Backcountry Avalanche Course
The 4 day Backcountry Avalanche Course is New Zealand's best introduction to avalanche safety skills and back country travel. The course is for recreational snowboarders and skiers who want to stay safe touring in uncontrolled terrain.
We moved the Backcountry Course to the Mount Cook/Mackenzie Region in 2014. This central South Island location offers some the best heliski and the most reliable slack-country terrain in NZ.
Learn the Skills in Big Mountain Terrain
The course takes place in the serious big mountains of Aoraki Mount Cook and Mackenzie. You cover theory and practical snow and avalanche safety technique before heading deep into the mountains for a heliski run/tour.
Snow study at a commercial ski area’s slack-country
Search and rescue
A heliski run in Mount Cook Heliski's terrain
Certification for professional training
On completion you receive certification ratified by the NZ Mountain Safety Council. This can be used as a prerequisite for future professional snow industry training courses.
Alpine Guides' Backcountry Course has serious advantages:
The only course providing access to big-mountain heliski terrain terrain
Professional, current mountain and ski guides, with year-round international experience
The course venue is mountain terrain, offering a diverse snow pack, allowing for greater learning opportunities
We provide a relaxed learning environment without the pressures of formal assessment
Weather backup day
Private Courses - available on demand
Individuals, or groups of 2 or more can book a private course. This allows us to tailor the content of the course to meet your specific requirements. See the detailed information for more details.
Instruction topics include:
Terrain and snowpack interpretation
Search & Rescue: avalanche dynamics, survival strategies
Equipment: how to ascend with the latest in split boards or ski touring bindings
Weather systems: mountain weather interpretation
High level of aerobic fitness
Strong-intermediate (or better) skier/snowboarders
Some knowledge of weather systems and avalanche beacons is useful, but not necessary