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
If your imagination has been captured by high mountain places, the MEC is the perfect starting point.
No prior knowledge of rope systems is required. You need a high level of aerobic fitness for pack carrying, so a background in hiking/tramping is crucial.
The MEC is ideal training for:
High altitude technical trekking in Nepal/Tibet
General mountaineering and alpine travel, anywhere in the world
Non-technical alpine pass crossings
Undertaking a future Alpine Skills Course (ASC)
Spring through Early Summer
The MEC runs through October to December. At this time of year snow is still easily attainable on foot. Later in summer, conditions may be dryer. Earlier than October there may be too much snow in the mountains for easy and safe travel on foot.
Late Summer Courses
If booking from late December, please see the Core Mountain Skills (CMS) course. Our 5-day introduction to summer mountaineering.
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
Introduction to rock climbing
Route finding and awareness of terrain
High level of aerobic fitness
Hiking / tramping experience
Able to carry a up to a 15 kg pack for 4 to 5 hours continuously