Skills Courses

Skills Development

For those wanting to participate safely in the outdoors, we develop programmes that will take you to the next skill level, novice – intermediate – advanced. Programmes can be developed for a broad cross section of outdoor pursuits. These include rock climbing, mountaineering, white water kayaking, sea kayaking, navigation and sailing. The programmes are run by passionate outdoor instructors who want to pass on their skills in a fun and inspirational way.

These programmes will help ensure you can safely participate in the outdoors and enjoy the amazing environment we have here in New Zealand. Our programmes are run from either Hillary Outdoors Tongariro or Hillary Outdoors Great Barrier.

Next Courses Start End Price Status
2-Day Introductory TBA TBA $590  OPEN
5-Day Introductory TBA TBA $1285  OPEN
5-Day Intermediate TBA TBA $1285  OPEN

The price includes:

  • All meals from first day breakfast to departure day lunch.
  • Accommodation from the night before the course starts to the night before the course ends.
  • Use of specialist gear and equipment.
  • Transport to and from activity sites once at Hillary Outdoors Tongariro
  • 2 or 5 days instruction

It’s gymnastics, yoga, pilates, and strengthening – all in one recreational activity

Climbing on outdoor crags is the ultimate experience for adventure, challenge, views and fresh air often without much walking. Our courses are for those who have been restricted to indoor walls with stale air. They are for the adventurous where planning and strategy is important. For learning technical skills and the significance of applying good principles in all they do. They are for those who want to climb harder and higher and those who want to soak in the atmosphere at the top of a warm crag.

The North Island sports many classic climbing areas and some of the best are within a short drive of our Tongariro centre. We have quick access to a variety of volcanic and limestone rock at iconic places like Whanganui Bay, Tongariro National Park, Kawakawa Bay, Wharepapa and Te Kuiti.

Our instructors are full-time professionals with NZ Outdoor Instructor Association qualifications. With a 1:4 ratio, the climbing will be enjoyable and challenging, no matter what your level.

Escape urban life. Free climb for a free mind.

We offer three courses: introductory 2-day and 5-day; intermediate 5-day.

Location

Hillary Outdoors and central North Island crags

Book now!

2-day Introductory

Programme Overview

This course is designed for people who have limited rock climbing experience, or have never climbed before, who wish to develop safe modern climbing practises. You will learn the fundamentals of rock climbing and take away the skills to independently enjoy this highly rewarding sport.

Content

  • The ability to tie climbing knots and an understanding of when/where to use them
  • Knowledge of equipment, use and properties
  • Safe and effective belay techniques
  • Climbing techniques and styles
  • Basic anchor building principles
  • Abseiling independently utilising self-protection systems
  • Identify and minimising the risk
  • Climbing

5-day Introductory

Programme Overview

This course is similar to the 2-day intro with more time to reinforce good principles and learn some more technical skills enabling the climber to lead safely on rock, outdoors.

Content

  • The ability to tie climbing knots and an understanding of when/where to use them
  • Knowledge of equipment, use and properties
  • Safe and effective belay techniques
  • Climbing techniques and styles
  • Anchor building principles
  • Lead climbing on bolted routes
  • Abseiling independently utilising self-protection systems
  • Identify and minimising the risk
  • Climbing

5-day Intermediate

Here we look at more technical aspects of climbing to enable the climber to lead on bolts and placed gear following ‘good practice’ principles. Previous to this course, students should have had at least 15 days personal climbing outside and have a working knowledge of rock equipment and systems.

Technical:

  • Learn to lead on sport routes (bolts, chains)
  • Learn to place a variety of traditional protection (wires, stoppers, hexes, camming devices)
  • Leading on traditional routes using natural protection

Personal:

  • Ability to select suitable climbs for your ability and experience base
  • More advanced climbing techniques and styles
  • Understanding the mental game that is rock climbing
  • Effective training techniques for advanced climbing grades

Safety:

  • Utilising your equipment and newly learnt skills to assist a climbing partner in trouble, by either raising them to you or lowering them to the ground
  • Be able to identify and then apply correct procedures for minimising the risk whilst climbing
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.

We have experienced, passionate NZOIA-qualified instructors who have paddled in areas around the globe. Their personalized kayak instruction makes learning enjoyable and challenging, no matter your level.

All within easy driving distance of our Tongariro centre, the Waikato, Tongariro, Rangitaiki and Mohaka Rivers are ideal venues for learning boating skills. Courses benefit from video feedback, a heated rolling pool and small group sizes. Courses are residential and run on an instructor participant ratio of 1:4.

To run these courses as effectively as possible we aim to have people at similar levels in each group. To this end we have both an introductory course and an intermediate course. When applying, please provide as much information as possible about your previous experience.

Introductory 5-Day Kayak Course

Programme Overview – The skills you will develop and learn include:

  • Personal paddling skills on flat and white water
  • Rolling
  • Knowledge of the latest equipment
  • River Rescue techniques
  • Managing clients on moving water
  • Teaching progressions for rolling and white water techniques
  • Site selection for teaching sessions
  • Risk management principles

Intermediate 5-Day Kayak Course

Programme Overview – The skills you will develop and learn include:

  • Getting that 100% roll and looking at variations
  • Learning and applying paddle technique to run grade III
  • Knowledge of basic freestyle techniques such as surfing waves and riding holes
  • Understanding rivers and choosing lines to match your ability on grade III
  • Apply safety principles and learn river rescue applications
  • Knowledge of gear available in NZ, what to carry and how to use it

Course Details

Next Courses Start End Price Status
5-Day Introductory TBA TBA $1,290  OPEN
5-Day Intermediate TBA TBA $1,290  OPEN

Location: Hillary Outdoors Tongariro, Tongariro National Park

Your programme will be based from Hillary Outdoors Tongariro, located 30km south-west of Turangi on the north-west edge of the Tongariro National Park.  Our catering staff will provide all meals with your help in meal preparation and cleaning.  Indoor sessions will support time spent on the water.

Participants will spend as much time as possible on the water to maximise ‘hands on’ learning in conjunction with essential theory sessions.  Your trip will include 1 or 2 nights camping.

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.

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.

Hillary Outdoors and Genesis Energy have teamed up to offer local students the opportunity to expand their personal kayak skills. If you’re not sure whether you’re a local, please give us a call 0800 688 843.

We have experienced, passionate NZOIA-qualified instructors who have paddled in areas around the globe. Their personalized kayak instruction makes learning enjoyable and challenging, no matter your level.

For students:

5-day residential course white water kayaking on a river.

Location: Hillary Outdoors Tongariro, Tongariro National Park

Dates: Dates to be confirmed.
Cost: This is a 5-day residential course, with a 75% scholarship being offered. The price for the 5 day course is $1,290.00 (including GST), less the scholarship = $325.00 to pay.

Students book now!

 

Mountaineering is about climbing to the top of something and getting down safely.  Here at Hillary Outdoors we have access to the best Alpine Climbing areas in the North Island.  Within an hour of our base we can be high on Mt Ruapehu getting ready to take on some spectacular routes on ice, snow and mixed terrain. There are beautiful gullies, exciting faces, fun ridge lines to climb, and beautiful summits to stand on. This is the ideal training ground for mountaineering further afield.

We have four courses: introductory 2-day and 5-day; intermediate 2-day and 5-day.

Introductory 2-day

Programme overview

This is a brief introduction to the alpine environment giving you the skills to walk most places on Ruapehu safely with the use of crampons and ice axe. After the 2 days, you should be able to confidently choose terrain within your capabilities and to climb many of the summits.

We focus on the basic skills needed to get about safely on the snow in an alpine environment.

Content:

  • Use ice axes and crampons while walking about safely in an alpine environment
  • Use of axe for step cutting and self-arresting
  • Terrain selection
  • Understanding a weather map and avalanche forecast
  • Navigation
  • Equipment and clothing available and how to use it correctly
  • Go climbing

Introductory 5-day

Programme overview

This focuses on the skills needed for you and a climbing partner to get about safely on the snow in a more exposed alpine environment.

Content:

  • Use ice axes and crampons while walking on steep snow and icy slopes
  • Use of axe for step cutting and self-arresting
  • Getting technical with ropes and anchors
  • Interpret the weather
  • Navigation
  • Avalanche knowledge and terrain selection
  • Avalanche rescue skills
  • Self-management
  • Go climbing

Intermediate 2-day

Programme overview

This short course provides a progression to the 2-day introductory course. Here we will focus on moving into more technical terrain where ropes and anchors are important for safety. This should provide skills to make those South Island trips a safe experience.

Content:

  • Use ice axes and crampons while walking on steep snow and icy slopes and mixed terrain.
  • Rope-work for climbing and descending steeper terrain.
  • Two tool climbing techniques
  • Navigation
  • Self and party management

Intermediate 5-day

Programme overview

Move safely and efficiently in a more technical alpine environment and develop skills necessary for independent mountaineering in the South Island

It is expected the participant has attended an introductory course or equivalent and logged some personal experience.

Content:

  • Advanced rope-work for climbing and descending steeper, longer and mixed terrain.
  • Two tool climbing techniques
  • Avalanche knowledge
  • Glacier travel and crevasse rescue
  • Poor visibility navigation
  • Understanding weather systems
  • Equipment available
  • Alpine camping including snow shelters
  • Self and party management
  • Go climbing

Price Includes:

  • 2 or 5 days of specialist instruction
  • Use of some specialist gear and equipment
  • All meals from the first day breakfast through to departure day lunch
  • Accommodation from the arrival night to the night before the course ends
  • Sightseeing lift passes

Location: Hillary Outdoors Tongariro, Tongariro National Park

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.
Course Dates Price Status
Introductory 2-Day TBA $700 OPEN
Intermediate 2-Day TBA $700 OPEN
Introductory 5-Day TBA $1,490 OPEN
Intermediate 5-Day TBA $1,490 OPEN

Book now!


These two training courses are for recreational and professional paddlers to better enable them to safely paddle with their peers, when leading a group, or when providing an instructional or guided experience.

They are prerequisites for NZOIA Kayak Instructor qualifications and will closely follow the NZOIA and WhiteWater NZ syllabi.

Level 1

Programme Overview

Using fully qualified instructors, and being centred amongst great white water venues, the skills you will cover include:

  • Self, boat and bank based rescues
  • Selection and correct use of gear and safety equipment commonly used for river running in NZ
  • Knowledge of common river hazards
  • Controlled river running
  • Rescue management

Note, you must be a competent class 2 paddler.

Level 2

You should ideally have completed the level 1 course and be a competent class 3 kayaker. Assumptions will be made that you already have some rescue experience.

Programme Overview

  • This is very similar to the level 1 in content but in a more technical environment
  • It also includes more rope skills to work in horizontal and vertical planes
  • Rescue and recovery management

Course Details

The price includes:

  • Use of specialist rescue gear
  • Kayak gear if pre-arranged
  • Transport during the course
  • Food from the first morning to lunch on the second day
  • Accommodation from the night before

Location: Hillary Outdoors Tongariro, Tongariro River
Dates – Level 1: 26-27 Sept 2015
Dates – Level 2: To be confirmed
Cost: $480.00 per person (including GST).

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.

Programme Overview:

This unique four day course is designed for the intermediate to advanced skier or boarder who wishes to walk away from the confinements of the ski area boundary and carve up the untracked powder slopes that beacon us all. This is a physically challenging course which will take advantage of the exquisite backcountry and slack country terrain of Mt Ruapehu. While being mobile on the mountain, you will develop an understanding of terrain selection and Avalanche awareness and an understanding of backcountry touring equipment. The experience is enhanced by basing at least two days from a remote alpine hut. Be one of the few to experience the most.

Content:

  • Efficient, safe backcountry travel both on skis or board and on foot including use of touring bindings, crampons and ice axe
  • Identifying the unique hazards associated with this activity and develop strategies to overcome these
  • Selecting appropriate terrain for your skill base taking into account the weather and its effect on the snow pack and the Avalanche risk/forecast
  • Poor weather mountain navigation
  • Group management while negotiating steeper terrain
  • Overnight expedition skills

Programme Details:

Price Includes:

  • 4 days of specialist instruction
  • Use of some specialist gear and equipment
  • All transport for the duration of the course
  • All meals from Saturday breakfast through to departure day lunch
  • Accommodation from the arrival night to the night before the course ends

Does not include ski boots, mountaineering skis and skins* or ski pass for access

*Contact us for information on where to rent this equipment

Location: Hillary Outdoors Tongariro, Tongariro National Park
Dates: 4 day residential course, dates to be confirmed
Cost:$1200 per person (including GST).

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.

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 Theory Course and QUIZ which is intended to help you get the most out of your practical field day. You can do the quiz as many times as you like, and the aim is to get 100%. 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.

Pre-requisites:

Content:

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:

8 August for skiers and boarders

5 Sept for skiers and boarders

Time: meeting 9am
Cost:$165 (including GST) Chairlift pass not included but we can book for you ($24 extra).

Book now!

Back Country Avalanche 4 day course

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.

This course is also a prerequisite for sitting a NZOIA Alpine 1 Instructor qualification

Pre-requisites:

Participants must:

  • Be 16 years of age
  • 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
  • Have completed the Online theory course and quiz

Content:

  • 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

Assessment: This course has a formal assessment of avalanche rescue skills and on successful completion a ‘Certificate of Competence’ is issued.

Programme Details:

Food and Accommodation included.
Location: Whakapapa, Mt Ruapehu
Dates: 20-24 September 2015
Cost:$995 (including GST) Chairlift pass not included but we can book for you ($24 extra per day).

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.