This 28 days long course teaches outdoor enthusiasts techniques in rock climbing, snow and ice craft, making you a government certified mountaineer.
You need to be 17yrs or older and have base level fitness as we are made to run 5-8kms every day. Do pushup and crunches. You also need to be able to carry a 15kgs bagpack for 6-8 hours climb during the trek.
If you are not an athlete or a trekker, there are some things you need to prepare yourself for:
Go running every morning for half an hour on ground or uphill depending on your fitness level.
Once a month, you need to trek to a nearby hill with a bagpack of 15 kgs (fill it properly with blankets, books etc. and check proper padding or you’ll hurt your back before the course itself).
Do breathing exercises taught during yoga like pranayama.
Check your haemoglobin levels and your BP and other things mentioned in the medical form.
How I Got Through HMI-
It was last year in summers when I decided to do this and filled up the form immediately and got the vacancy for April 2017 mixed batch.
I was told by a lot of people that HMI is one of those mountaineering Institutes in India which has the most difficult trek and training schedule but because I was keen on doing the course asap I decided to go for it keeping aside all the other things in mind.
How To Reach-
By Air- You can take a flight to Bagdogra and from there take a shared cab or auto to Siliguri (would cost around 50 Rs depending on number of people sharing) from where you can take a shared can to Darjeeling (for 130Rs)
By Train- The train will drop you at the New Jal Paiguri (NJP) station from where you can take a shared cab directly to Darjeeling for 150 Rs.
I took a flight from Delhi to Bagdogra And from the airport I was lucky enough to have found someone from the Army who offered me a ride directly to Darjeeling.
As I reached HMI I was glad to see the campus which was so green, clean and peaceful. It was like a detox for my mind while I was there.
We were very lucky to have stayed in the new girls hostel which was recently inaugurated and was very clean and comfortable.
The mess was happening with TV there. The campus has a volleyball court and two climbing walls (outdoor and indoor).