Hiking - Trivia

Trekking Basics: How to Get Trek Permit from Indian Mountaineering Foundation

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Any sort of expedition requires a lot of time planning and preparing in advance to actually undertake it. In the process of prepping properly for any trek, an important point to take into consideration is the legal permission required for the particular area you’re looking to scale. Every trip isn’t a spontaneous one, in fact, if you’re looking to take a serious expedition, there are many legal formalities underway without which you could be landing yourself into some serious hot water. When mountaineering in India all permissions sought should approach the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, India.

The IMF or the Indian Mountaineering Foundation is a national body provides permits for expeditions, obliges with training courses and exercises and in general, provides for the needs of trekkers and mountaineers. If you have applied and received a permit to trek from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, then you will be able to execute your expedition without any legal issues.

Understanding what qualifies as an expedition will give you some clarity on whether you are applicable for a permit or not. An expedition can be classified as a semi trekking and a semi mountaineering trip. Technically lasting above of eight days, incorporating heights higher than 16000 feet, and the use of technical skills combined with tools are some of the major makings of an expedition. The added factor being the remote location and the proximity to international borders making it necessary and mandatory to obtain special line permits.

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A Handy Document

Getting an approval from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation or IMF India goes beyond compulsion in terms of being rather handy in case of obtaining further inner line permits. Expeditions closer to international borders often require additional inner line permits from the closest civil authorities say the AR/BSF/BTP/Army etc. Also, a validation from the IMF is like a ‘go ahead’ stamp of approval - that your planning is in place.

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Sample of a certificate issued by IMF (Source)

Requirements to get a Permit

First off, take down the entire details that make up your Trek, Support staff and Team, and Logistics. Identification proof copies will be also required. Any of the team members who are working with Government Organizations should apply for and obtain a NOC or a No Objection Certificate from the Head of the Department of the administration section.

Things to Do

The headquarters of IMF is located in New Delhi. Compose a letter in hard copy to the following address of the headquarters of IMF:

Indian Mountaineering Foundation,
#6, Benito Juarez Road, Opposite Anand Niketan,
New Delhi 110021

When sending a hard copy letter, don’t forget to mention the address at which you would be expecting the approval to be received via post from IMF.

You can also alternatively send in an email to the following addresses:

To: [email protected],
CC: [email protected]

To confirm the status of your application at the Indian mountaineering foundation, you can also contact Mr. Kailash Tripathi, Administration IMF, via email correspondence, at [email protected]

The application should bear a cover letter addressed to the Director and bearing the subject line like ‘Approval for a trekking expedition to ‘location name’ ‘date and month’.

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Permit from IMF (Source)

Following this will be a supporting Trekking Expedition Document copy bearing the below-mentioned details:

  • The name of the (location) Trek, and specifics of the Date, Month, Year of the Trek being undertaken.
  • The entire trek itinerary specifics in detail.
  • Further details entailing the level of difficulty of the gradient, the maximum elevation level, usage of technical gear and equipment and the climatic/weather conditions.
  • A map tracing out the route of the trek.
  • Details of the Team Members such as Name, Age, Residential Address, Occupation, the Brief profile of professional and trekking experience.
  • Scanned copies of the ID’s of the Team members along the lines of Aadhar Card, Ration/Election Card, Passport etc.
  • A copy of the ‘No Objection Certificate’ in the case of Government Employees, obtained from the concerned HOD of the respective Government administration department.
  • The details of the support staff are also required to be shared such as the name of the Guide, the total number of staff in the support team (comprising of helpers, cook, porters etc.)
  • The details of the group’s equipment and technical gear along the lines of oxygen cylinders, climbing gear, medicines, sleeping bags, mats etc.

Additional Information – Mountaineering Courses in India

The IMF is the apex body that governs all high altitude treks, expeditions, climbing/mountaineering etc. Mountaineering in India has fast caught on and that means there are quite a few mountaineering institute India. The Indian mountaineering foundation courses are recommended to add to your experience and learning as a whole. If you’re looking for some mountaineering courses in India, there are many that you can choose from.

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Indian Mountaineering Foundation(Source)

Among the list of mountaineering institutes in India, few noteworthy ones are the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Allied Sports, Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering & Winter Sports and National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports. Choose from the list of mountaineering institutes in India to learn the skill and the craft of mountaineering. All mountaineering institutes India are affiliated to IMF.

These mountaineering courses equip you with the knowledge of responsible ethics during mountaineering and expeditions. Based on what you would like to enroll in and your eligibility for the same, apply as soon as possible since seat availability is usually on a ‘first come first serve’ basis.

Read: Climbing Mount Everest and Running 350 kms Barefoot!

Summing Up

India offers numerous mountaineering and climbing opportunities what with being surrounded by the belt of the Himalayan range on the northern side. Already facing an uphill climb when it comes to preparing yourself for an expedition, adding the very necessary permit application process only increases the arduous task.

However, it is a noteworthy offense as per the Indian legal system to undertake an expedition in the Himalayas without IMF approval. Despite the tedious process, it will be extremely helpful in ensuring a smooth trip in the time to come….so go ahead, make the time, and file your application!

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