Last Days & Graduation Ceremony at HMI Darjeeling – Basic Mountaineering Course

Our entire batch - BMC 319

Last days at HMI Darjeeling

After completing the Snow craft and Ice craft training successfully at the HMI Base Camp, we came back to the HMI campus in Darjeeling on 28 April. While coming back we all were quite happy because everyone did the good training and the best thing was that we all were fit and fine. When we reached the campus, everyone welcomed and congratulated us. Now we were left with some tasks such as a written test, a cross country competition, a sports climbing competition, and a personal interview. Before conducting all this, we were given a day for an outing so that we could enjoy and chill out.

There were two competitions that I already knew that they are out of my league, cross country and sports climbing competition. Both the competitions were new for me and I was participating for the first time. However, it was a nice experience. After all this, only a written test and an interview were left and I was not at all worried regarding the same because I attended all the classes sincerely and that is why I was confident enough. As expected, the test was gone well. The interview was taken by the HMI Principal, who was a Captain in the Indian Army. He just asked simple questions like how was your experience, how was the food and training, and etc.

Sports climbing competition
Sports climbing competition

Graduation Ceremony

Initially, we were given a demonstration of the graduation ceremony and then we did the practice of the same. We were quite excited for this day as this was the main day for all of us. We were about to receive a badge of honor (a small ice ax) and that badge was the sign of a Mountaineer 😎

After the graduation practice, we all came back to our room and got ready for the ceremony. Then we were given HMI pullovers and monograms to wear in the ceremony. After all the setup, HMI Principal came and started giving the badges, and simultaneously we did swiss claps. Then the moment arrived I was eagerly waiting for, the principal announced my name “Manu Khandelwal, Private candidate from Agra”. Woah! That moment cannot be described in words. I was literally on cloud nine at that moment. It was certainly one of the best days of my life.

Receiving the honour from the Principal of HMI Darjeeling
Receiving the honour from the Principal of HMI Darjeeling
Happiness after receiving the ice-ax
Happiness after receiving the ice-ax

After all this, all the competition winners were awarded by the medals and HMI Principal Capt. Rahul Goyal gave an ending speech. Firstly, he congratulated all of us and told incidents related to Mountaineering.

He said

“a Mountaineer should always be cautious and courageous. In 1952, when Tenzing Norgay Sherpa was trying to attempt the summit of Mount Everest, he was just 830 feet below the summit. Unfortunately, the weather turned bad and he decided to come down. He could have taken a risk and reached the summit to set the world record, but he did not make hurry and that is why now he is called a ‘legend’. In 1953, he summited Mount Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary and became the first man to climb Everest and then he climbed many other peaks and made so many records. To climb a peak, caution and courage are two most important things that one should have. All the best. May you climb from peak to peak.”

Later we had an official photo session and refreshment and then we started leaving the campus as we were going back to our home. I met all my friends, instructors, and bid adieu to the campus and then started my journey back home.

Formal photo of the entire batch on the graduation ceremony day - HMI Darjeeling
Formal photo of the entire batch on the graduation ceremony day
One with the chief instructor, Lakpa Sir - HMI Darjeeling
One with the chief instructor, Lakpa Sir
One with our rope instructor, Zubin Sir - HMI Darjeeling
One with our rope instructor, Zubin Sir
Ice ax - Badge of Honour
Ice ax – Badge of Honour

Here are all the blogs regarding my HMI journey.

Hope you enjoyed reading the blog. In case of any suggestions, improvements, or any queries, please let me know in the comments. 🙂


An engineer and a travel blogger. Loves trekking and doing bike road trips. Burger lover (want to try every burger in the world). Clinomaniac. Sports fanatic. Likes technology but not a technology addict.


  • Sid May 26, 2018 at 6:38 pm Reply

    Congratulations on completing the Course successfully Manu.
    The photographs on page 8 and 9 appear compressed/pixellated across two browsers I tried. I mean, on opening the photographs they are great but they appear downsized on the page itself.
    I was curious if you could give me a brief overview of the mobile network condition over your whole 28 days period! I am enthralled by the thought of staying out of the hassles of this world, of doing what one loves doing just for myself.

    • Manu Khandelwal March 21, 2019 at 7:35 pm Reply

      Thank you soo much Sid 🙂 Actually, there was some glitch due to the website theme. Now the photos look good. Initial 10 days, while I was in Darjeeling the network was good and strong. 4G networks were available. Then in Sikkim, networks were available till Yuksom only. No networks for around 14 days. Also, while using internet in Darjeeling, do check for the network first. Coz sometimes it catches the network of Nepal and international roaming applies.

  • Harsh September 17, 2018 at 4:25 am Reply

    Congrats to Mountaineer Manu Khandelwal. Really proud of you man. This makes you a deserving Wraveler 😬👍🏻 Fells great to have summited Kedarkantha with you.

    • Manu Khandelwal March 21, 2019 at 7:37 pm Reply

      Thanks a ton! Harsh. Yaa, it was a great time to summit Kedarkantha with you and your group. Had an amazing time.

  • Bhageerath November 10, 2018 at 4:00 am Reply

    Bro your writing is just awesome. It’s lucent enough for anyone taking up the course. I will be doing the course in 2019 and I’m really excited about it!

    • Manu Khandelwal March 21, 2019 at 7:40 pm Reply

      Hey, thanks for the appreciation 🙂 All the best for the course.

  • Yudhajit Baul November 2, 2019 at 10:53 pm Reply

    I congratulate you to complete BMC at HMI, it is certainly a feat to boast for. I must thank you for vividly articulating your experience. I will be joining the course shortly , I feel cautioned and excited at the same time and I eagerly look forward to completing the course successfully. Your narrative certainly has helped me visualize what is in store for me. Thank you again.

    • Manu Khandelwal May 16, 2020 at 11:28 am Reply

      Thanks a lot for the appreciation. I am really glad that you liked the blog and it helped you. 🙂

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