Second Wind - Basic Mountaineering Course (SW – BMC) is a niche opportunity for people who are above the age of 35 and still nurture the dream of learning the basics of mountaineering.  Many of us missed the opportunity to do that mountaineering course we always wanted to; it remains an unfulfilled wish, a missed opportunity. It rankles as there are no opportunities for a certified course in India once you’re past a certain age. Nanda Devi Institute intends to fill this space and provide that second chance.


Since NDI first began offering Basic Mountaineering Courses (BMC), we have received and continue to receive, enquiries from people in the 35 plus age group, many even fifty plus, people who are keenly interested in doing the BMC. Convinced by the need for a mountaineering course for the mid-age group in India, NDI decided to first conduct a pilot course for the 35 plus age category. Overall 18 participants enrolled for the course which was conducted in the month of June, 2019. However, some of the participants withdrew at the final stage citing various reasons. There were couples who wanted to do the course with their kids above 10 years of age. Taking into consideration the facts that this was a pilot course, NDI decided to move forward with a mixed age group of 10 years to 50 years, with an effective course strength of 14 participants. The results were encouraging.

Second Wind BMC Offer

Inspired by the success of the pilot SW-BMC, NDI is now offering five batches in successive order for the autumn/fall season of 2019. The minimum/maximum course strength will be between 14 to 21 participants per batch. The SW-BMC course curriculum remains similar to that of BMC at NIM except that ice craft is not included in the course due to environmental restrictions in accessing glaciers.


  1. A strong desire to learn the skills and the willingness to learn from younger instructors
  2. A thorough pre-training medical check-up and a certificate of physical fitness from a registered medical practitioner certifying the participant as physically fit to undergo such training and physically fit to gain altitude of 3500 meters above msl.

Packing Advice

  1. During endurance trek, participants can leave the extra baggage at NDI base camp. It is advised to pack light as the participants are supposed to carry their baggage from road head to NDI base, a short but steep walk of 200 meters.
  2. The participants will be responsible for taking care of their valuable items.

How to Apply

  1. Read the Terms and Conditions for admission in the courses offered by the Nanda Devi Institute. Do check the cancellation policy before proceeding.
  2. Based on your availability, select the course dates suitable to you. Do check the travel logistics simultaneously for booking of train/air tickets. It’s better to first confirm your travel logistics first.
  3. Download the application and indemnity form. Read carefully the terms and conditions. If you agree with the terms and conditions proceed to pay the course fee online. The hard copies of the downloaded admission and indemnity form needs to be submitted at the time for reporting for the course.


While the participants fully cooperated to run the course on the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) BMC format and were formally evaluated in terms of actual transfer of skills and knowledge, it was a great learning opportunity for the NDI itself. Some of our learnings are:

i) Friendship Ladder at Basic Mountaineering CourseBeing mid age, the participants were more sensitive about their personal space and preferred personal tents rather than sharing space with other participants. While the demand for personal tents can be addressed at the base camp, it becomes a safety hazard while camping at high altitude. This is especially important in case of medical emergency during the night to have a course buddy sharing a tent. Snoring usually doesn’t interfere in getting a good sleep if a person is tired, besides sleeping pattern itself changes as we approach the high-altitude hypoxic environment. Henceforth, solo tents will be provided at the NDI base camp while shared tented accommodation will be offered during height gain exercise. Space sharing helps in fostering the bond to act as a team.

ii) It was observed that the participants were often more interested in taking selfies during the various rock craft exercises. While this is normal for a person to take back memories of the risky exercises he is involved with, selfies become a safety hazard when the entire attention is on camera and not focusing on the instructions being given at that point of time. A need therefore was observed to design a specific code of conduct to use mobile cameras during the demo and practice session.

iii) The Second Wind BMC is a formal course and requires full cooperation from the participants. While all the participants fully cooperated in maintaining the discipline, it needs to be understood that minor digression be it in the form of leaving the training area without taking permission is considered as unacceptable during the training.

iv) Both individual performance as well as behavior as an active group member is of utmost importance during the training period.

v) Usage of mobile phones during training will be restricted to certain specific times as dictated by connectivity and activity.

vi) The experiment with natural alternatives to sugar and the total absence of refined oil in the food menu is to be continued along with the paid baggage offload facility.

Course Location

Multiple locations in Assi Ganga valley near the NDI base camp with a 5-6 days endurance trek to 11000 ft. plus altitude.


Category: General
Age: 35 years+
Duration: 13 days
Course Strength: 12-18 participants
Instructor-Trainee ratio: 1:6
Stay Arrangements: In Arctic Tents


Rs.27,300/- per person
(inclusive of GST)

Please read and download the Indemnity Form and Admission Form before booking the course. A hard copy of the forms has to be submitted while joining the course. For Cancellation Policy, please read the Terms and Conditions

Available Dates

How to Reach

The basic mountaineering course will be conducted at Kuflon near Uttarkashi. The nearest railway station and airport is at Dehradun. From Dehradun buses and shared Sumo jeeps are available till Uttarkashi.  Participants can make their own travel arrangements till Uttarkashi reporting center from where transport arrangements will be made for the NDI Campus in Assi Ganga Valley. Special pick up arrangements can also be made from Dehradun on payment of actual fare. Do write to us in case of any assistance.

Equipment & Clothing

  1. Personal toiletries.
  2. Personal medicine kit.
  3. Trek suit
  4. Thermals one set
  5. Undergarments (4 set)
  6. Socks cotton/woolen ( 4 pairs)
  7. Warm shirt/trouser/cotton shirt
  8. Wind cheater 1
  9. Light rain coat 1
  10. Light cap and woolen cap (1 each)
  11. woolen gloves (1 pair)
  12. Torch/head lamp (1)
  13. Trekking shoes
  14. Notebook with pen
  15. Dark googles
  16. Water bottle
  17. Sun screen (SPF 40 and above)