With the syllabus supplied by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council, the Avalanche Skills Course (Level 2) is designed to deliver quality avalanche education with the addition of accessing our private hut at Black Peak (weather permitting) using a helicopter. A non-helicopter based option is also available at a lesser rate.
The course is designed for people who want to ski & snowboard tour outside patrolled ski area boundaries and in the big hills. 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 practicing companion rescue.
To get the most out of this course you should have some knowledge of backcountry touring and be familiar with transitioning and traveling on ski touring gear. Note that there is no requirement to attend the Avalanche Skills Course level 1 Prior to this course, it is simply a longer opportunity to train and learn the skills. All our avalanche courses are run by Avalanche Risk Management (Level 6) qualified mountain or ski guides with many years of experience in ski tour guiding, heli-ski guiding, or in ski patrol. Ski touring equipment is required.book now Pricing Skills Form
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.
For the non-Helicopter, town based option, each day we meet at the Aspiring Guides office in Wanaka at 8:30am. After a gear check and a short theory session which plans for the days travel, we then 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.
For the Helicopter access version of this trip, the itinerary is similar to a Black Peak ski tour. Gear check the night before, fly in on the first morning and ski tour for the day. Night sessions of theory and practical rescue training the next day. Then it's rinse and repeat for the next few days as you drill the skills and practice moving in avalanche terrain to the forecast. Flying home on the last afternoon and drive back to base.
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.
|July 24 - 28||CLOSED|
|July 31 - August 4||CLOSED|
|August 7 - 11||CLOSED|
|August 14 - 17 (town based)||FULL|
|August 17 - 20 (town based)||FULL|
|August 21 - 25||CLOSED|
|September 4 - 8||CLOSED|
|Require a minimum of 3pax to run at this price|
|Dates can be either helicopter access or drive-up trips|
|1:3 up to 1:6||$2,750 pp|
|Non-Helicopter group rate 1:3 up to 1:6||$1250 pp|
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.
Nik, New Zealand, Backcountry Ski & Splitboard Touring Course