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New Zealand Snow Safety Institute

Mountain Skills Course for Climbers and Trampers



5-day Mountain Skills for Climbers and Trampers


Course Objectives:
This course is designed for climbers and trampers who wish to develop experience and technical expertise in the mountains.

Some aspects of the course will be optional, but it will be possible for you to learn essential mountaineering skills, spend a night in a snow cave, learn what to do when travelling on ridges and glaciers, avalanche awareness and many other skills for people wanting to head out into the mountains. We aim to provide you with a five-day course that will allow you to safely explore the mountains.


Skills List:

  • Equipment Selection and its use
  • Winter survival and shelters
  • Snow Camping skills
  • Review of Basic Alpine skills
  • Complex anchor systems
  • Alpine rescue techniques
  • Navigation
  • Avalanche & Weather Awareness
  • Route selection
  • Abseiling using natural protection
  • Ridge travel
  • Steep ice and snow climbing
  • Advanced rock, ice and snow anchors


Equipment you are required to bring:

  • Back pack with Pack liner (45-65L) with Alpine attachments
  • Ice Axe & Hammer*
  • Snow stake*
  • Crampons*
  • Rock Climbing Harness with the following*: 4 Screwgate Karabiners, 4 Snaplink Karabiners, Belay device (Not Fig8 style), 3 prussic cords (1m/2m/3m), 1x6m Cordelette, 1x5m Sling (Un-tied), 1x20cm Ice Screw.
  • Transceiver, Shovel & Probe*
  • Mountaineering Boots*
  • Gaiters
  • Compass (Map K33 optional)
  • Gloves for snow work & a spare pair gloves
  • Polypro gloves
  • Helmet (Climbing specific only)
  • Waterproof breathable jacket and pants
  • Layers: Thermal clothing that can be varied depending on conditions
  • Sun hat & Beanie
  • Sun glasses
  • Spare change of clothes for the lodge including trainers/slippers
  • Sleeping bag (3+season)
  • Bivouac Bag
  • Torch & Spare Batteries
  • Personal Medication & First Aid kit
  • Toiletries inc. Sunscreen!
  • Note book & Pencil
  • Camera (optional)

*Most technical equipment can be hired from the NZSSI with prior notice
*If you are borrowing or buying crampons ensure that they fit your boots before the course
*Ropes are provided for this course

For more detailed information on equipment please refer to the detailed equipment notes which will be supplied to you upon your course enrolment.

Participants should be over 18 years of age, fit and capable of walking up hills in the snow; preferable pervious tramping experience.
If you have any pre existing conditions of which the instructor / guide should be aware of in an emergency it is your personal responsibility to inform the instructor / guide. This information will be confidential.