Basic Mountaineering Course ( BMC) @ NIMAS BLOG 3:
Before you read along about adventures in New Melling in case you have missed the starting have a look at the:
- first part of the series Basic Mountaineering Course NIMAS dirang BMC part 1 .
- the second one BasicMountaineering Course NIMAS Dirang BMC part 2
April 18 Day 7 – CONTINUED A sleepy hamlet with hills on all side and a transparent river in front has a very small population.
It has four houses of which one is vacant and other have 2-3 people each. There is one ITBP centre housing 2 people. One café which is pretty well equipped. Two Dogs. Three chicken and whole lot of yaks. To shatter the eco system were 23 of us in BMC, 13 AMC and our support staff of about 15 people. This was our abode.
We received the ice craft equipments : ice axe, snow shoes, crampons. My shoe size was the biggest UK 12( This is the maximum shoe size available).The wooden floored rooms were perfect for our platoons. This was our base for the next 6 days.
The next 6 days were going to be all about rock climbing. It was all about bruised hands, homatomas and most of all shattered egos. April 18 Day 8 The day started by 0500 hrs. The daily morning activity over the next few days included going in search of a beautiful secluded places and planting landmines:D . Next included getting ready for the PT which included carrying the damned backpack to the Hydel power plant 4 km away and back. The first day was a slow motion PT sprinkled with bouts of breathlessness even after small actions. There was a push up session at hydel and we returned back without much resting time.
Back to the base we had breakfast. Yes the food at New Melling is better than that at Dirang. Inspite of all the amenities at Dirang, the food is not even half as tasty as that of the higher camps.
We went back to the nearby rock climbing area for this soon to be daily activity. ” Rock Baba ki…..Jai“ There are 5 rock climbing routes which appear fairly innocuous to the city eyes. The rock patch 1,2,3,4 & 6 are very deceiving. 2 is a easy route and not attempted. 3 is not so easy route for beginners but feels increasingly easy when any one attempts the remaining 3 patches. 1& 4 are easy at the start & if you manage to cross the difficult middle section you can easily reach the top. I managed 3 easily & scrambled my way to the top with a little help from the belay. 4 was attempted by AMC easily. These south Indian gang had superb core strength & were professional rock climbers from my perspective.
Route 6 was kept reserved for the next day. By the afternoon I was aware how under trained I was for rock climbing. The rock climbing sessions I had been before seemed like a ladder climb. The kind of holds these walls employed the upper cut, under cut , pinch holds, pressure holds, jam holds were too much for my liking. Most of us ended up with many bruises and cuts. After every successful or unsuccessful climb we drank the tonic of mountains- Push ups. 30-40 at one go. In the afternoon we had a session by Subedhar Dan Singh sir on Hazards in the mountains. This was situated by the river in the open air. By the end of this enlightening lecture the chilled wind almost froze us. Gyan: The wind factor tends to make the temperature feel like its 10 degrees lesser.This is called wind chill effect Once the lecture was over we chilled and binged on noodles in the most happening place in New Melling- the café. After noodles it was time for tan check 🙂
Once back some or the other timepass ensured that we stayed awake till dinner. The food was good as always and we relished the sweet pudding very much. The warmth of the sleeping bag lulled me to sleep in no time. April 19 Day 9 The day was pretty much the same as yesterday but much more entertaining as we were better acclimatized by the day. Today I attempted the 4 & 6 rock patch. 4 was a total bust and I felt that my fingers lack strength. Managed 6 today with bit of support from the belay. Bro Tip:
If you don’t want the rock climbing to be a pain in the ass. Please start rock climbing training 5-6 months before and slowly graduate to the difficult holds like pinch & jam holds. Normal push ups are no wonder good for your upper body strength, but the finger tip push ups is what would really help for rock climbing.
The day was rounded off by a medical lecture by Saleem Sir. He resolved our queries on acclimatisation, cold injuries , first aid etc. April 20 Day 10 Todays PT was a strength gaining exercise as we carried about 14kgs in rOOksOOk. The shoulders ached but I could feel my strength increasing over time.
Back at the rock patch , the exhaustion had taken its toll as I couldn’t climb any of the attempted rock patch. Demoralised. Hopefully I would better it tomorrow when we would be graded for rock climbing for 20 marks. April 21 Day 11 Todays PT was till a high point near the Hydel point. The journey was exhausting and the lack of power was clearly visible during the rock climbing test. The test was not i would have expected. Lets just say i had seen better days on rock. I was demoralized after the shoddy performance .The lecture on bases by Ram Sir was very energetic and helped me get over the mockery of performance I put on the rocks today. The remaining of the day was invested in packing the ice-craft equipments in the back pack. Our next day task involved carrying these equipments 15 kms to a camp before Mago. This place is called Half-Link. April 22 Day 12: ( Acclimatisation walk & load ferrying to Half Link & back – 10530 ft, 30 km total) 15 km One side @10 kg rOOksOOk The trek started with mild shower accompanying us for a while.
The route is super scenic and makes you wonder how these gems are still hidden from the world. Even these beautiful gems fail to take your focus off the pain in your body while covering the 15 kms of this heavenly trek
There were three pit stops enroute .We managed to reach Halk-link when I was on my last strand of energy. The journey was completed from 0730 – 1300 hrs. But there was barely any rest as we started our way back within another half an hour. On the way back it drizzled making the route very scenic. The return journey was swift than the first half of the day. I felt my energy flow through the veins as I got charged up by the rain. The few locals at hydel were amused seeing us city guys trying to live a part of their life writhing in so much pain.
The nature does try to paint a picture perfect to relieve our pain.
After much efforts we reached back to New Melling. Before disbursing us Ram sir had some motivating words for us.
On return the good folks in the kitchen had prepared Jam-Paani. The proprietary hot drink made from jam and few spices does relax you. I binged on it. I managed to sneak a bucket of hot water as I took bath in the open. The body pain seemed to vanish. Quick dinner and we slept like dead logs. April 23 Day 13 Today was the day when we were supposed to carry the remaining of the 15 kilos of load to Half-link. But probably the instructors saw our tired faces and postponed the drudgery. Today we had a break in our schedule and the time was used for some fun activity. Today we did river crossing.
Here are some moments at New Melling – VLOG 3