4-Day Avalanche Skills Course (ASC2) August 26, 2024

Four-day backcountry avalanche course.

Backcountry avalanche course with OENZ
Team Digging- Back Country Avalanche Course.

Our comprehensive  4-day backcountry avalanche course for all of our snow enthusiasts builds on our very popular 2-day introductory avalanche awareness course. It’s time to get your head into the snow and figure out what’s actually sitting under your feet. Learn how to identify what your avalanche problem is, whether it is changing for good or bad, and figure out how big the avalanche could be if we trigger it. Then with all of that information, we decide the best choice of route and testing for the skier, climber, boarder, and/or snowmobiler in the group. Check out our course overview for more of the goods on what we’ll be covering.



Youth Price $1149** (16-17 years, accompanied by an adult)

Ask about our Family Friendly courses for ages less than 16 years.

* This is the early bird booking price, standard rates available on the course calendar.

**Conditions apply for youth pricing structure. See FAQ’s page.



A 1 or 2-day Avalanche Skill Course (ASC1) is a prerequisite for our Back Country Avalanche Training course (ASC2).

If you have no experience, we recommend attending our 2-day Avalanche Skills Course (ASC1) or (for the climbers/mountaineers) our 4-day alpine and avalanche awareness course to set you up with the right foundation for our ASC2 training.

If you have completed Avalanche Awareness training with another provider, then jump onboard our ASC2 course.


Backcountry Avalanche Course Location

This avalanche course is delivered in Arthurs Pass National Park from Temple Basin Lodge (see map). Being right up on the mountain means we can open the door to snow and training with ease. It also means that if we get to experience our course through a storm cycle, we can jump out and see what’s happening in real time; no postponements are necessary!



Temple Basin, Arthurs Pass
Temple Basin Lodge, Arthurs Pass

Temple Basin Lodge

On the 2nd day, we walk up to Temple Basin alpine lodge, situated high above Arthurs Pass village. The lodge is very comfortable with power,  flush toilets, a drying room, heaters,  bunk rooms, and a large common room and bar.


**Your accommodation is included**



This is a catered avalanche course. The team up at Temple Basin Lodge will look after the catering. You can expect a cooked breakfast, dinner, and dessert, all prepared by the onsite chef.  A small shop and bar are also available to purchase refreshments and snacks.



All you will need for this course are waterproof boots and normal outdoor clothing. We will supply all the mountaineering and avalanche equipment for you if you don’t have your own. You can find a packing list and course outline at the bottom of this page.

Our courses are delivered on foot, but you are welcome to bring your skis and/or boards with you to the course. We don’t schedule time into the day for freeriding, but there may be an opportunity at the end of the day to get up the slopes. A lift pass is not included in the cost of the course and can be purchased separately at the skifield. 



OENZ 4×4

If you’re staying in a hotel

Free transport is available from any Christchurch accommodation if you’re travelling from out of town to attend one of our courses.


Meeting locations (catch a ride with us)

If you have your own car and want a lift, we can meet you at one of the following locations.

Yaldhurst Mcdonalds 7:00 am (see on google maps)

*Darfield Bakery 7:30 am (see on google maps)

*Castle Hill Village 8:30 am (see on google maps)

*Our preferred meeting location is Darfield Bakery.

OENZ-Outdoor Education New Zealand 12-Seat Van




We recommend that you arrive in Christchurch the day before your course. We have a few hotel & hostel suggestions on our FAQ’s page. Please avoid booking accommodation north or east of the City Centre.  At the end of the course, we are more than happy to drop you back at your accommodation or directly to the airport.  The earliest time we can have you back at the airport is 6 pm.



Backcountry Avalanche Course includes


Avalanche Skills

Weather & Avalanche forecasts

Backcountry avalanche course
Avalanche rescue
  • A dive into interpreting the recording of Avalanche information.
  • Mountain Weather in NZ


Avalanche transceivers

  • Pre-trip checks
  • Search techniques
  • Flagging for multiple victim burial


Probing & digging

  • Spiral Probing  technique
  • Snow Shoveling techniques
  • Team digging
  • Managing victims on extraction


Safe terrain travel 

  • Identifying avalanche terrain
  • Identifying terrain traps
  • Safe travel techniques


Rescue scenario’s

backcountry avalanche course
Team digging
  • Buddy rescue
  • Small-party rescue scenarios
  • Multiple burial scenarios


Snow Pack 

Stability tests

  • Choosing the best place to undertake field tests
  • Choosing the right test for the avalanche problem, ie. ECT, CT DT Penetration tests
  • Understanding formal observations on the avalanche advisory
  • A guide to healing times for avalanche problems


Snow Formation & Metamorphism

  • Forces and stresses
  • Identifying layers
  • Snow crystal identification
  • Snow crystal metamorphism



  • Identify weak/strong layers
  • Determine the thickness of potential slab avalanches
  • Identifying fracture character and shear quality
  • Identifying deteriorating/improving conditions
  • Heuristic Traps





Alpine training course
Mt Temple

We believe that small groups are better for this type of training. So we have a maximum client-to-instructor ratio of just six clients to one instructor. If there are eight clients, you will have one guide and one assistant guide.




Temple Basin with Mt Rolleston in the background

Yes, the minimum number for the course to proceed at the advertised price is two clients. We won’t cancel your course if we don’t meet the minimum numbers, though; instead, we will offer you the following options:

a.) A shorter private course with 1-1 tuition – e.g. with one person, we can cover the course content much faster, so far fewer days are needed.

b.) You will be offered to continue with the course as planned and cover the extra cost.

c.) We can transfer you to another date when the course is running again.

Note: In the unlikely event that the course length is shortened due to insufficient numbers. We will provide accommodation for you in Arthurs Pass Village for the full duration of your original booking. i.e. any extra time following the course being shortened.




Backcountry avalanche course downloads

Course outline
Packing list





“Got a great deal out of the course in terms of both theory and practice.”

“Communication before and during the course were excellent. Facilities were great. Plenty of chances to practice skills.” 




Contact us today


Phone: +64 3 329 9076                                Email: [email protected]

*Minimum people needed to run a course

Course booking form

Participant Details

Participant details

Please enter details for each participant you're booking for (even if they're the same as entered above).

Bookings are $2199 per participant

Add a Youth Participant?

Youth Participant details

Youth must be at least 16 (accompanied by an adult) years old to attend this course

Bookings are $1149 per youth participant



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Course cost

Course Cost: $ NZD

You can choose to complete your booking using Credit/Debit Card (via Paypal - PayPal account is not required), or by using your Paypal account. If you would like to make payment by Internet Banking or request an invoice please contact us in advance.

Contact us at
+64 3 329 9076

Other Course Dates

Please contact us for more dates!