Always time to get in a few runs during the course

4 Day MSC Avalanche Skills Course Level 2 - Town Based

Ski Ski courses
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from $1450NZ
4 days
Ski / Snowboard
air access

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

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 non-helicopter based option keeping the costs down. Practical sessions are conducted at local ski fields for back country access over a 4 day week or split over 2 weekends.

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 back country 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 back country 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

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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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 ski field accessed 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 over the four days.

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:

  • ​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 management, transceiver 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
July 31 - August 4 OPEN for INQUIRY
August 3 - 4 and August 10 - 11 (Split Weekends) OPEN for INQUIRY
August 14 - 17 (town based) OPEN for INQUIRY
For additional dates + private trips, please email info@aspiringguides.com


Client Ratio Price
1:1 $4,750 pp
1:2 $2,650 pp
Group rate 1:3 up to 1:6 $1,450 pp

What's included

  • NZMGA/IFMGA Qualified Guide
  • Vehicle transport to local ski field Backcountry access.
  • MSC Backcountry Course - Participant workbook
  • MSC Backcountry Course and Transceiver Competence Certificates
  • Avalanche Awareness in the New Zealand Backcountry (2008, NZ) Penny Goddard

What's not included

  • ski touring & backcountry snowboarding equipment (can be rented in Wanaka
    or Queenstown)
  • Food and accommodation for the duration of the course.
  • Treble Cone Back Country Pass ($75 invoiced post trip) we arrange for you each day if needed.

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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