2 day Mountaineering course

A two-day introductory snow craft course for alpine hiking and climbing.

people on a Snow craft course in New Zealand
2-day snow craft Course

An introductory snow craft course for people who would like to explore the mountains safely. Spend the weekend learning about crampons, ice axes, self-arresting and trip planning. Learn skills on day 1,  then refine them while attempting a summit on day 2.

**This is our most popular weekend alpine training course.  Prior experience is not necessary**


Adult Price $699* (minimum age 18 years)

Youth Price $349** (16-17 years, accompanied by an adult)

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



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. We access the snow at Broken River or Mt Cheeseman ski field and drive to our lodge in  Arthurs Pass at the end of the first day. The exact location for the second day will be decided by the group and your instructor during the trip planning session and will vary 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).



Lodge used for Mountaineering courses in New Zealand
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 and course outline at the bottom of this page.



Food is not provided on this course. We recommend packing plenty of snacks and lunch that does 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.



4x4 used of snow craft courses
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)

Van used for snow craft courses
OENZ van

*Our preferred meeting location is Darfield Bakery.




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.




Alpine courses run from June to November.  Visit our Course Calendar for scheduled course dates. Custom courses can be created on alternative dates by request.




PRICE: $699*




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

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


on summit of mountain on a snow craft course
Summit on day 2 – Hamilton Peak


Alpine Skills 


Using crampons

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

Ice axe

couple on summit of mountain in a snow craft course
View from the Craigieburn Range
  • Selecting an axe
  • Holding an ice axe
  • step cutting

Movement skills (footwork)

  • Edging
  • Pigeon-holing
  • Plunging

Self Arresting

  • Self-belay/plunge technique
  • Stopping a slide

Emergency shelters

using an ice axe on a snow craft course
Snow craft course
  • Portable shelters


Trip planning and route selection

  • Understanding the NZ mountain guide books
  • Plan and develop a route for day 2
  • Applying safe travel techniques.






Course Outline
Gear List








See what our clients have to say


“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.








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