9-Day Alpine course

9-day TMC  course based in Arthurs Pass National Park.

Alpine training with OENZ
9-day TMC course

On this comprehensive 9-day TMC course (Technical Mountaineering Course), you will learn everything from putting on crampons and walking on the snow to avalanche and crevasse rescue.  This course combines our 4-day intro to alpine & avalanche skills and our 6-day alpine rope skills course.

Delivered by our highly skilled local guides, you will learn all the essential skills required to get out there and climb independently in the mountains.

We have access to some of the best peaks and climbing terrain in Arthurs Pass National Park & Craigieburn Forest Park from our base lodge.  Some of the well-known mountains include  Mt Temple, Mt Phipps, Mt Cassidy, Hamilton peak & Mt Cheeseman.

*Prior experience is not necessary; this course covers everything you need to know, all wrapped up in one package.


Price $3499* (minimum age 18 years)

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




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.



Lodge in Arthurs Pass Village

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


Arthurs Pass Lodge (days 1-4 )

For the first four nights, we 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, fridge, ovens. You’ll also be treated to power, bathroom facilities, hot showers and heating. All you need to bring is your sleeping bag, pillow.





Mountaineering Course in Arthurs Pass
Temple Basin Lodge, Arthurs Pass

Temple Basin Lodge (days 5-9)

On the 5th  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 or Snow cave

One night may be spent in a snow cave or a very basic alpine hut while staying up at Temple Basin.





Snow caving

This course is semi-catered.

Days 1-4

Self-catered, you will have access to cooking facilities at our Arthurs Pass lodge. Pub style food is also available in the Village.

Days 5-9

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.




Mountaineering courses in Arthurs Pass
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 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.



Alpine courses in Arthurs Pass NP, New Zealand


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 you will be using in the mountains. A full gear list is available to download at the bottom of this page.


TMC courses run from June to September each year. Visit our Course Calendar for course dates and bookings. If you would like to talk to someone about private training or creating a custom course, get in touch with us today.




PRICE: $3499*




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

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

This TMC  course includes


OENZ Alpine course

Basic Alpine Skills (day 1& 2)


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


Ice axe

  • Holding an ice axe
  • Self-belay/plunge
  • Self-arresting
  • Two axe climbing techniques
  • Steep cutting
Crampon practice



Avalanche Skills (days 3 & 4)

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 courses
Avalanche training -Probing

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

  • Buddy rescue
  • Small party rescue scenarios
Avalanche training
Avalanche rescue – Digging


Terrain travel

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


Advanced alpine skills (days 5-9)

Snow Anchors

  • Snow Stakes
    • T-Slot
    • Vertical placements
    • Horizontal placement
    • Top clips
  • Snow Bollards
Abseiling in Arthurs Pass New Zealand



  • 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


Glacier Travel

  • Roping up for glacier travel
  • Crevasse rescue
    • Holding a fall
    • Self-rescue
    • 2:1 (simple) haul systems
    • 5:1 (complex) haul systems
Crevasse rescue training
Crevasse rescue


Snow caving/Emergency shelters

  • Snow cave construction
  • Emergency shelters


Route planning

  • NZ mountaineering grading systems
  • Planning climbing routes/trips






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 four clients to one instructor. If there are six clients, you will have one guide and one assistant guide. With eight clients, there will be two guides, and you’ll operate in two smaller groups.




A full course, Mt Rollistine in 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.





Gear List
Course Outline







“Thanks for such a phenomenal week, honestly was a lifetime experience, learned heaps, gained enough confidence to go into the mountains and give stuff a go! Can’t thank you enough.” -Joel Balmer, Christchurch, NZ

” It was one of the most amazing things I have done in my life to this date. Looking forward to seeing you for more things in the future. – Ahim GC, Wellington.

“I learnt so much and quickly built confidence in the mountains. The Guides are fantastic and I highly recommend this course” – Antonia, Auckland