Getting ‘A’ grade in Basic Mountaineering Course

First of all, you must know that an ‘A’ grade is extremely important in your mountaineering career and you have to have an ‘A’ grade in BMC so that you can go for your AMC.

There is no sure shot way that guarantees an A grade, but no matter which ever mountaineering institute you are taking admission in, these two points can’t be missed.

To get an ‘A’ grade you must have:

  • The Right Attitude
  • Excellent Fitness Level


Having the Right Attitude

Mountaineering is tough and you will find yourself doing things which are way out of your league. Go ahead with a positive bent of mind and never ever underestimate yourself.

Apart from this, make sure you grasp the techniques taught in the classroom well and incorporate those in the field. You must play your role in the team and try to make a good name for yourself.

You must reach the destination within the prescribed time frame. But that doesn’t mean you have to race and try to be always the first one to reach the destination. You should not trail behind your team, if the instructors and your team have to wait for you every now and then, they might not like you.

You have to be friendly to survive camp life, you cannot be low and homesick, no one likes to see sad and fussy faces!

You’ll have to wake up really early (around 4:30 am) and be punctual to become one of the favourites of your instructors who are mostly from the Defence Background. You cannot afford to be late for classes, trainings or even for the meals and bedtime!


Do not fall sick and bunk classes

You must not fall sick. Attend all the acclimatization days (rest days) properly and keep yourself warm and protected specially if you’re from the plains. Cold or any type of illness will impact your performance and you might also have to miss your classes to take rest which doesn’t create a good impression. You have to be tough and cannot cry for every little pain that you endure during the course. Also, don’t use any kind of medicines or substance to improve performance, you are subjected to getting caught during medical examinations.


Maintaining Hygiene

Mountaineers have taken the proverb ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ a bit too seriously! You have to learn the art of maintaining hygiene using small quantity of water and without using any kind of soaps. During your stay in the institute hostel, you will find shortage of water on several occasions because some of your teammates will use water more than their share. So try to use to washroom as early as possible beacuse the ones who are left behind at the end suffer the loss of water the most. At the base camp and in the glaciers, you will get only one cup of hot water for doing your daily chores, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be dirty!

You can keep yourself clean without using deodorants and scents. Carry a small piece of sponge and use it efficiently because sponge absorbs water quickly and also dries fast. Carry extra pairs of undergarments and socks, this will help you to stink less. Comb and brush you hair properly and girls must put their hair in plates to look clean and sober. Don’t worry about long hair or beards, its actually good because it will keep you warm , you’ll also find some of your instructors carrying long hair and long beards for the same reason.

Getting an ‘A’ grade is not that difficult, you just need to show the urge to climb mountains and be on the top of the world (literally)!

Be responsible for your things

Losing your equipments and accessories on the top of a mountain can cost you your life. Be careful about your belongings and gears. You have to submit each and every equipment which has been issued on your name. People tend to lose those tins which are given for having your meals, submit those to the authority on the last day. You cannot afford to lose yours, as you’ll not only have to pay a fine but also it may decrease your grade.


Excellent Fitness level

Ideally, to maximize enjoyment and the chances to secure an ‘A’, start preparing at least 6 months before the commencement of the course.

Full body fitness is essential , but pay special attention to heart, knees and the upper body while working out. Mountaineering is basically divided into 3 parts- Trekking, Rock Climbing and Ice Climbing. For trekking, you need to have a strong heart and healty knees. For Climbing, you have to have immense upper body strength.

Your workout regime must include cardio, pushups, pullups and weight training. Have nutritious food and stretch regularly. You need not join any kind of fitness classes or expensive gyms, just do all these exercises on your own and maintain a regime for 6 months-1 year, before the course.

Getting an ‘A’ grade is not that difficult, you just need to show the urge to climb mountains and be on the top of the world (literally)!


Last but not the least, learn fun activities for the camp fires. There will be many fire-less camp fires during the course. Learn some jokes, poetry, songs, or any other useful activity with which you can entertain your course mates. This will take you a step closer to your dream grade!

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