Basic Mountaineering Course, as the name suggests, teaches you the basics of mountaineering. The curriculum has a basic layout which includes fitness training, safety, teambuilding, LNT principles, camping, etc. In response to requests from people who want to begin mountain climbing but don’t know how, PinoyMountaineer has come up with this list of mountaineering clubs that regularly offer BMCs, or have application training programs that are open to everybody. If your group offers BMCs regularly, or have an open application process that incorporates BMC, and is not yet listed here, or if you wish to correct the information in this page, please drop a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can include it.
1. AMCI Mountaineering Club (AMCI)
Based in Makati, the application period starts with an orientation around June-July of each year and culminates with an induction climb during the semestral break (the holidays of Oct 31- Nov 1 and/or its closest weekend). The 2009 application is currently ongoing.
2. Eastern Mountaineering Society (EMS)
The Marikina-area (Eastern Metro Manila) based EMS organizes a couple of BMCs each year. The next one is scheduled on September 13, 2008. Training Chairman Francis Dollano may be contacted at 09154443295.
3. Metropolitan Mountaineering Society (MMS)
A Metro Manila-based mountaineering club, the MMS offers a BMC/application that often commences in January and ends in March-April.
4. Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines (MFPI)
The umbrella organization of various mountaineering clubs in the Philippines, MFPI organizes BMCs in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Unlike the other groups whose BMCs are spanned through months and is integrated with their own application process, the MFPI BMCs are often held on a single weekend (Saturday-Sunday) and are sometimes held to coincide with MFPI events. The 2008-2009 schedule is on the MFPI website. If you complete their training, you can become an “MFPI Individual Member” – distinct from MFPI members by virtue of their group’s being part of the federation. For more information, contact Sir Elmer Cabotage, email@example.com or 09189335241.
5. UP Mountaineers (UPM)
Based in UP Diliman and identified with the University of the Philippines, UPM is actually open to everybody. The application period, similar to that of the AMCI, runs from July every year and ends in the semestral break. As of 2009, the application fee is still P500 and the deadline of submission of application is July 12. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some BMCs take a single day, others take months. Why?
The one- or two-day BMCs basically give you an overview. However, mountaineering clubs usually integrate their BMC with their application process. Hence, even physical fitness training is included, as well as training climbs. This will enable you to get to know the club members as well.
I am not fit. It may be embarrassing to show up.
That’s why you’re there to train right? If you are a total newbie, it might be a better idea to get those more extensive trainings so that you can develop your climbing skills as well. Otherwise, if you have some experience in climbing but want to become part of a group, or if you want to make sure you know the basics, then the comprehensive but short schedules may be ideal.
Which club would you recommend?
I cannot recommend any club because they are incomparable. Some are reputed to have ‘hardcore’ application; others are more relaxed but these are subjective and would depend on what you really want. If you view mountain climbing as a sport or as an athletic challenge, then go for the more intensive clubs. If you want climbing as a social event, then decide for yourself what kind of group.
How much does it cost?
It depends. The short, one or two-day couses would likely cost you no more than a thousand, while the AMCI BMC and the like may run up to several thousands. Aside from the application fee, you will need to allot funds for your equipment as well. A hiking backpack, some hiking clothes, a headlamp, and a good hiking shoes are worthy investments.
Are there other clubs which I can join?
Yes, there are. The only ones listed here are those that offer a BMC outside or within their respective application processes. If you a beginner, taking up a BMC is highly recommended.