Technical Mountaineering Course (TMC)

The Technical Mountaineering Course (TMC) is Alpine Guides flagship alpine training course. If you want to climb independently in serious glaciated terrain, or you dream of elusive high peaks - this is the pathway.

An Intensive 9-days of Climbing and Development

The TMC is long enough to provide a solid development of all alpine mountaineering skills. You must be fit, keen to learn, and have previous climbing experience. A longer course like the TMC provides the immersion and time needed to learn these experiential skills.

The TMC has been 'upgraded' for summer 17-18. We have raised the experience bar. 

If you are uncertain of meeting minimum requirements please contact us before bookingWe will advise on a case-by-case basis.

TMC Goals

The course objective is to gain the latest and safest techniques which will take you safely to any mountain range on Earth. You will be ‘coached’ by your guide, while actively climbing multiple ascents or other objectives in serious, glaciated terrain.

Rock, ice and snow climbing are covered. There is a focus on encouraging problem solving, advanced rope and rescue techniques and strategies for independent climbing.

The TMC is ideal:

  • As a follow-up from our Alpine Skills Course (ASC) and further independent climbing
  • For training towards longer-term technical mountaineering objectives

The Best Mountain Instruction Venue in New Zealand

The TMC normally runs at the head of the Tasman Glacier. This is the premier instruction venue in NZ, with:

  • 2 huts at the confluence of the Murchison and Tasman Glaciers
  • Any number of peaks (some over 3,000 metres) from NZ Alpine Grade 1 through 3
  • Snow and ice, mixed, and alpine rock peaks to test your mettle
  • Ice climbing on the glacial seracs in summer
  • More settled weather than the neighbouring West Coast

The TMC price includes aircraft access and exit flights, to maximise your time in the mountains.

We are based in the mountains

Because Alpine Guides is based at Mt Cook, you don’t have to be driven for hours to and from your starting point. We are right amongst the action.


Instruction topics include:

  • Revision of base mountaineering skills
  • Glacier travel and crevasse rescue systems
  • Snow, ice and rock climbing - with a multi-pitch routes
  • Advanced rope management and rescue practices
  • Navigation and Route Finding
  • Emergency shelters refresher
  • Weather and forecasting
  • Avalanche hazard evaluation

Experience required:

  • High level of fitness
  • Previous crampon, ice axe and glacier travel skills (similar to completion of the Alpine Skills Course), plus personal climbing
  • Knowledge of basic knots and rope management skills (see detailed notes)
  • Ability to second on multi-pitch rock to at least AU Grade 15
  • Willingness to adapt and progress in a team environment

See the detailed notes for more info on experience.