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Search & Rescue course

Rajan's Shirshshasan at 13000ft

The 14th Search & Rescue course of Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi, Uttaranchal completed on 8th April 2002 ( A 20 days course). Those trainee who attended their Advance Mountaineering Course from respective institute  & achieved the 'A' grade are allowed to do this course. Search & Rescue techniques for any Himalayan accident while in the expedition /trekking, were taught in this course.

Their are three main crafts mainly concentrated in this course are Search & Rescue in Rocks, Snow and Ice. Though Physical fitness is the deciding factor of the quality of the trainee,Map reading, first aid & administering rescue operation is also of considerable importance.

Our Daily schedule was like 5:30am Tea, 6:30am PT, 7:30am Breakfast, 8:30am Training, 10:30am Juice Break, 1:30pm Lunch, 3:00pm Lecture, 4:00pm Tea, 5:00 pm Lecture cum demo, 7:30pm Dinner & 9:00pm Lights off.  This schedule used to vary from time to time depending upon weather condition. Our Trg. area was Tekhala & Dokrani Bamak.

19th March 2002 reporting day comprising a Pep talk by Sr. Instructor Mr. Nautial. On 20th March 2002 morning inaugural Talk by Lt. Col. Ashok Abey for both (Basic & SNR) courses. It was very clear that this course is going to make us really tough after listening to Principal. We were distributed in ropes. First 3 days were dedicated for toughening our body to carry heavy weight like hill walk with 10-15 kg rucksack on the back & descend down with carrying trainees on the shoulder as casualty(pick a back/fireman lift etc.). Next 4 days at Tekhala for learning Rock craft with search & rescue techniques. Then return to NIM hostel & then next 3 days trek to Base Camp via Bookhi-Tel (8500 ft)-Gujjarhut (11200 ft)-BC (12500 ft). One day halt at Gujjarhut for acclaimatisation with height gain at Rakautop (13500ft) & descend down with casualty (with improvised stretcher made from ski). 

Base Camp          : 12500 ft.
At Base camp, a wonderful place for camping. You can find a lake called Kheratal towards left of the route between Gujjarhut & Base Camp facing towards Joanli peak. Above Kheratal a mountain ridge called Macha Dhar exists, towards right of root a ridge called Choro ki dhar lies. At Base camp one can see Dingadh river on left. Also you can see a helipad constructed by NIM for their Search & Rescue course. 

Next 5 days at BC with ICE/SNOW SNR Techniques being practiced. One day evening I found a Voley ball with Basic group while preparing Helipad on the snow at BC. After our excercise we played Voleyball & then Football on the snow remembering an great hindi song "Kabhi Everest pay football khela hai!!!". I think this should be a good acclaimatization excercise. Same day suddenly after dinner around 8:00pm their was immergency whistle for an practice rescue operation. We were tired after day excercise & play. We were given Grid Reference of the area & told to search & rescue the casualty in the night. I was the one in the team in my rope pretty confidence about my Map reading knowledge (since being a Physics student) found proper location on the map & explained to the instuctor & offcourse it was right. We returned back at around 11:00pm with carrying casualty on the shoulder which was at higher camp near to the ABC. While returning we found a fresh sheet of snow fox & pug marks, beaconning the presence of wilderness in the area.

Last day at BC were spend for Helicopter rescue. Due to some technical reason Helicopter didn't turned up but our instructor utilised the same time for snow craft till lunch. The same day we had benightment experience by creating a snow cave or igloo using compact snow. It took 2 and half hr. to make four man igloo. The night experience was fun inside. We were expressing a kind of fear incase our Egloo fails in the mid-night then how to rescue ourselves from the shame & all. But next day morning our confidense level risen to sky since our igloo was intact & we can make successful igloo for night survival in the need time. Next 2 days were spent for returning to NIM via Tel-Bookhi. We were lucky to get bathed in the hot water spring at Ganganani which is 20 min. away from the Bookhi towards Gangotri by NIM bus. One can forget the body pain after spending 10-15 min. in the hot water spring, We were fresh-n-up for the next task of written exam of the course at NIM campus. 

Next day we visited Matli for Helicopter rescue demonstration at ITBP campus. At last we could saw the heli rescue techniques on the ground by winching a dummy model & descending down while hovering(Helicopter) by Chitah of Indian Air Force. Then Principal interview with all trainee one-by-one reduces the heart beats of all of us. At night we entertained ourselves by cultural program consisting few songs like Local (Gadhawali), Hindi & Nepali songs/dance. Last day Dr. Ms. Harshwanti Bisht(Guest) Graduated us with SNR Badge. Dr. Bisht is a kind of environmentalist who hinted us our duties towards nature apart from search & Rescue operation in Himalayas.
Next day morning an unusual experience from NIM that we are almost dragged out of our bed to vacant the place may be due to busy schedule of the NIM or whatever reason. By private vehicle we left Uttarkashi to rishikesh & then to Delhi by bus. A night stay at Maharashtra sadan & next day morning return journey to Mumbai at 0 feet (above Sea level) from 13500ft while in the training at NIM.
So thanks to NIM for strenuous satisfied course. Click here for group photo.

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