Mountain Experience Course (MEC)

The MEC is Alpine Guides' beginner-level mountaineering course; an introduction to mountain climbing - based in Mt Cook National Park New Zealand. You will learn the basics of mountain and snow craft, and how to camp/bivouac in an alpine environment.

A Complete Introduction To Mountaineering

No prior knowledge of rope systems is required. You need a good level of fitness, and a background in hiking/tramping. If your imagination has been captured by high mountain places, the MEC is the perfect starting point.

The MEC is ideal training for:
  • High altitude trekking in Nepal/Tibet
  • General mountaineering and alpine travel, anywhere in the world
  • Non-technical alpine pass crossings
  • Undertaking a future Technical Mountaineering Course (TMC) 


Instruction topics include:

  • Equipment - what to bring and how to use it
  • Snow skills: including using crampons, ice axe, and self arrest
  • Climbing on snow and ice
  • Alpine camping/bivvying
  • Introduction to rock climbing
  • Route finding and awareness of terrain

Experience required:

  • Moderate-high level of aerobic fitness
  • Hiking / tramping experience
  • Able to carry a 12-15 KG pack for 4 to 5 hours continuously