4 Day Alpine and Avalanche course July 15, 2021

This is a 4 -Day introductory avalanche & mountaineering course.

Mountaineering in Arthurs Pass
4-Day mountaineering and avalanche course

***This is our most popular beginner alpine training course.  Prior experience is not necessary and we have all the gear and equipment available for you to use.***


The 4-day alpine & avalanche is an introductory course that combines our 2-day mountaineering course and our 2-day avalanche awareness course. The course is based out of our lodge in Arthur’s Pass Village.  You don’t need to have any prior skills or experience to attend this course.  On completion, you will have the foundation winter skills to hike or climb in the mountains safely.





This course is delivered in the Craigieburn Range and/or Arthur’s Pass area. The course starts in Darfield (30 mins from Christchurch) at 7:30 am. We access the snow at Broken River or Mt Cheeseman ski fields on the first day and drive to our lodge in  Arthurs Pass at the end of each day. The exact locations for days 2-4  will be decided by the group and your instructor during the course depending on local weather and snow conditions.

The course finishes at 4 pm in Arthurs Pass or Castle Hill village  (approx 1.5-2hrs from Christchurch airport).



The Lodge in Arthurs Pass Village


This course is based out of our lodge in Arthur’s Pass Village. The lodge has bunk beds set up across 3 bedrooms and can sleep up to 20 people. It has a kitchen stocked with utensils, cookware, fridge, ovens. You will also be treated to power, bathroom facilities, hot showers and heating. All you need to bring is your sleeping bag, pillow and food.


**Your accommodation is included**







All you will need for this course is 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 at the bottom of this page.




Food is not provided on this course. We recommend packing plenty of snacks and lunches that do not require cooking. The lodge has a full kitchen & fridge that you are welcome to use for preparation and in the evenings. Alternatively, the local pub in Arthurs Pass serves basic meals and refreshments for evening meals.




Outdoor education New Zealand mountain courses
OENZ 4×4


If you’re staying in a hotel

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


Meeting locations (catch a ride with us)

If you have your own car but want a lift we’re happy to 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 Van for mountaineering courses
OENZ 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.





Mountaineering course
Flat foot crampon training


Alpine Skills (days 1-2)

Using crampons

  • Front pointing
  • Flat foot technique
  • Mixed technique
  • Downclimbing


Ice axe

  • Selecting an axe
  • Holding an ice axe
  • step cutting


Movement skills (footwork)

  • Edging
  • Pigeon-holing
  • Plunging


Emergency shelters

Crainieburn range
Near the summit of Mt Cockayne.
  • Emergency snow holing
  • Portable shelters


Self Arresting

  • Self-belay/plunge technique
  • Stopping a slide


Trip planning and route selection

  • Planning and developing a route for day 2
  • Applying safe travel techniques.


Avalanche Skills (days 3 & 4)

Weather & avalanche forecasts

  • Introduction to the NZ Backcountry
    Avalanche course
    Avalanche training- probing

    Avalanche Advisory

  • Mountain Weather in NZ


Avalanche transceivers

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


Probing & digging

  • Spiral probing  technique
  • Snow shoveling techniques
  • Team digging


Avalanche digging
Avalanche rescue digging

Safe terrain travel 

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


Rescue scenario’s

  • Buddy rescue
  • Small party rescue scenarios






Course outline
Packing list






“Fantastic team at OENZ. Excellent fun and learning with a great group of like minded people. Thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and the skills will inevitably allow greater access to our beautiful country. Highly recommend.” – Rob Kidd, Dunedin.

“Good knowledgeable trainer, easy to approach and & ask questions. Very much enjoyed!” – Alice Cambal, Hokitika.

“Back from an awesome introduction to alpine skills weekend. Al and Martin were great at using the available snow and weather to create a weekend that fitted in with our interests. Great fun and great learning.” -Richard Dove, Christchurch.

“The 2 day alpine skills course was absolutely incredible – great communication, excellent instructor (Alan) and just a wonderful time spent in the mountains! Highly recommended!” -Catherine Howley, Auckland.

*Minimum 2 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).


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.
* PayPal charges a 3.5% processing fee.


Which meeting location would you prefer to be picked up from?

Other Details


Contact us at
+64 3 329 9076

Other Course Dates

  • 26 Jun 21
  • 12 Aug 21
  • 28 Aug 21
  • 16 Sep 21

Course Timing

8:00am to 4:00pm