Avalanche Training

Winter recreation in the mountains is almost unbeatable for spectacular scenery, challenge and adventure, or the rejuvenating tranquillity.

But it comes with the inherent hazard of snow instability.

Avalanche Awareness 1 day course

Programme Overview:

The avalanche awareness programme provides essential introductory information for backcountry users (with or without boards) who need the basic knowledge required to help them make decisions about their personal safety when in avalanche terrain.

The course provides foundation knowledge only and we recommend that course participants travel in the backcountry with experienced leaders until they have gained sufficient understanding of avalanche phenomena to make sound judgements for themselves.

There is an Online Avalanche Training Module  which is intended to help you get the most out of your practical field day. It is a prerequisite for attendance at the field-days.

Field days are focused on practical work and last a full day.

Description: The course is aimed at those with little avalanche knowledge. This course will suit those who intend to travel on alpine terrain and are looking for entry-level instruction.




Participants are expected to complete this programme with a general awareness of:

  • The avalanche phenomenon
  • Issues related to decision making
  • Terrain factors
  • Practical techniques for companion rescue

Programme Details:

Location: Whakapapa, Mt Ruapehu
Dates: Friday 7 August, Friday 21 August, Friday 4 September
Cost:$203.50. Chairlift pass not included

4-day Avalanche Training

Programme Overview:

This 4-day course is designed for individuals who spend time traveling in an alpine environment, outside of ski area boundaries and focuses on applying the skills of personal preparation, route decision making and rescue skills. The course focuses on avoiding the need for avalanche related rescue, but also dedicate time to learning the technical skills required for rescuing a companion or small party.

It will suit those who have a basic understanding of avalanche phenomena and spend time travelling in an alpine terrain as part of a tramping trip, hunting, mountaineering, skiing, snowboarding or outdoor experience.

The course is taught in uncontrolled terrain (outside of a ski area boundary) of low to moderate-angles where rope protection is not required for safety. There may be some exposure to heights.


Participants must:

  • Have a fitness level appropriate to travel safely for 8 hrs in alpine terrain and conditions
  • Be physically capable of walking, skiing or snowboarding in a variety of snow conditions on moderate angled terrain
  • Have attended our Avalanche Awareness course or a similar level of knowledge


  • Trip planning and preparation
  • Environment: weather, terrain, snowpack and how these relate to avalanche conditions
  • Travel: Evidence based decision making about route selection and safe travel techniques
  • Emergencies, rescue, equipment and what to do

On completion, the participant will have a theoretical knowledge of:

  • Characteristics of the avalanche phenomenon
  • Snowpack factors (layers, crystal ID, basic metamorphism)
  • Observation techniques
  • Human factors in decision making
  • Group travel in avalanche terrain
  • Small party search and rescue

Programme Details:

Location: Whakapapa, Mt Ruapehu
Dates: To be advised
Cost: To be confirmed. Chairlift pass not included and must be purchased prior to course starting.

Book now!

Please note that courses require a minimum number to be able to run. If the scheduled dates don’t suit, get a group together and book your own tailor made course.