Snow anchors training

Advanced Ski Mountaineering Course

Ski Ski courses
mountain background mountain background
from $1650NZ
4 days
Ski / Snowboard

Take your Ski or Splitboard Touring to the next level

If you are a strong skier or snowboarder wanting to extend yourself, this is your chance. Ice axe and crampon use, abseiling and avalanche awareness are essential skills once you push yourself into steeper terrain. This is the perfect classroom to learn about mountaineering techniques and avalanche safety to tackle more technical ski or snowboard touring objectives and big mountain descents.

Our private Black Peak Hut offers access to some of the best backcountry ski & snowboard terrain in the Southern Lakes area. Part of the course may also utilise the excellent and accessible terrain of the Remarkables near Queenstown.

Alternatively, this course can be extended to 5 days and run on the high glaciers around Aoraki / Mount Cook. These provide the ideal venues for gaining ski mountaineering experience in the high mountains and glacier touring. Contact us for pricing.

Check out a 360 movie of the area:

book now Pricing Skills Form

Prior to the trip

Trip Planning

Meet with your guide at our offices 5:30pm on the evening prior to departure. Your guide will check clothing and equipment as required for the course. Rental equipment is issued and last minute purchases can be made. The weather forecast will be reviewed and a plan made for an early flight the following morning.

Day One

Heli drop into Black Peak Hut

It is 15 minutes to the helicopter staging area and your lift into Black Peak. Depositing the gear at the hut we often take advantage of having the helicopter to lift us to the summit of Black Peak for our first run. Today is the time to brush up on your transceiver skills. We will cover self party rescue and shovel techniques. You instructor will make sure the group has solid fundamentals before advancing onto steeper slopes. Important knots and basic rope work will be introduced early in the course.

Day Two

Heli drop into Black Peak Hut

The East Face of Black Peak offers numerous steep couloirs. Learn about how to pick a safe line and protect your self and your partner. Practice your jump turns in confined spaces. This is the chance to learn your limits. Judgement is everything in steep skiing and with the watchful of your instructor you can get valuable experience. In general the ski day goes from 9am to 4pm, with most evenings having an indoor talk.

Day Three

NK Black Peak Girls 3121

The Summit Rocks on Black Peak are a great venue for learning about snow and ice anchors. It takes a lot of judgement to know how secure a snow anchor is and this is the time to practice and learn under the watchful eye of your instructor. Abseiling with skis, learning self arrest with an ice axe and learning to crampon efficiently are key skills which will be learned.

Day Four

NK Black Peak Girls 4059

The route back to Cone Ski Area is as exciting as you want to make it. You will be asked to prepare a navigation plan using map, compass and GPS. There is no easy route out and if you play your cards right it just might include a run down Bold Rush. This is perfect chance to use your new route finding skills in avalanche terrain.

Black Peak is a 5-7 hour skin from the summit of Treble Cone Ski Area or a 10 minute helicopter flight from the valley floor.

The expense of flying in saves time and energy for the ensuing days' instruction. Our private hut is located at 1725m and is the perfect base from which to enjoy extensive & challenging ski and snowboard touring.

The Remarkables backcountry is accessed through the ski field and can be used as day trips from a comfortable base in Wanaka or Queenstown.

For the high mountain glacier based course, Wanaka has access to both the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers of Westland National Park and the Tasman Glacier of Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park. We choose the optimal venue depend on the weather and conditions at the time.

The course syllabus includes:

  • Mountain hazards identification and avoidance including avalanche awareness.
  • Mountain weather.
  • Ropework, including belaying, abseiling and rescue.
  • Protection and anchors on snow, rock and ice.Glacier travel techniques and crevasse rescue.
  • Ice axe and crampon use for snow climbing.
  • Transitioning on steep terrain
  • Turning on steep and confined terrain
  • Mountain shelter and camp management.
  • Equipment and clothing selection.
  • Route selection & navigation.
  • Trip planning including weather and conditions, human factors and terrain assessment.


Trip Date Available
dates for 2020 coming soon
C: = confirmed to run


Client Ratio Price
1:2 NZ$2,500
1:3 NZ$1,900
1:4 NZ$1,650

What's included

  • IFMGA/ NZMGA Guide
  • All technical mountaineering gear
  • Accommodation in private, cosy hut (sleeping bags already in place)
  • Food & Energy snacks
  • Course handbook
  • Satellite phone/ radio comms
  • 15% GST

What's not included

  • Helicopter ride to the hut or the peak on the first day is an additional expense (approx. NZ $190-225 pp).
  • Ski touring or splitboard equipment hire.

Frequently asked questions

As a general rule: the more technically advanced / more complex the terrain - the lower the guide to client ratio. All professional mountain guides contracted to Aspiring Guides are qualified professionals and operate under the terrain guidelines issued by the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association.

Our maximum group size for introductory ski/snowboard backcountry tours or courses is typically 1 guide with 6 clients. We write this as 1:6 guide ratio. For ski snowboard touring in glaciated terrain this ratio is 1:4.

The closest airport to us is in Queenstown. There are regular shuttles between Wanaka and Queenstown airport (one-hour drive).

For shuttle and taxi information:

Queenstown -Wanaka
Ritchies Connectabus

Yello Taxi Service

Christchurch - Wanaka
InterCity Coachlines

Equipment Detail

mountain background mountain background

The course met my expectations and pushed me quite a bit beyond my existing experience & knowledge levels. I felt completely confident & at ease at all times with our guide Andrea. I really enjoyed the safety tutorials/classes (avalanche safe...read more

Kirk, Australia, Advanced Ski Mountaineering Course

Kim Tasman Sep2023
The West Coast of the South Island has two outstanding glaciers that come from the highest reaches of the Southern Alps all the way down to the temperate rain forests of Tai Poutin...
from $5750NZ
5 days 3 2 Air access
Explore now
Winter Climbing
Whether you have no mountaineering experience or want to progress your alpine climbing techniques on steeper terrain, the Remarkables mountain range near Queenstown provides an ama...
from $1800NZ
3 days 2 1
Explore now
Mark Clinton Photo 1008
Surrounded by spectacular mountains the area offers some of the best backcountry terrain around. The Chalet is located on Albert Burn Saddle at 1750m. Access is by helicopter, so t...
from $3750NZ
3 days 2 2 Air access
Explore now
TIA Member Green Square Ifmca logo Newzealand mountain logo Departmentofconversation logo Adventure Mark Logo