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Himalayan Mountain Challenge For B-Schools

Learn real life management skills and develop attitudes and values that enhance the capacity for leadership and working in teams.

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What is the Himalayan Mountain Challenge?

The Himalayan Mountain Challenge is an innovative experience that integrates experiential learning with trekking in the mountains.

In the outdoors, trekkers are out of their comfort zones. They are forced to confront situations and overcome challenges, usually every minute by the hour. Overcoming these challenges as a team results in learning that no textbook or simulated situation can impart.The program, spread over 6 day, provides real time scenarios where students develop, demonstrate, and practice real life management skills. These are life skills which are essential in the everyday workplace.

Objective

Each team plans and executes its own expedition.

There are 4-5 teams competing in this challenge. The expedition is to trek to the summit and back. This takes 4 days. On the way up and down teams camp for 3 nights and take care of every aspect of the trek — from planning the trek, overcoming its physicality, cooking their food, resolving conflicts, taking care of uncertainties, maintaining discipline, showing leadership and learning how to work together.

The Indiahikes Team assists the expedition teams from a distance, ensuring safety, guiding the teams, conducting everyday reflections, setting out tasks, but without interfering with the core functioning of the teams.

Game Outline

Teams have to run their expedition under these four guidelines.

  • Minimum weight
  • Minimum cost
  • Minimum impact
  • Maximum spirit

  • Weight: Includes personal gear as well as expedition gear. The teams must work together and figure out how to reduce the weight of the gear they are carrying or transporting by mule, and cut off all unnecessary items. The team that carries the least weight earn maximum points.
  • Cost: Teams are given a limited sum of money to run their expedition. Teams plan and buy all necessary items, including food and grocery and hire required equipment from the base village. They have to maintain accounts. The team with the least expenditure earns maximum points.
  • Green Trails is a core value any trekker must imbibe. We take leaving mountains better than we found them very seriously. How the team keeps their waste down to the minimum, how they leave the campsites and trails better, and how they manage the waste generated is monitored everyday. Teams with the least waste and the most efficient waste management system earn maximum points.Indiahikes
  • Spirit of trekking is something that makes a trek what it is. Timeliness, discipline, cooperation, coordination, compassion are elements that are essential for any team to work together. The trek is going to be challenging and teams must brave the odds together.  Teams that display the best spirit of trekking get a special award.

There are two essential themes of the program.

1. Planning and executing their own expedition: This is the main aspect of the program. Teams plan, strategize and execute all aspects of the expedition. Cooperation within the team, involvement of all team members, and focus on the 3 goals are essential.

2. Documenting the teams’ efforts to trek with the 4 criteria in mind: Each team needs to come up with a detailed document about how they went about organising their trek. This will be used as a reference document for future trekking teams.

The team that completes their expedition with the highest points earned is the winner of the challenge.

What do students learn?

Strategizing and competition – Plan, Budget, Manage and execute Operations

In the mountains, lots of basic things are uncertain and resources scarce. Strategizing and competing in such an environment fosters a high degree of individual learning and team cooperation. Further, the various aspects of running an expedition helps teams learn management lessons in action. 

Each challenge that the team faces has an underlying real life management lesson built in. Without any conscious lecturing, teams reinforce their ability to strategize, plan, budget, manage resources, and execute operations.

Working in a team – Leadership, Communication Skills, 

While incorporating these valuable lessons, students also develop their ability to work in a team. All trek related operations are done in teams. This helps build their leadership capacity and improve their communication skills. In the process their ability to work together, overcome conflicts is greatly enhanced.

Available dates

For B-schools, we schedule special dates in consultation with them. Please use the enquiry form to get in touch with us and fix dates.

 

You can also get in touch by emailing Izzat at izzat@indiahikes.com

Institutions We Work With

  • IIM I logo
  • IIMB logo
  • IIML logo
  • IFIM

Testimonials

“I do believe the program changed each and every student’s outlook and I’m sure it changed their lives. It took them out of their comfort zones. Literally. We are not talking about a hypothetical situation. The conditions were hard . I believe they will remember this and they will carry it forward when they go into corporate life. And at some point they will say ‘hey I have done harder things than this’ and that’s where I think the change will actually come.”

Prof. Bringi Dev, IIM Bangalore

“The Mountain Challenge part of this (programme) is what has added a whole new dimension to the experience of trekking. I see this as a beautiful way of enabling learning by fun. The level of enthusiasm and competitive spirit was beyond comparison. It’s nothing that we could have matched with in our academic curriculum. Above all, it was a totally new surrounding. They learnt to be eco conscious. We collected some 50 kg of trash. For the first time that people were treasuring the trash! It was a great feeling.”

Prof. Swapnil Garg, IIM indore