Member of IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV

Published on March 17, 2024

Photo Courtesy: NNMGA

A team of three Nepali IFMGA/UIAGM certified mountain guides from Nepal National Mountain Guides Association (NNMGA) are in China as instructors to conduct the Intermediate Mountaineering Course (IMC) Component I – 2024.

The course is conducted by China Mountain Guide Development Co. with the technical collaboration with Nepal National Mountain Guide Association. For the course, Riten Jangbu Sherpa (Tashi) (Education Chief), Naren Shahi Thakuri (NNMGA Technical Committee Convener) and Pemba Rita Sherpa departed on 2 March, 2024 to China, according to the NNMGA.

This 14-day training is the first component which focuses on theoretical understanding of mountaineering, alpine guiding, meteorological understanding and analysis, navigation, as well as negotiating with rocky terrain and rock climbing activities. The second component of the course will be organized in China in July 2024. Afterwards the Intermediate Mountaineering Course, Component II commences which is more pragmatic and involves snow, ice and mixed terrain climbing exercises, NNMGA said.

NNMGA’s President Ang Norbu Sherpa stated, “This training is an opportunity especially for Asiatic mountain aspirants who seek to develop a professional career in mountain guiding affiliated to the IFMGA.” The fact that this training is being organized by NNMGA with genuine enthusiasm from Chinese youths in Yangshou is a testament of NNMGA’s devotion towards developing a competent mountain workforce and a healthy relationship between Nepal and China. Thus, the training is of national significance, said President Mr. Sherpa.

Photo Courtesy: NNMGA

Intermediate Mountaineering Course (IMC) is designed by Nepal National Mountain Guide Association (NNMGA) under the meticulous study of the course contents by the technical committee of International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA) to integrate the mountain guide education system throughout Asia. As the IFMGA has not officially endorsed China as a member country, NNMGA and Nepali guides have set out to assist fellow aspiring guides in China, NNMGA added.

Similarly, in 2023, NNMGA had organized similar training in India for 11 trainees in collaboration with the Ladakh Mountain Guide Association (LMGA). The graduates from this training were then able to take up mainstream IFMGA courses in their journey to becoming an IFMGA/UIAGM mountain guide throughout the Asian countries.

NNMGA is the official Nepali representative of the International Federation of Mountain Guide Association (IFMGA) and in the previous years, the organization had conducted training in Nepal for trainees from India, Pakistan and Oman as well. The recognition of Nepali guides as international trainers and instructors in all of Asia is a huge achievement, said NNMGA’s President Mr. Sherpa. He added, with such energetic participation from the Chinese trainees, our internationally certified instructors shall ensure the trainees receive an IFMGA-standard learning, thus assisting in the contribution of added mountain safety and experiences. NNMGA has incorporated annual and periodic plans to conduct skill development training for mountain enthusiasts and eventually Nepal to lead the mountaineering and guiding scenario in Asia.

Photo Courtesy: NNMGA

“The training happening in China, after completion, shall enable the trainees to pass the basic standard to acquire more mainstream courses on mountain guiding. After the successful completion of all components of the training, the participants are given time by when they will have to complete climbing three 6000-meter peaks and one 7000-meter peak under the supervision of IFMGA/UIAGM certified mountain guides. The trainees are then qualified to appear at the Aspirant Guide entry exam (the official IFMGA’s training course).”

According to the NNMGA, the IFMGA training module for Europe includes skiing as a mandatory component for trainees to excel at as the European Alps are less lofty and Ski is one of the biggest alpine activities associated. However, owing to the massive scale and steep slopes of the Himalaya, IFMGA has developed a specialized training course for Nepal and Bolivia focused on Mountaineering activities. that has elevation and technical factors more emphasized than Ski.

Nepal, as the nearest authentic IFMGA member organization, oversees China and India’s mountaineering training. This marks a significant step forward for mountain guiding in the region, as these guides are the first to deliver a critical training program aimed at aspiring mountaineers in China. These trainings will enable mountain enthusiasts from India and China to become officially certified IFMGA mountain guides, and Nepal will eventually become a patent country for the newly established members. Nepal National Mountain Guide Association (NNMGA) as the official Nepali representative for the

International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA) has envisioned producing qualified human capital in mountains and mountaineering while creating opportunities for guides and climbers to continuously enhance skills and qualifications, NNMGA stated.