PUNE: Nowadays, the number of students opting for mountaineering courses is on the rise as adventure and sports industry is attracting both passion-driven people and those interested in pursuing a career in the field.
Dinesh Kotkar, Mountaineering Inspector of Guardian Giripremi Institute of Mountaineering, said, “The drift in the graph of students that are enrolling for mountaineering courses is rising from past 10 years. People, who enroll for it, are mostly driven by passion for fitness and love for mountains. The training courses in mountaineering help to provide the basic knowledge and ethics. We do have different courses for different age groups, which includes the syllabus according to their expedition type, preference and ability according to the age. Like, we have the ‘Basic Rock Climbing’ course where people from 16 to 80 years learn about treks, climbing and many more. We also have advanced courses, mountain-climbing, Shayadri and Himalaya expedition, equipment courses, wall climbing and artificial sports climbing. For the age of 10 to 16 years, we have a year-long outdoor adventure programme ‘Avhaan-Nirmaan-Udaan,’ which is held on a monthly basis (one Sunday per month) helps them to learn about mountaineering and also give them a chance to explore an adventure.”
He further added, “As we said, mountaineering is also bringing a huge scope in job opportunities as the students enrolled in such courses can become mountaineering instructors, open their own trekking agency (rural and urban areas including), participate in safety, open their own adventure gear shop, become a faculty member in the outward-bound programmes held in the corporate world or a staff in industrial safety – maintenance and rescue department. In a particular year, around 250 students have enrolled for such courses, whereas in the previous year, only around 100 students had enrolled.”
Bhushan Harshe, Senior Instructor of Girivihar Adventure Club, said, “As Mumbai and Pune people have a huge craze for adventure and sports, some enroll in these courses to follow their passion and some prove their adventure skills and fitness. Nowadays, there are several training courses from which people can explore the adventure nationally and internationally. From these courses, they can learn about equipment handling, jummering, back-packing, first-aid, navigation or map-making, bouldering, tent-pitching, rapling and much more. The basic rock-climbing courses start from Rs 5,000. The rock-climbing courses start from October to March and Himalaya treks are organised from April to May and October to November every year.”
Anand Mali, sports and climbing teacher in Vidya Valley School, Pashan, said, “These days, career opportunities for mountaineering has drastically changed. People can also take part in national and zonal games for climbing, mountaineering and so on.
People from different professions like journalists, adventure photographers, geologists and survey conductors register for the mountaineering courses and ayurvedic doctors also train themselves in mountaineering as a demand of their job. People do also opt for teaching and providing guidance to the students in various institutes after advanced courses in mountaineering.”
Purva Shinde Singh, an IT professional, who chose to apply for a mountaineering course, said, “Mountaineering can ease physical and mental stress. It is also a huge way to keep your body and mind healthy and fit. After the completion of the course, I aim to lead the outdoor programmes held in our company.” Rahul Imandar, a doctor, said, “Mountaineering is not only becoming a field for the nature lovers but also a perspective for a better career. After the completion of the course, this would help me to become a consultant about the safety measures in different adventure clubs.”