Winter Mountain Skills

This is Alpine Guides 4-day winter introductory climbing course, delivering essential knowledge for hikers, hunters, and "trampers". The Winter Mountain Skills course is designed for fit people with outdoor experience who want to learn to travel safely on foot above the snow line in winter.

Course Objective - Skills and Safety in Winter

This course focuses on staying safe above the snow line and at the same time working though the basic skills of mountaineering: crampon and ice axe use, snowshoeing and navigation.

You will cover many aspects of mountain craft, like route finding, terrain traps, avalanche basics and avoiding hypothermia. 

You need to be fit, and able, carrying a 12-15 Kg backpack for at least 5 hours (with breaks) when walking in.

All instruction takes place in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Usually from Mueller Hut or another close by mountain venue. Road transport is provided when required.


Private Courses

Winter Mountain Skills programs can be privately arranged right though winter. This is ideal for a small group of friends. We will tailor the program to meet your specific objectives.

Please contact us to discuss details. We will provide a guide to suit your travel plans, subject to guide availability.

Instruction topics include:

  • Axe, crampon, and snowshoeing technique and self-arrest
  • Route finding & terrain traps
  • Snow shelter construction
  • Mountain weather forecasting
  • Navigation
  • Introduction to snow safety and avalanche assessment

Experience required:

  • High level of fitness
  • Trekking/tramping/hunting experience
  • Mountaineering experience is not required