Always time to get in a few runs during the course

Avalanche Skills Course 2

Ski Ski courses
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4 days
Ski / Snowboard

A NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) accredited course delivering quality avalanche education

Recognised by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council, this Backcountry Avalanche Course is designed to deliver quality avalanche education for a minimum price.

The course is designed for people who want to ski & snowboard tour outside patrolled ski area boundaries. The focus is on preparation for a backcountry ski or snowboarding trip, decision making in avalanche terrain, and rescue skills. While the goal is to not be caught in an avalanche, time will be spent learning and practising companion rescue.

To get the most out of this course you should have some knowledge of backcountry touring and attended an Avalanche Skills Course or similar. All our avalanche courses are run by Avalanche Stage 2 qualified mountain or ski guides with many years of experience in ski tour guiding, heli-ski guiding, or in ski patrol.

book now Skills required
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I feel more knowledgeable, yet realistic that there's so much more to learn and get time in the mountains. There's so much to know and it's super interesting. Four days is just the tip of the iceberg, but it really supports everything else I know abo...read more

Nik, New Zealand, Backcountry Ski & Splitboard Touring Course

Pre Course

Before the start date we often help people with equipment and gear so that the morning the trip starts we are ready to go. Feel free to ask questions or let us know if you need anything.

Days One to Four

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Each day we meet at the Aspiring Guides office in Wanaka at 8:30am. After a gear check we go to that day's field destination. Your instructor will pick which venue is most appropriate for the day's weather and snow conditions. Instruction will start at the beginning and learning will be broken into manageable parts.

The course will be taught using a variety of local backcountry access points such as local ski areas at Snowfarm, Remarkables and Treble Cone.

Course includes:

  • Use of ski and splitboard touring equipment
  • Uphill travel techniques for skiers & splitboarders
  • ​Assessing avalanche danger and understanding of specific avalanche problems and characteristics
  • ​Terrain assessment, route selection and safe travel techniques
  • Decision making in avalanche terrain
  • ​Companion rescue; including group mananagement, tranceiver searching, probing and shoveling
  • ​Mountain weather
  • ​Navigation strategies
  • ​Trip planning and preparation

At the end of the course you will be a competent member of a ski or splitboard touring group, being able to plan trips appropriate to the group and conditions. It will give you the tools to begin to make your own assessments of the avalanche danger based on information gathered from past and current weather observations, and contribute to safe decision making as you venture into more remote areas of the NZ backcountry.


Trip Date Available
Get in touch for Winter 2022 dates


Client Ratio Price
1:1 - 1:5

What's included

  • NZMGA/IFMGA Qualified Guide
  • MSC Backcountry Course - Participant workbook
  • MSC Backcountry Course and Transciever Competence Certificates
  • Avalanche Awareness in the New Zealand Backcountry (2008, NZ) Penny Goddard
  • One single ride lift pass for Treble Cone (can be refunded if you have your own pass or not used).

What's not included

  • ski touring & backcountry snowboarding equipment (can be rented in Wanaka
    or Queenstown),
  • food and accommodation in Wanaka for the duration of the course.

Frequently asked questions

Our offices are at 58 McDougall St, Wanaka, a 10-15 minute walk from the centre of town. Here's a google map of our office location.

Unless otherwise instructed, for summer trips your guide will meet you at 8.30am on the morning of day 1 of your trip. For winter trips we usually meet at 5:30pm the evening before the trip starts. We will confirm this meeting at the time of booking.

If you require pick up from your accommodation, please let us know.

At this meeting your clothing and equipment is checked and the final details of your trip are discussed. There will be time for last-minute purchases if required.

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