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 from $1650 Skills required
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.