administrative adviser to the Director.
(ii) Sub CB Chaudhary.
From taking stock of current equipment to issuing new equipment to students, Sub CB Chaudhary is the institute’s go-to- man for any gear related queries. He takes interest in his work and handles the equipment store of NIMAS.
(iii) Nb Sub Sachin Kumar Singh.
Institute’s food and lodging challenges are handled by Nb Sub Sachin Kumar Singh. His enthusiasm shows in the way he interacts with his kitchen staff. His love for cooking is well-known and so is his penchant to make the best of the worst.
(iv) Nb Sub (Clk) Sagir Alam.
Two year ago Nb Sub (Clk) Sagir Alam was posted to NIMAS team from the Sikh Regiment. Nb Sub (Clk) Sagir Alam has held the financial fort of the institute with utmost sincerity and dedication.
(v) Nb Sub (Clk) Rajesh Kumar.
Nb Sub (Clk) Rajesh Kumar has been performing his his duty with full zeal and dedication. His experience and deep knowledge enables timely submissions of all training related documents.
(vi) Nb Sub (Clk) Pradeep Kumar PV.
Nb Sub (Clk) Pradeep Kumar PV is from MARATHA LI Regt and heading NIMAS Account section. His hard work and dedication makes him an invaluable asset of the institute.
(xi) Hav (Clk) Anil Kumar
Hav (Clk) Anil Kumar is from the MADRAS Regt. He is posted with NIMAS team as a clerk. Presently he is performing duties under account section.
(vii) Hav (Clk) Kingsuk Ray.
As the PA to the Director, Hav (Clk) Kingsuk Ray has become an important part of NIMAS team. He takes a keen interest in documentation as well as in financial matters and keeps the show going even during crisis management.
(viii) Hav (Clk) Md Rizaul Islam.
Hav (Clk) MD Rizaul Islam is from the ASSAM Regt. He is posted to NIMAS as a clerk. Presently he is performing his duty under account section.
(ix) Hav (Clk) Barun Kumar Agnihotri.
Hav (Clk) Barun Kumar Agnihotri is from elite Sikh Light Infantry Regiment. He has become an important part of the NIMAS training team. He is responsible for all course related enquires and admissions required by the students
(x) Hav (Clk) Yuvraj.
Hav (Clk SD) Yuvraj was posted to NIMAS on 18 May 2016 as a clerk. He is performing the duties under documentation cell of the institute with total dedication and sincerity.
(xi) Hav (AEC) Jadhav Ashok Mohan.
Hav (AEC) Jadhav Ashok Mohan is from the Army Educational Corps of the Indian Army. He is posted with NIMAS as librarian. A versatile person who is ready to perform any given task.
(xii) Hav (SKT) Vikram Singh.
Hav Vikram Singh is from Engr Regt (BEG). He is posted to NIMAS as a store keeper technical. He is responsible for handling of all stores related to construction work of the institute.
(xiii) Nk Abhijit Saha.
Nk Abhijit Saha belongs to Signal Regiment of the Indian Army. He is posted as operator at NIMAS. He is actively involved in training as well during expeditions.
(xiv) Nk Harvinder Singh.
Nk Harvinder Singh is posted to NIMAS as an electrician. He handles all types of electrical work at NIMAS Campus and during training. He belongs to Engineer Regiment.
(xv) L/Nk Kalle Lakshmana Rao.
L/Nk Kalle Lakshmana Rao is from Engr Regt of the Indian Army. He is posted to NIMAS team as Adm Staff. He is very hard working and is performing the duties with great zeal and enthusiasm.
(xvi) Hav V Satti Babu.
Hav V Satti Babu is from Mechanized Infantry Regiment. He is hard working and is steadily performing the duties of MT NCO. He has good knowledge of vehicles and hill driving.
(xvii) Nk Brij Nandan Kumar.
Nk Brij Nandan Kumar belongs to ASC. He is posted at NIMAS as a driver.
(xviii) Sep Mrinal Das.
Sep Mrinal Das belongs to ASC. He is posted at NIMAS as a driver.
(xix) Sep (Tailor) Anmol Horo.
Anmol Horo is posted at NIMAS as a tailor. All types of equipment and clothing items are repaired and maintained by him.
(xx) Nk Raja P.
Nk Raja P is posted at NIMAS as a administrative staff.
(xxi) L/Nk Srinivasulu Jelukuri.
L/Nk Srinivasulu jelukuri is posted at NIMAS as a administrative staff. He is a good cook and is always ready to accompany the mountain courses during glacier training.
(xxii) Sep (Chef) Arup Orang.
Sep (Chef) Arup Orang is posted at NIMAS as a administrative staff. He has a rich experience in cooking in the mountains.
(xxiii) NK Arjun Goudar.
NK Arjun Goudar is posted at NIMAS as an administrative staff.
(i) Mrs. Sunita Lechpa. Mrs. Sunita Lechpa is the official despatcher and keeper of files at NIMAS. An army widow, her dedication and support to everyday activities is something the team is thankful for.
(ii) Mrs. Anita Hazarika.
Mrs. Anita Hazarika soon after her studies joined NIMAS as she is interested in adventure sports. Having been around for several months now, Anita is intrinsic to the office staff and keen to her tasks.
(iii) Mr. Pem Thingly.
He is the official assistant and keeper of files at NIMAS. His dedication and hard work is praise worthy.
(iv) Mr. Shibu Biswas.
He is the official runner of this institute. He hails from West Bengal. A josh type guy with good sense of humour.
(i) Mr. Tongchen Nimsonga.
From helping in construction to serving the guests, Tongchen is true Man Friday of NIMAS. Having worked as a security guard before, his life at NIMAS is full of fresh possibilities. He has experienced paragliding, rafting and has surprised everyone with his outstanding mountaineering skill.
(ii) Mr. Tosap Rime.
An explorer at heart, Mr. Tosap Rime has been with NIMAS for over two years now. He has been a High Altitude Porter and feels enriched by the experiences the institute has brought into his otherwise quiet life in the hills. He was adjudged ‘Best In Physical’ in the Basic Mountaineering Course.
(iii) Mr. Dorjee Khandu.
As a High Altitude Porter he has accompanied multiple NIMAS batches during mountaineering courses. Mr. Dorjee Khandu is quite certain about his love for the mountains. He has scaled Mt Gorichen and constantly looks forward for more adventures.
(iv) Mr. Hari Mepo.
A former lama landed at the institute during the early years of its raising. He is considered one of the most dependable porters around with a natural inclination to learn mountaineering.
Niraj Bhagat, Mumbai
B.E.( Engineering), MBA. Trekker at heart. Right since my school days when I would go for treks with my Dad, I have loved the mountains beyond anything. After years of trekking in the western ghats- the sahyadris I recently started Himalayan treks with Triund trek, Chadar trek & Stok Kangri. I felt the urge to take it a step forward and be properly introduced to mountaineering. I always had this dream of training with the army. The dream came to life as the HAWS trained instructors imparted mountain knowledge to me. Daily physical training, rock climbing sessions, knots & rope coiling made the journey way too interesting.The untouched route towards Meerathang Glacier from Jang was always accompanied by a river running parallel with crystal clean water. The scenes were surreal and out of this world. We did carry a lot of weight in our backpacks but the snow clad-mountains made us forget it all. Hot water springs at Mago was my first tryst with the magical healing waters- they can soothe all your body pains. Meerathang Glacier being the finale of this journey provides a jaw dropping view of the biggest ice wall amongst the Indian mountaineering institutes.Also the blue water tarn at Meerathang is truly a gem. A perfect climax for the journey. Being transported from Dirang to New Melling we also got to enjoy the Sela Pass at 13700 ft, pray at Jaswantgarh war memorial & visit the wonderful Tawang Monastery ! Wonder places. Wonderful People :) Best 27 days of my life !
SUJATA GOANKAR NEGI
That apart from time, it takes an individual hard work to come into her own, is Sujata Goankar Negi's life story. As the daughter of an Air Force man and the wife of a Naval officer, Sujata had always been accustomed to travel and making the most of the outdoors. However, a fatal snake bite in 2012 changed much of how she looks at life and goes about it. She slowly revived her passion for hockey, started training in golf and began long distance running. After participating in the challenging 120 km Siachen Glacier Trek, Sujata decided to further her skills in mountaineering by undergoing training at NIMAS.
What inspired you to train to scale the mountains?
I must admit, there is a deep satisfaction in setting a stretch goal, figuring out how to accomplish it, challenging to dig deep within, then going about the business of making it happen. Climbing up to kumar post in siachen glacier was definitely a confidence-builder and the result is very comforting. The participation certificate is a worthy reminder of achieving something difficult, something that few people get the opportunity and fewer complete. It is then my husband suggested that I should do a basic course n mountaineering which would be helpful to scale the mountains.
According to you, what role do the mind and body play in mountaineering?
Mind and body play important roles since one needs to have a good cardiovascular system, leg musculature for climbing and upper body strength for carrying the backpack. One must be mentally prepared for some hardship, discomfort, and risk in climbing mountains. What's most important is to have willpower and passion to do something challenging.
Describe an incident during training that you are likely never to forget.
There are many such incidents but one which I would like to highlight happened on my way back from Jithang to Mirathan. It was snowing very heavily, I fell down and hurt my knee. It was very challenging physically and mentally since I had no other option other than to walk or get the team members to carry me down to Mirathan and then walk down 24 kms to New Meling the next day. Lt. Cdr. Upadhyay, one of the team members and Dev sir were a great support, both held my hand and helped me walk down. This taught me a great lesson and I am still figuring out how to be a better climber and how to deal with my own weakness.
What's your greatest takeaway from NIMAS?
Don't indulge in false bravado. Make sure you get proper training in trekking and climbing and make yourself physically and mentally fit before undertaking any expedition. The care, quality and professionalism of the instructors during my basic and advance course really stand out. The instructors and the staff (cooks, porters and other staff) put in countless hours to make the students comfortable and safe in the mountains.
If you have a dream peak that you want to scale, which one is it and why?
Like the aspiration of many other climbers, mine too lies in Mount Everest. But before I attempt an expedition to Everest, I need to climb a few other mountains and gain the necessary experience. Putting myself beyond the comfort zone in anything is an adventure for me. Climbing carries the same spirit and awakens in me a desire to challenge myself.
There are some people out there with whom you'd easily exchange places in life. One of them is Rijul Gill, who discovered his love for mountaineering while he was pursuing his Engineering degree. Having grown up in Dharamshala, Rijul has been surrounded by the mountains ever since he was a little boy. Whether he was at home or in school, the windows would invariably open out into sights that are unforgettable. Having recently trained at both NIMAS and the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM), Rijul now stands on the brink of more adventure than he has ever experienced in his life.
What inspired you to take up mountaineering?
The magnificent Dhauladhar Mountain Range just behind my backyard has always been my inspiration. As a kid I would look at this towering range wondering if we could cross over to the other side and whether it was possible to scale one of its peaks. I had love for nature right from my childhood and I would often gaze out of my classroom window admiring the beauty of the mountains. I was in the second year of engineering and probably the least fit when suddenly my friends decided to climb Mon peak in Dharamshala little knowing that it was a technical peak. We could not make it to the top of the peak but we were able to make it to the top of Indrahara pass. That was the defining moment of my life. From there on I worked on my fitness and found excuses to be at the top of the mountains. I have never looked back since then and in a span of 5 years I have managed to cross over 40 high mountain passes in the DHAULADHAR RANGE, PIR PANJAL RANGE, GREAT HIMALAYAN RANGE and ZANSKAR RANGE. As I trekked more and more I got in touch with Cdr. Satyabrata Dam sir who is one of the leading mountaineers in the world. His climbs and explorations have inspired me so much so that I wish to climb some of the most challenging peaks in the Himalayas.
What difference did you see in your approach once you had trained in mountaineering?
An individual with the potential to become a climber par excellence is best compared to an uncut diamond. Just as an uncut diamond requires thorough polishing to bring out its true shine, an individual needs training. It is training that makes it possible for the individual to touch upon his potential in team work, leadership etc. I had been doing treks and free style climbs without any technical knowhow. At times I would get stuck in some tricky patches of ice and rocks and would struggle to find a way out. Now that I have gained the technical skills by attending BMC and AMC courses, I feel I should have done them way back. The technical knowhow makes you fully equipped to tackle any challenge on the mountains. I can easily make out whether a particular slope is an avalanche slope or not, I now know how to rescue someone if they get stuck in a crevasse or how to traverse a crevasse zone. This is where mountaineering courses make a difference. As a lay man, one doesn't have access to the minute details of mountaineering which can come in handy anytime. For example, there are so many knots that we can make with a rope but when we do these mountaineering courses we realize where we need a particular kind of knot. I have seen a complete transformation in me after undergoing these courses. I am now better equipped to tackle any challenge that comes in my way while climbing. Undergoing BMC training at NIMAS was actually the best thing that ever happened to me. I was poor at rock climbing but I enhanced my skills to a great extent courtesy the high grade training provided at NIMAS. Before undertaking the mountaineering course I would avoid ice walls and look for alternate routes which were generally longer to traverse a particular slope on the mountain. Now that I have learnt how to climb an ice wall using 4 points in NIMAS, I can climb an ice wall with confidence saving both my time and energy
Apart from fitness of mind and body, what else do you feel is needed to excel in adventure sports?
Respect for nature is the key to be a good mountaineer. There are so many mountaineers who literally fill the mountains with trash and tons of trash accumulated at Mt.Everest is a testimony to this fact. A person must be a team man and he should always put others before self. Mountaineering is a very noble sport where one has to rise above his own self. He has to be a good human being first. Patience, persistence and hard work are other qualities that one must have to excel in adventure sports.
Share with us one adventure sport experience you can't possibly forget.
We were a group of three friends who were at the base camp ( 4000 meters ) of DRATI Pass ( 4800 meters ) leading to Pangi / Lahoul from Churah in Chamba camping underneath a rock overhang just adjacent to a river. After having dinner we had dozed off to sleep and it suddenly started raining heavily (unlike how we had seen rains in the high mountains). This resulted in a flash flood and water entered the rock overhang due to which our equipment got completely wet and many of our equipment even got washed away. We ran for safety to an open space and as it was raining very heavily, we could not move from that area. We got completely drenched and were shivering. We had a plastic sheet and we sat on the uneven ground and covered our head and body with that plastic sheet. It rained incessantly that night and we had to sit like that till 5 am until it stopped raining. The clouds disappeared all of a sudden and sun shone as if nothing had happened the previous night. Around 6 am I looked at my friends who looked tired and asked them what should we do, should we head back? They said we have come this far after walking for 3 days and there is no point turning back so we should continue with our journey. We unanimously decided to cross the pass. It took us 7 hours to reach the top of that pass. There was no water enroute so we had to walk without having any water. It was only around 3 pm that we reached a water point and quenched our thirst. Most of our equipment was wet and some of it even got washed away so we were also out of gear. We had no option but to walk long that day to reach a village. It was around 10:30 pm when we reached TINDI village. This was one unforgettable experience in the Himalayas.
If there's a dream peak you'd want to scale, which one would it be and why?
Climbing a peak is always a mountaineer's dream and I wish to climb NANGA PARBAT which is the 9th highest mountain in the world at 8127 meters. I was first fascinated by NANGA PARBAT when I read about it in the autobiography of Austrian Mountaineer Heinrich Harrer. The description of NANGA PARBAT by Mr.Harrer and difficulties they faced enroute to their unsuccessful expedition mesmerized to such an extent that it became my dream mountain. Reinhold Messner's account on climbing the RUPAL face of NANGA PARBAT and then descending the DAIMIR face where he lost his brother has further kindled my desire to climb NANGA PARBAT which is technically very difficult and is also called the "THE MAN EATER " because of high fatality rate.
The lure presented by nature and especially the mountains is irresistible for almost everyone. But for some who have a special love for the outdoors and adventure, it can be the beginning of something much bigger. Like Naidu Sunny, who grew up feasting on a variety of sports but had to give it all up along the way as education and work became bigger priorities. However, soon enough, Naidu found himself longing to be fit and physically active again and in time, went back to running, cycling and yoga. Here he talks about his latest love - the love of mountaineering.
What inspired you to want to train at NIMAS?
There are three main reasons why training at NIMAS attracted me. Firstly, I'd heard that the institute has quite a few experienced trainers. That apart, upon research I'd found that the BMC course at NIMAS is one of the toughest both in terms of elevation and trekking route. Thirdly, NIMAS came across as a liberal institute that focuses more on an individual's genuine interest in sport than anything else. This made the process of admission seem more pleasant and achievable.
What is it about mountaineering that attracts you the most?
Mountaineering tests your will power. Climbing mountains gives you a chance to be disconnected from the outside world and away from distractions. In the process, a different perspective of life emerges. You feel grateful for all the little things and get adjusted to what ever food available,sleeping in tents and spending time with like-minded people.
What is that one quality you feel a student needs to have to train as a mountaineer?
I'd say it's actually two things rolled up in one : immense willpower and a never-give-up attitude. These qualities can set the stage for great learning and personal development.
Can you recall an incident that you experienced during training, one that you will never forget?
This happened on the second day of our glacier training. After breakfast at base camp, we started walking to the glacier. I was walking comfortably till about an hour. Suddenly, my left leg shin started hurting and I was not able to walk further.Even taking a single step was difficult. When i saw my left leg, great deal of the skin near the foot had come out and blood was oozing because of repeated rubbing of scarpa shoe with skin.I was not able to bear the pain. I stopped and took a break. I was left alone with the trainer and every one started moving further. I thought of returning to the base camp, but the trainer kept motivating me and kept saying " You are strong, you are very close to the glacier. Keep going". Every step from there was painful, despite bandaging the wound. Despite my struggle, the doctor and trainer never stopped encouraging me. In fact, the trainer didn't leave my side at all. Finally, I did reach the glacier and even underwent training. I had to bear the excruciating pain for six to seven hours and if not for all that encouragement, I don't know how that day would have turned out to be.I remembered the famous saying "Your body can stand almost anything.It's your mind that you have to convince".
If you have a dream peak you would want to scale, which one would it be and why?
It has got to be Mount Everest. All mountaineers dream is to climb mount Everest in their life time.