Ski Mountaineering & Backcountry Avalanche Course

Ski Mountaineering & Backcountry Avalanche Course
From NZD $2,850.00
  • Duration: 6 Days (approx.)
  • Product code: PCURV1

Queenstown Mountain Guides Ski Mountaineering & Backcountry Avalanche Course is for skiers and snow boarders wanting to develop  ski mountaineering and backcountry avalanche skills in glaciated terrain. The 6 day course includes the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) Backcountry Avalanche Qualification.

Our 6 day Ski Mountaineering & Snowboarding Course is based from a high mountain hut located in New Zealand's premier ski mountaineering and ski touring areas. Deep immersion in the Southern Alps amongst New Zealand's highest mountains and largest glaciers. 

Queenstown Mountain Guides philosophy is learning skills while skiing & climbing so participants can see how the skills they are learning are applied to mountain terrain. The focus of the Ski Mountaineering & Snowboarding Camp is movement through the mountains while learning fundamental ski mountaineering and avalanche skills. 

The trip starts from Queenstown. Depending on the weather forecast for the week, we will choose the location with the best conditions. This could be the Tasman or Murchison Glaciers, the Fox or Franz Joseph glaciers, or one of many other epic and world class ski mountaineering and ski touring locations. Once at the staging area we will fly into the mountains by ski plane or helicopter. 

The focus of the week is to is to ski/board as much as possible. Along the way our guide will also help you build on your technique and skills in the mountains with skills workshops. These will include - avalanche rescue, terrain analysis, and decision making in the mountains. See below for further details on instruction topics. 

The Ski Mountaineering & Backcountry Avalanche Course has a formal assessment of avalanche rescue skills. On successful completion participants will be issued with the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) Backcountry Avalanche Qualification and certificate of confidence for there avalanche transceiver rescue.

Possible Descents

  • Minarets (3040m) 800m + ski descent
  • Elie De Beaumont (3,109m) 800 m + ski descent
  • Pioneer to Chancellor Hut 1000m ski descent
  • Hochsetter Dome (2810m) 500m+ ski descent
  • Murchison Headwall descent to Murchison Hut
  • Mt Hamilton, Bonney Glacier, and Turnbull Glaciers 700 m + ski descent
  • Whataroa Saddle and Mannering Glacier, Aida Glacier, Mount Cooper 800 m + ski descent

Ski Mountaineering & Snowboarding Course instruction topics may include:

  • Uphill skinning technique
  • Terrain analysis & route finding in avalanche terrain
  • Snowpack factors (layers, basic metamorphism)
  • Group travel in avalanche terrain
  • Transceiver use and avalanche rescue techniques
  • Avalanche hazard assessment
  • Crevasse rescue
  • Navigation
  • Mountain weather analysis & forecasting
  • Emergency shelters