7-Day Alpine Course September 14, 2024

7-day mountain skills course based in Arthurs Pass National Park.

Mountain skills courses in Arthurs Pass, New Zealand
7-Day Mountain Skills Course

A 7-day* avalanche & alpine rope skills course. This course is the next step for people who already have some experience using crampons and ice axes. On this course, you will gain the skills and confidence to climb independently in the mountains using ropes and avalanche assessment skills. Delivered by our highly skilled local guides, you will learn all the essential skills required to get out there and climb classic winter mountaineering routes in New Zealand and overseas.

From our base lodge in Arthurs Pass, we have access to some of the best peaks and climbing terrain in Arthurs Pass National Park, including Mt Temple, Mt Phipps, and Mt Cassidy.

*This course starts the evening before in Arthurs Pass Village (transport & accommodation included).



Ask about our Family Friendly courses for ages less than 18 years.

* This is the early bird booking price. Standard rates are available on the course calendar.




Before attending this course, you must be competent walking in crampons, using an ice axe and have the ability to self-arrest.

Please get in contact with us before booking if you believe you have the prerequisite skills but haven’t attended any formal training.




This mountaineering course is delivered in Arthurs Pass National Park from Temple Basin Lodge (see map). However, New Zealand mountain weather can be fickle so as a backup option, sometimes we split the course between Arthurs Pass and The Craigieburn Range (see map).  Having flexibility in course location ensures you will get the most of your time with us.




It’s a short walk up to the accommodation and training location at Temple Basin. A goods lift will even carry your gear up to the lodge.  Our courses do not require “fly-in” access to reach the snow. Our courses are delivered in the mountains, not stuck in a base lodge waiting for a weather window.

*Fly-in access requires good weather, as choppers can’t fly in high winds or poor visibility.



Mountain skills course lodge in Arthurs Pass National Park
Lodge in Arthurs Pass Village

**All your accommodation is included in this mountaineering course**


Arthurs Pass Lodge


The first night will be staying at our Lodge in Arthurs Pass Village. The lodge has bunk beds set up across three bedrooms and can sleep up to 20 people. It has a kitchen stocked with utensils, cookware, a fridge, and ovens. You’ll also be treated to power, bathroom facilities, hot showers and heating. All you need to bring is your sleeping bag, pillow.





Mountain Skills course at Temple Basin
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.


Basic hut, snow caving or snow camping

One night may be spent out in a snow cave, Snow camping or a very basic alpine hut.






Snow caving on mountain skills course in Arthurs Pass
Snow caving -Photo credit, Chris Pruden

This is a catered mountaineering 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.

Note: Dinner on day one and breakfast on day two are not provided.








Mountain skills course transport
OENZ car in Mt Cook N.P

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 are bringing your car and want a lift, please meet us 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.




Van for mountain skills course

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.




You don’t need your own climbing or mountaineering gear for this course. We have all the specialist gear & equipment available for you to borrow. If you have your own gear, we encourage you to bring it along as it’s better to train with the gear that you will be using in the mountains. A full gear list is available to download at the bottom of this page.


What’s Included in this mountain skills course?


Mountain skills course
View from Mt Cheeseman

Weather & avalanche forecasts

  • Introduction to the NZ Backcountry Avalanche Advisory
  • Mountain Weather in NZ



Avalanche transceivers

  • Pre-trip checks
  • Wearing a transceiver
  • Coarse search techniques
  • Fine search techniques
  • Pin-point search techniques

    avalanche training on a mountain skills course
    Avalanche rescue training



Probing & digging

  • Spiral Probing  technique
  • Snow Shoveling techniques
  • Team digging



Safe terrain travel 

  • Identifying avalanche terrain
  • Identifying terrain traps
  • Introduction to safe travel techniques



Rescue scenario’s

Climbing on a mountain skills course in Arthurs Pass
Pitching a steep slope
  • Buddy rescue
  • Small-party rescue scenarios




  • Flat foot technique
  • front-pointing
  • mixed technique
  • down climbing




Ice axe

staying in a hut on mountain skills course
Pages shelter, Arthurs Pass
  • Holding an ice axe
  • Self-belay/plunge
  • Self-arresting
  • Two axe climbing techniques
  • Step cutting



Terrain travel

  • Scrambling (un-roped travel)
  • Roped ridge travel
  • Climbing steep snow/ice



Snow Anchors

visiting Mt Temple in Arthurs Pass on a mountain skills course
Descending from Mt Temple
  • Snow Stakes
  •  T-Slot
  • Vertical placements
  • Horizontal placement
  • Top Clips
  • Snow Bollards




  • Knots for alpine climbing
  • Alpine rock protection & rock anchors
  • Snow Anchors & Runners
  • Pitching & belaying
  • Body Belays
  • Stomp belay
  • Abseiling
  • Climbing in 2 & 3 person teams
roped up for mountaineering course
Roped-up for Glacier travel



Glacier Travel

  • Roping up for glacier travel
  • Crevasse rescue
  • Simple and complex hall systems



Snow caving/Emergency shelters

  • Snow cave construction
  • Emergency shelters



Route planning

  • NZ mountaineering grading systems
  • Planning climbing routes/trips




How many people will be on my course?


We believe that small groups are better for this type of training. So we have a maximum client-to-instructor ratio of just four clients to one instructor. If there are six clients, you will have one guide and one assistant guide; eight clients means there will be two guides, and you’ll operate in two smaller groups.


Does this mountaineering course have minimum numbers?


Mountain training course in New Zealand
Small group training

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.



Course downloads


Gear List

Course Outline








A fantastic experience. Left the course confident with the skills we developed in a fun but challenging environment.” -Julie, Christchurch, NZ

“This course reinforced and solidified prior avalanche knowledge while introducing new concepts at a manageable rate. I feel more comforable to go out into the snow and keep learning. ” -John, Auckland, NZ.

“Great course, great instructors, loved it!” -Geraldina, NZ.

Great to have practical applications and demonstrations in real world scenarios” – Jack, Dunedin, NZ.



*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 $2999 per participant

Add a Youth Participant?

Youth Participant details

Youth must be at least years old to attend this course

Bookings are $ 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

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  • 13 Sep 25