Basic Mountaineering Training

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Brief History and Structures of Mountaineering Trainings
Provided by Nepal Mountaineering Association

Mountaineering History in Nepal

History shows that the British Mount Everest Reconnaissance Expedition had the 1st attempt to climb Mt. Everest in 1921AD. But, only after 1950, some successful summits are recorded.

The Sherpas have been directly involved in mountain climbing activities since centuries. All the foreigners who have made successful summits at different heights of Nepalese mountains are directly or indirectly supported by the Nepalese Sherpas. Due to the Sherpas' invaluable and continuous contributions in this regard, the name 'Sherpa' is valued as a 'Qualification' or 'Designation' in Mountain Climbing Profession in Nepal. Now, even if some person from other ethic group has the capacity to lead the expedition, she/he will be dignified as 'Sherpa'.

It was June 3, 1950 when Morris Herzog and Luis Lachine the French mountaineers, successfully climbed Mt. Annapurna -1, thus starting history of summit above 8000 meter in Nepal. This success story supported for rapid increase in Mountain climbing in Nepal. 1950-1960 is regarded as the golden age of Mountain climbing in Nepal. Great history was written in May 29, 1953 by Mr. Tenzing Norge and Sir Edmund Hillary by successfully climbing Mt. Everest, 8,848 M; top of the planet earth. This global message promoted the mountaineering activities in Nepal.

Following is the successful expedition records of the 14 mountain peaks above 8,000.M.:

S.N Name Country Altitude (M) Expedition Date
 1  Mt. Everest  Nepal  8848  29 May 1953
 2  Mt. K2  Pakistan  8760  31 July 1954
 3  Kanchanjungha  Nepal  8586  25 May 1955
 4  Lhotse  Nepal  8516  18 May 1956
 5  Makalu  Nepal  8463  15 May 1955
 6  Cho-Oyu  Nepal  8201  19 Oct 1954
 7  Dhaulagiri  Nepal  8167  13 May 1960
 8  Manaslu  Nepal  8163  9 May 1960
 9  Nanga Parbat  Pakistan  8125  3 July 1953
 10  Annapurna  Nepal  8091  3 June 1950
 11  Gasherbrum-I  Pakistan  8086  5 July 1958
 12  Broad Peak  Pakistan  8047  9 June 1957
 13  Gasherbrum-II  Pakistan  8035  7 July 1956
 14  Shishapangma  China  8013  2 May 1964

Establishment of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA).

As the Mountaineering activities grew, it was necessary to protect, preserve the mountain environment and communities as well as promote mountaineering tourism by developing certain policies and regulations. With the objectives to address such issues NMA was formed and registered with the government of Nepal as a non-profit organization in November 1, 1973.

History of Mountaineering Training

Mountain climbing always bears high risks. Without the support of highly skilled and experienced support staffs/Sherpas, mountain climbing is almost impossible. So, to promote mountain climbing activities with higher safety, production of skill human resource was the 1st condition. Based on this reality, Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) started Basic Mountaineering Training (BMT) with 20 trainees in 1979 in cooperation with Yugoslavia Alpine Club. Only after 2000 Ad, Nepalese instructors have been conducting the trainings independently. By now, Nepal stands in second position (preceded by Japan) in producing international standard mountain guides (affiliated with International Federation of Mountain Guide Association(IFMGA)). NMA has produced 60 International Mountain Guides till now. Until 2017, NMA provided BMT for 1,304 individuals and Advance Mountaineering Training (AMT) for 392 individuals. Now, NMA provides BMT in Every July and AMT in every November.

BMT produces skilled supporters who engage in lower altitude climbing, supporting the climbers and minimizing different kinds of risks. AMT produces skilled supporters who engage in high altitude climbing regions thus supporting the climbers, minimizing different types of risks. AMT trained professionals are capable of leading any type of national and international expedition group. BMT trained professionals can be involved as support staffs in the expeditions lead by the AMT graduates.

Apart from BMT and AMT, NMA provides following trainings:

  1. Introductory Rock Climbing Course   
  2. Level-1 Rock Climbing Course
  3. Pre- Basic Mountaineering Course   
  4. High Mountain Rescue Training (HMRT)      
  5. Female Outdoor Leadership Training           
  6. Instructors' Upgrade Refreshment Course    
  7. Mountain Leader Course       
  8. Aspirant Guide Course           
  9. Mountain Guide Training      
  10. Ice Climbing Training, Level-1
  11. Wilderness 1st Aid, high altitude sickness training
  12. Hill walking & Mountain Navigation Course
  13. Environment Awareness Training (EAT)

Significance of Mountaineering Training in Nepal

Nepal is a mountainous country, which has 8 of the 14 peaks above 8,000 meters high (now identified 6  more peaks above 8,000m in Nepal).  Nepal has 1,310 peaks above 6,000. M. This means Nepal is the center of mountain climbing adventure in the world. This is a huge strength for Nepal to promote mountain climbing tourism, which earns high revenues for nation. However, to promote climbing, it is essential to produce skilled human resource who support the climbers for safety and successful ascent. This is why NMA is providing mountaineering training to more and more Nepalese youths. These trained mountaineers are the backbone of the successful mountain climbing tourism.

Most notable result is seen that NMA trained high skill mountain guides have been used in different emergency rescue programs; which have been effective to minimize casualties.

Objectives of Mountaineering Training:

1. To produce skilled supporters and leaders in national and international mountaineering activities

2. To promote mountaineering tourism

3. To minimize risks in mountaineering

4. To prepare human resource for immediate search and rescue activities

5. To create job opportunity for the Nepalese youths in mountaineering sector

6. To educate climbers regarding mountain environment and overall mountain issues.


About Basic Mountaineering Training (BMT) and Advance Mountaineering Training (AMT) by Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA)

Course content

Theoretical Learning:

  • Rules and regulation of trekking and mountaineering
  • Equipment familiarization
  • Mountain history
  • Mountain geography
  • Mountain terminology
  • Camping and bivouacking
  • Environment
  • High altitude awareness
  • danger in mountain
  • avalanche

Practical Learning:

  • rock craft
  • knots
  • coiling
  • improvise harness
  • self rescue
  • active rappelling with auto block
  • camp set up and bivouacking
  • hill waking technique
  • scrambling on rock terrain
  • moving on a fix line (rocky terrain/
  • lowering
  • anchor
  • walking technique on ice and glacier
  • glacier traverse
  • running belay on icy terrain
  • pulley system (simple pulley, z pulley)
  • top rope glacier ice climbing
  • camping on glacier
  • high altitude cooking
  • probing
  • transceiver single victim search
  • Navigation

Mandatory Requirements to enter BMT:

  • Photo copy of Citizenship
  • Recommendation letter certifying 2 year experience from trekking agency registered at      
    NMA since 2 year (for Nepalese) - only one participant from one trekking agency
  • Clear photo of successful ascent of any mountain or trekking pass or snowline
  • Basic First Aid Course ( 18 hours / 3 days)
  • Introductory Rock Climbing Course ( 42 hours  / 7 days)

Note: For Foreign Nationals, 3 days' introductory rock climbing courses will be provided in Nepal just before the Basic Mountaineering Training.

Time Credit:

  • 180 hr. ( 30 days ) of core training
  • Total 35 days including travel, pre-test, major exam and result preparation.
  • Interviews starts: 8 June (for Nepalese)
  • Training starts: 12 June (for all)

Training Fees:

Fees for Basic Mountaineering Training for is USD 3,000.00 for one participant.

* For Nepalese participants, NMA will subsidies most of the cost; so that only NRs. 15,000.(Fifteen thousands rupees) will be charged for Nepalese. This does not include insurance cost. Participant must ensure Accident (above 10,00,000), Medical (Minimum 2,00,000) and Evacuation (equal to 5,000 USD). 

* For Foreign Participants USD 3,000.00 (Three thousand US$). For itineraries, activities and facilities information for foreign Participants should follow the following information table:

SN Dates Location Activity NMA bears the following cost Participants should bear the following cost
1. 8 June- 16 June Kathmandu Arrival- 8 June,Rock Craft Training - 9,10 & 11 June; Hotel, accommodation with Bed & Breakfast; twin-sharing Lunch, Dinner and other self expenses


17 June- 10 July Manang Practical Training/field activities Total cost including food accommodation, transportation, national park fees Personal gears; Travel insurances (up to 19,000 ft.), evacuation, and medical insurance.
3 10 July (one night) Kathmandu rest Twin sharing room with Bed & Breakfast Dinner, and other self expenses.


Minimum 50% of the fees must be deposited in NMA's Bank account mentioned below to confirm registration:

Bank Transfer Account Number :

Bank : Nepal Investment Bank, Durbarmarg Branch
Account No. : 00101010027422
Swift code: NIBLNPKT
Beneficiary : Nepal Mountaineering Association