Informative

What is the Career Growth for a Trek Leader at Bikat Adventures?

Kanishka S

Last updated: 22-03-2021

Bikat Adventures is one of the few organisations in the country that holds mountaineering expeditions in conjunction with Himalayan treks and other outdoor activities.

This essentially means a Trek Leader joining Bikat Adventures gets the exhilarating opportunity to grow into a well-rounded Expedition Leader while fine-tuning his/her skills in outdoor leadership through other activities in our portfolio (like skiing, cycling, wildlife spotting etc.).

“We invest enormously in the research and training process of our trek/expedition leaders.

BMC, AMC, and Search and Rescue Operations are excellent courses that pack a vast array of theoretical and on-field training in the short span of a month. But these aren't comprehensive enough to handle the rigours of leading, say, a batch on a mountaineering expedition.

To give you an idea, the training and examination duration of well recognised Mountain Guide Programs of the world vary anywhere between 3-6 years. You can imagine the skillset and experience an Outdoor Leader building his/her career in the west would have then, especially given the access they have to an extensive array of training, many of which are not even available in India."- Pankaj, Founder

At Bikat Adventures, we want our leaders to be on par, if not more.

“So, after studying many of the Mountain Guide Programs abroad, we built a structure of our own that would enable our trek leaders to grow into proficient Mountaineering Expedition Leaders. In addition to this, we also hold an Annual Training Program (built by NIM) for all our trek leaders.

Back in 2016, our Operations Team at Bikat sat down and identified all the risks one can run into while trekking on any of the trails in our portfolio.

We then correlated these risks with what was taught in a mountaineering course (BMC, AMC, and Search and Rescue Operations available in India). This helped us identify roughly 12-13 areas of knowledge-gap that needed filling in, in order to be able to handle the itineraries in our portfolio capably.

For example, no institute in India teaches Flash Flood Emergency Procedures or handling of Forest Fires.

Similarly, avalanche rescue and navigation is taught only in the Search and Rescue Operations Course, which trek leaders generally opt to get certified in at a later stage.

Knowledge of Navigation (taught in Search and Rescue Operations), in particular, is crucial for trek leaders irrespective of what stage of the career they are in.

So, we approached NIM for help in building a specialised training program that would equip all our trek leaders in handling each of the risks we had identified. It took us six months to design the training modules, and in 2017, we held our first Annual Training Program for our trek leaders in the NIM Campus."- Pankaj

What is the Career Growth for a Trek Leader at Bikat Adventures?

The career growth structure we have built for a trek leader employs a combination of factors to judge his/her proficiency.

In particular, we look at their experience level, performance on-field, and course certifications.

Below, we chart out a step by step process of the career growth a fresher with no experience undergoes all the way up to leading mountaineering expeditions with Bikat Adventures.

A fresher (0 - 6 months) entering the field of trek leading joins Bikat Adventures as an Assistant Trek Leader provided,

  1. You are certified in Basic Mountaineering Course
  2. You are certified in Wilderness First Aid
  3. You have completed the Adventure Professional Workshop (held by Bikat Adventures)

Roles and responsibilities:

S/he can only accompany a senior TL1 on 3-5 day treks.

Once you gain six months of experience on-field, you get promoted to TL1 provided,

  1. You have led at least ten treks of 5 days or more.
  2. You have been the lead on a minimum of 5 full-size batches (15 trekkers)
  3. You have received an average feedback rating of 4.5 or more.
  4. You are certified in Basic Mountaineering Course, Wilderness First Aid and completed the Adventure Professional Workshop by Bikat Adventures.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. A TL1 can lead 3-5 days treks of altitudes not exceeding 4200M.
  2. However, he/she cannot lead treks that they have not been to at least twice as an ATL.
  3. He/she cannot go on a porter trek yet.

Once you complete a year on-field, you get promoted to TL2 provided,

  1. You have led at least 20 treks of 5 days or more.
  2. You have been the lead on a minimum of 10 full-size batches (15 trekkers)
  3. You have received an average feedback rating of 4.5 or more.
  4. You have been an Assistant Trek Leader on a trek-able peak of 6000M at least twice.
  5. You have completed Advanced Mountaineering Course, Wilderness Advanced First Aid, and the Adventure Professional Workshop by Bikat Adventures.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. A TL 2 can lead any trek (7 days long) but no mountaineering expeditions.
  2. You can lead a +8 days trek if he/she has done the trek as an Assistant Trek Leader at least twice.
  3. A TL2 cannot go on trek-able peaks yet.

Once you complete two years in the field, you get promoted to TL3 provided,

  1. You have been TL2 at Bikat or handled a similar role for at least 1 Year.
  2. You have been the team member of at least two 6000 M mountaineering expeditions.
  3. You have an average feedback rating of 4.5 or more.
  4. You are qualified as the lead trainer of the local staff team of at least one region.
  5. You are qualified as lead auditor of at least one store
  6. You have completed the Advanced Mountaineering Course, Wilderness First Responder and Adventure Professional Workshop by Bikat Adventures.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. A TL 3 can lead any trek of any duration and altitude, even without doing it earlier.
  2. He/she can lead to trek-able peaks.
  3. He/she cannot lead a mountaineering expedition yet.

Once you complete three years on-field, you get promoted to EL1 provided,

  1. You have been TL3 at Bikat or handled a similar role for at least 2 Years.
  2. You have been an Assistant Expedition Leader for at least three 6000M expeditions with the summit.
  3. You have been a part of two rescue missions, inside or outside of the organisation.
  4. You are qualified as a lead trainer of technical training for Trek Leaders.
  5. You have completed the Advanced Mountaineering Course, Wilderness First Responder and Adventure Professional Workshop by Bikat Adventures.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. An EL1 can lead any trek of any duration and altitude, even without
  2. doing it earlier.
  3. Can only lead 6000M-6500M mountaineering expeditions.
  4. He/she should be a team member of annual rescue training.

Once you complete four years on-field, you get promoted to EL2 provided,

  1. You have been EL1 at Bikat or handled a similar responsibility for at least 2 Years.
  2. You have been the Expedition Leader on at least three 6000M expeditions with the summit.
  3. You have been the Assistant Expedition Leader of at least two 7000M expeditions.
  4. You have completed Search and Rescue Operations, Wilderness First Responder and Adventure Professional Workshop by Bikat Adventures.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. An EL2 can lead any trek of any duration and altitude, even without doing it earlier.
  2. He/she can now lead 7000Mmountaineering expeditions.
  3. He/she can lead the annual rescue training program.

Once you complete five years on-field, you get promoted to EL3 provided,

  1. You have EL2 at Bikat or handled a similar responsibility for at least 2 Years.
  2. You have been the expedition leader on at least three 7000M expeditions with the summit.
  3. You have been the Assistant Expedition Leader of at least two 8000M summits.
  4. You have completed Search and Rescue Operations, Wilderness First Responder and Adventure Professional Workshop by Bikat Adventures. 

Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. An EL3 can lead any trek of any duration and altitude, even without doing it earlier.
  2. He/she can lead 8000M mountaineering expeditions.
  3. He/she can lead the Trainers Training Program. 

In essence, it takes five years of rigorous training on-field to become a full-fledged Expedition Leader at Bikat Adventures.

But the growth does not just end here.

At Bikat Adventures, we encourage our leaders to branch out and gain experience in other departments as well, like Content Writing, Operations, Sales, B2B programs etc.

To find out more, read 

What is the life of a Trek Leader like at Bikat Adventures?

Kanishka S

Kanishka is a part of the Content Team at Bikat Adventures. She holds a Masters in Development Studi Read more

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