Information for Indian Expeditions

This section contains the Guidelines for planning and conduct of expeditions, financial assistance addmissible from IMF, Formats for Application for Expedition and the Expedition Report


Click Here To Download

Application Form for Indian Teams

for Booking of Peak and Grant of Financial Assistance


Year 2015- Version 1


Dear Expedition Organiser:

On behalf of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation we look forward to receiving your application for booking a peak in the Indian Himalaya. Please follow the process outlined below and on receipt of the completed documents the IMF will issue the permit within 7 working days. As the expedition organiser we would encourage you to be fully aware and compliant with various conditions in regard to issue of the permit being issued by the IMF.

This document includes the following:

1. Application Form

2. Important Guidelines

Annexure A : Environment Guidelines

Annexure B : Safety Guidelines

Annexure C : Additional Information for the Leader

3. Post Expedition Responsibilities


Annexure D : Post Expedition Reporting Guidelines

Annexure E  : Grade Assessment Reporting

Annexure F : Incident Reporting

After receiving the expedition report the IMF will issue the Authentication of Climb Certificate.

We look forward to receiving your application.

Best regards,


Indian Mountaineering Foundation


Application Form for Booking of Peak & Grant of Financial Assistance

( Financial assistance only applicable to affiliated organizations )


Expedition Details


1.      Name of the Peak  and Altitude Co-ordinates

       Alternate Peak and Altitude Co-ordinates

2.    Route chart

Attach  Map/Sketch

3.    Itinerary with Dates 


4.    Leaders Particulars

Write in Part A

5.    Members Particulars                                                        

Write in Part B

6.   Approximate Expedition Budget ( Rs. )

7.   Source of Funds ( Apart from IMF )

8.    Agency hired for Portage & Administrative support

9.    Doctor/Paramedic in Team                                                      


10.  Appropriate Medical Stores & Supplies

Attach List

11.   Does the team require financial assistance from IMF ?



Part A :  Particulars of Leader




Name of the Leader

Mountaineering Courses Done

Do share your climbing history which includes the following in sequential order :


Leader or Member

( name leader if you were a member )

Year of Expedition

Highest point reached

Have you done any additional courses and trailing like First Aid ? :


Part B :  Particulars of Team Member




Name of the Member and Age

Mountaineering Courses:

Climbing Experience

Occupation :

Email Address and Phone Number :


Additional Information

1.    Please fill one page per member in the team.

2.    Photograph of each team member needs to be attached.


Part C :  Expedition Leader Undertaking



As the expedition leader I undertake:

1. I hereby declare that each member is undertaking this activity voluntarily and at his/her own risk. IMF would not be held responsible on any account, what so ever, either by the organizers or the participants, who in turn would bear the entire responsibility towards any

representation by a third party, in respect of the said expedition.

2. That I have read and understood the Environment and Safety Guidelines and Additional information for the leader for the conduct of the expedition and the same have been made known to each member of the expedition. I, in the capacity of the Expedition Leader, would ensure that the members of the expedition, individually and as a team would abide by the said guidelines.

3. It is mandatory for the leader to submit a report after the expedition. Please refer to Annexure D for the format for delivering this report. This report should reach the IMF within 2 months of completion of the expedition. The IMF will release the Authentication certificate only after receiving the expedition report from the leader.

4. Prior to release of the IMF Climb Authentication Certificate the IMF Expedition Scrutiny Committee will review the Leader Expedition Report. In the event that the IMF Scrutiny Committee finds that a deliberate attempt has been made to claim a summit or a record this will invite suitable regulatory action.

5. An irregularity between the approved expedition member’s list and those who actually climbed the mountain would invite suitable regulatory action.

Place:                                                                                     (Signature of leader) : 

Date:                                                                                      Name in Full :  


Annexture A :  Environment Guidelines


IMF Environmental Guidelines

The Indian Mountaineering Foundation has established guidelines with a view of ensuring that the Indian Himalaya is maintained pollution free. It is imperative that expeditions climbing at a later point do not find mountaineering gear and garbage at base camp and on the mountain which will result in limiting their experience. The IMF has laid down general and specific instructions for garbage and equipment management on an expedition. We request that the leader and each expedition member follow the guidelines in letter and spirit.

General Instructions for Garbage Management:

·          It should be a conscience effort to leave the camp-sites and trails cleaner than you found them.

·          While the prime responsibility of compliance shall lie with the expedition leader but all members in the team shall be held collectively responsible in case of  breach of these guidelines.

·          All members as well as the support staff must be thoroughly briefed and trained adequately for them to be able to differentiate between

           Bio degradable and Non biodegradable waste and its correct mode of disposal.

·          At altitudes in excess of the snow line natural decomposition processes are slowed so that waste pollutes the mountain for many years. Hence it should be the prime effort of all members to ensure that no form of any waste is left or disposed of above this altitude.

Specific instructions related to Disposal of Waste on the Mountain:

Bio-degradable waste is to be suitably disposed only below the snow line. Biodegradable waste is a type of waste that can be broken down into its base compounds by micro-organisms, air, moisture or soil in a reasonable amount of time. It includes - Green waste, food, paper, biodegradable plastics and human waste etc.

·       At Base Camp a Toilet hole must be dug in soil deep enough and all human excretion produced must be dumped in it during the teams’ stay. (Photo evidence is to be provided in the expedition report)

·       Bio degradable kitchen waste has to be deposited in a deep hole at base camp which is to be completely covered at the end of the stay.(Photo evidence is to be provided in the expedition report)


Annexture A- Continued


Non-bio degradable waste is to be disposed only at or below the road head.

Non-biodegradable waste is a type of waste that cannot be broken down into its base compounds by micro-organisms, air, moisture or soil. Unlike biodegradable waste, non-biodegradable waste remains stable indefinitely. Because non-biodegradable waste cannot be broken down, recycling is the only option. It includes - rubber, styrofoam, plastic, glass and metals etc.

·       All Non-Bio degradable waste is to be collected in sacks and then carried down from the camps to the road head.

·       All Non-Bio degradable waste carried down from the camps must be disposed of by submission to vendors and other local garbage collectors in the area or as in case of Uttrakhand as directed by local authorities. (Photo evidence is to be provided in the expedition report)

Specific instructions related to Mountaineering Equipment:

·       All fixed ropes must be retrieved and carried back down after the climb. In case of non compliance – adequate reasons must be stated in the expedition report. (Photograph evidence is to be provided in the expedition report)

·       All tents, bivouacs material and other permanent campsite hardware are Not to be left behind on the mountain. (In case of non compliance – adequate reasoning with evidence must be presented in the expedition report)

·       All technical climbing equipment must be brought back down from the mountain except in situations when there is a serious safety issue involved. (In case of non-compliance – adequate reasoning with evidence must be presented in the expedition report)


Annexture A - Continued


Instructions for Compliance of Environment Guidelines:

To ensure compliance of the IMF Environment Guidelines, expedition leaders are required to take the following steps:

·     All evidence supporting compliance is required to be presented in the team’s expedition report.

·     Substantial photo evidence – pertaining to garbage disposal and equipment retrieval must be included in the expedition report.

·     If any mountaineering expedition team discovers evidence of non compliance by prior teams to the area, they are requested to collect and present photographic evidence to the IMF Environmental Management Committee and the committee will investigate and take remedial action.

·     IMF representatives are being deployed (effective 2015) to conduct random checks and collect evidence at select base camps. These representatives will report to the IMF committee with their findings.

IMF Environment Management Committee

Any suggestion and issues of non compliance can be raised with the IMF Environment Management Committee:

Maninder Kohli Chairman:

Karan Singh Member :

Non Compliance to Environment Guidelines

If the IMF committee notices non compliance of the IMF Environment Guidelines. It will take the appropriate regulatory action as may be deemed fit by the IMF.


Annexture B :  Safety Guidelines


Disclaimer :  Safety advisory section as stated below is not intended to contain comprehensive material but rather serve as important basis points which have evolved bases on incidents which have taken place on previous expeditions.



Advisory Details


Choice of the climbing objective must be a function of: expertise, experience,technical competence and fitness of the team as a whole.


All team members are to be duly insured (minimum Rs 2.50 lakh for non-earning and Rs 3.0 lakh for earning members) against accident. Additional clause for altitude and exposure related physiological conditions (Frost Bite, Hypothermia, HAPE, HACE etc) should preferably be included in the scope of insurance or covered through a separate ‘Mediclaim’ policy.  All porters must be insured for at least Rs.1.0 lakh.

Gear Check

Use quality gear particularly the high dependence items such as: ropes (inspection, palpation and aging), runners and slings, carabiners, harness and helmets. It is recommended that multiple safety helmets are carried and used by team members. Recommended that each team member carries inter camp communication equipment.

Medical Experience

The team leader should obtain a medical fitness certificate for undertaking the expedition from each member. The team should preferably include a doctor or paramedic.

Medical Courses

Expedition Leader and Member’s are advised to participate in Training program titled -  Emergency Responder - First Aid for Wilderness. Program schedule is available on the IMF website.


Do a pre-climb mountain weather check but remember to do a day-to-day corroboration with visual inspection as Himalaya are notorious for sudden development of un-expected severe micro weather systems.  Also keep a local guide and leave the expedition plan with a responsible person at the road-head.


Annexture C :  Additional Information for Leader


1.             Qualifications for Leader:   Advance Mountaineering Course with ‘A’ Grade from a Govt. Institute. Should have participated in at least two expeditions to peaks above 6,000m and should have summited at least one

        peak above 6,000m.

2.             Qualifications & Composition of Team :  The team should have adequate number of members qualified on Advance/S&R/MoI courses with experience of expeditions. Some members with only Basic Course qualification

        and upto two members with high altitude trekking, rock climbing and related experience, may be included.

        The team finally selected should be capable of dealing with all possible contingencies without jeopardizing

        the overall safety. Though the size of the team would be dictated by the altitude of peak, degree of difficulty of

         climb, accessibility etc. 

3.             Equipment Hiring :  Equipment would be available for hire against security deposit and would be subject to availability.

4.        Boarding/Lodging at IMF :  Dormitory accommodation for 30 persons is available at IMF. Booking is done on first 

         come first served basis.

5.         Working hours at IMF : 10am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday except - Gazetted Holiday and Second  



6.        Booking of Peaks :   Would be done on first come first served basis. A delay in submission of application

        and documents could  result in cancellation of the provisional booking  of the above peak.

7.     IMF Climbing Awards :  The IMF would like to share that it has instituted the IMF Climbing Awards and further

       details are available on the IMF website.

8.        Duration of Expedition :           Peaks bookings are valid for 15 days from Base Camp to Base Camp. Booking for

        longer duration of 03/04 week would be granted on the merits of case (first ascents, new route, height and

        degree of difficulty) on specific request.


Annexture D :  Expedition Reporting Guidelines



Expedition Report Filing: All leaders are expected to file an expedition report within two months after the expedition. The report has to be filed as a soft copy. A hard copy will not be accepted. The guidelines for filing a report are available on the IMF website. In case your expedition is eligible for financial assistance please send a hard copy along with the soft copy.

Guidelines for forming an Expedition Report: It is important to make detailed notes on the following areas (Photographs and Maps must be provided where required):

·       Route Description with Itinerary – Provide details of the approach trek and the route. Detailed physical features and conditions encountered including geo morphic features. Provide a complete itinerary of the expedition. (Attach Photographs and Maps)

·       Climbing Route – The report must contain a map, photo or preferably a Google Earth image of the mountain showing the climbing route and all the campsites clearly marked.

·       Logistical Management – Provide a note on the logistical scenario including rations and the gear carried and used on the expedition. Mention the mode of carry/ferry of all loads. 

·       Progression Details – A detailed description of all campsites and inter camp movement , geographical coordinates, weather, distance, travel times, load-ferries, terrain features (nature of terrain: couloirs, gullies, slopes etc, gradients, nature of climbs; technical aspects, rope used, water sources, objective hazards, any problems encountered).

·       Summit Day - Start time, mode of travel (techniques used, rope use), nature of snow/ice/rock encountered, weather, equipment used, gradients, objective hazards, time of summit, turn-around before summit, reasons for turnaround, time of summiting, route conditions encountered during descent, time of arrival at camp site, special events or problems encountered.

·      Summit/High Point – The required evidence must be collected for the IMF in order for them to authenticate the claim of a successful summit or any altitude record. Please refer Form I for guidelines and requirements for compliance.

·       Compliance to the Environment Guidelines - It is important that adequate mention in writing and through photographs illustrates adherence to the IMF’s Environmental Guidelines. Please refer Form E for guidelines and requirements for compliance.

·      Local Culture and Environment - A note on the local flora and fauna and the experience encountered during contact with the local people and their cultures/customs. (Kindly attach photos where possible.)



Effective 2015 the IMF will issue an Authentication of Climb certificate to all Indian expeditions which have summited a peak in the Indian Himalaya. This certificate will contain names of the peak, the names of the members who summited and the name of the Club.

The database of all successful summit attempts and other records will be maintained in the IMF records and the list will be available on the official IMF website.

The following evidence must be provided by members to claim a successful summit or an altitude record:

·          Photographs at the Summit/High Point reached – The members are required to provide photographic evidence of the summit as proof. The photos submitted must meet the following criteria: (a) The summit/hp photo submitted must show clearly the faces of all members present. (Photos of members with covered faces for whatever reason cannot be considered as adequate proof for the claim) (b) Photos showing a 360 degree view all around the summit must be submitted. In case of the presence of a cornice on the true summit - the photo must be taken against the cornice in the background. (c) Photos of surrounding peaks and other neighbouring geographical landmarks must also be submitted.

·          GPS Reading - The members are required to provide a photograph of an authentic GPS device showing both the altitude as well as the geographical (physical) co-ordinates taken at the summit/highest point. Either the device or the photograph must have the time and date in order for the readings to be accepted as evidence.

To further strengthen the evidence - Members can photograph the GPS device against the backdrop of the summit, any known geographical landmarks or peaks or with the members themselves present in the photo.

·          Video Footage - Members are encouraged to submit Video footage of the summit/hp if possible as proof towards a summit/hp claim. Video footage will be considered as very strong evidence towards a summit claim. The criterion for the video footage is the same that is given for the photographic evidence above.

·          A Write-Up – Members need to submit - along with all photographs - a description or a write-up of the summit/high point reached. (a) A brief description of the summit/hp point or area – The nature of the summit. The snow and weather conditions encountered. (b) A brief description of the views from the summit/hp and the surrounding peaks and other geographical landmarks. (c) A note of any physical sightings or found at or around the summit/hp (d) A note on the climb to the summit/hp – A description of the route, the time taken, climb gradient, hazards encountered, snow conditions, obstacles encountered. (e) In case the team was unable to reach the true summit of the mountain. A comprehensive write-up behind the reasoning and substantial evidence in support of this claim needs to be provided in the expedition report. The IMF scrutiny committee shall be the final judge of this claim.

Authentication of Climb: Effective 2015 the IMF will release an Authentication of Climb certificate. The certificate shall be the formal acknowledgement of the expedition. The IMF will only release this certificate once it has received the expedition report and evaluated the required information both in terms of the written description and photographs. All information for all expeditions will be made available by the IMF on its official website.


Annexture D :  Continued


Annexture E :  Grade Assessment Reporting


The expedition leader is required to articulate the technical difficulty encountered during the expedition as per details below :




Name of Mountain

Expedition Organization and Dates

Face/ Ridge Attempted

Nature of the face e.g rock, snow, ice or mixed terrain

Gradient of the route in approximate

degrees and description of artificial technical

aids used to negotiate difficulty.

Leaders assessment of Technical Difficulty ( TD )

with Grade ( refer to grade description )

Justification of grade assessment by leader

required by marking route on photographs.


Annexture E :  Grade Assessment Reporting Continued


Technical Grades


Grade 1

Easy approach on rock/ snow/ ice slopes with shallow gradient.

Grade 2

Rock/ snow/ ice slopes up to 45 degrees where climbing may require anchoring, belaying and or abseiling due to objective hazard.

Grade 3

Fairly difficult rock/ snow/ ice slopes at an angle between 45 degrees & 60 degrees with considerable exposed face. Needs belaying with safe anchor due to significant objective hazard.

Grade 4

Hard more exposed slope at 50-70 degrees angle on longer routes with sustained difficulty. Such a grade poses serious objective hazard.

Grade 5

Very hard route with high level of objective hazards on rock/ snow/ ice slopes at an angle between 65 and 80 degrees. Requires various technical safety aids on very long sections of hard climbing.

Grade 6

Extremely difficult pitches with exceptional objective hazards, climbing involves vertical rock/ snow/ ice slopes using multiple technical aids.

Grade 7

Difficulty and danger at their limits. Climb involves negotiating dangerous and maximum exposed overhanging rock/ snow/ ice faces multiple technical aids.


Annexture F :  Incident Reporting

Rounded Rectangle: Director, Indian Mountaineer Foundation 6, Benito Juarez Road, ‘Opp Anand Niketan, New Delhi – 110 021 Phone : 011- 2411 1211, 2411 79 35 | Email: |

Incident Reporting:   All expedition leaders and team members are expected to report in detail on any incidents which has taken place during the expedition involving members or support staff. The following are the types of incidents which should be reported :

1.    Climbing Accidents

2.    Cases of Severe Altitude Sickness

3.    Animals Attacks

4.    Severe Weather Disturbances

5.    Avalanches and Landslides

Expedition Leaders are requested to share a detailed note with pictures about the incident and send this to the Director, IMF. The IMF has established a process to consolidate information on all reported incidents with a view to establish an advisory which will be shared with expeditions which are being planned in the future.