CTC Avalanche Awareness (Custom Course) September 17, 2022

Avalanche awareness course
Avalanche awareness course

*** This is a private training for members of the Christchurch Tramping Club**********


This is a 2-day introductory avalanche awareness course that focuses on identifying avalanche terrain and understanding what causes avalanches. Understanding the NZ Backcountry Avalanche Advisory is a vital skill that you will learn in this course. This is a practical field-based course with some theory to increase your understanding. This course is approved by the (MSC)  Mountain Safety Council.  You will gain an MSC certificate in Avalanche Awareness upon completion of this course.


Please note: This course is delivered as a walking course. The skills and information are applicable to backcountry skiing, boarding, alpine hiking and mountaineering. All alpine and avalanche gear is provided. 


Postponement date


The postponement date for all three CTC custom courses is 17-18th September 2022. If you’re booking this course please ensure you are available to attend the course on the scheduled date as well as the postponement date.

Please note – Refunds will not be given if you are unable to attend the postponement date unless approved by OENZ before booking.





This course is delivered in the Craigieburn Range, close to Castle Hill village. The course starts in Darfield (30 mins from Christchurch) at 7:30 am. Return transport is available from Christchurch.

The practical components of the course are delivered in the Craigieburn Range. We access the snow via Broken River or Mt Cheeseman ski field and drive to our lodge in  Arthurs Pass Village at the end of the day. The group and your instructor will decide the exact location for the second day during the trip planning session 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).




Accommodation is in the CTC hut in Arthurs Pass.

Please note: CTC hut fees are not included in the course cost and are to be paid to CTC separately.





Avalanche awareness gear
Avalanche gear


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 and course outline 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. Alternatively, the local pub in Arthurs Pass serves basic meals and refreshments.


Meeting location


Meet your instructor at Darfield bakery at 7:30 am on Saturday morning.






Avalanche training courses
Avalanche training -Probing


Weather & avalanche forecasts

  • Introduction to the NZ BackcountryAvalanche 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
Digging on avalanche awareness course
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







“Gideon [the instructor] was passionate about the information he was passing on to us and that reflected in the theory teaching and practical…. We were always kept safe and the technical knowledge we gained will keep us informed for a long time. I have taken away a lot away from this course.”

“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.” 

*Minimum 6 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 $499 per participant

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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

Please contact us for more dates!

Course Timing

7:30AM to 4:00pm