Alpine Instructor Training

Alpine instructor development programme

Alpine Instructor Training

Our alpine instructor training is specifically designed for people who are wanting to lead people in the alpine environment. If you are working towards NZOIA Alpine level 1, or are wanting to become trip leaders for clubs and social groups this will be the course for you.

This is a 7 day “train the trainer” style course designed to look at key aspects that are important when leading & teaching others in this dynamic environment. There is a level of technical competency you will need to meet in regards to your personal skills in order to be able to attend this course, this is outlined in our pre-requisites below.

N.B: The 7-day IDP is dedicated to the aspiring Level 1 instructor, the 9- day IDP is dedicated to the aspiring Level 2 instructor



Before attending this course, you must be competent walking in crampons, using an ice axe, able to self-arrest and, have completed Avalanche Awareness (as a minimum) or Back Country Avalanche Awareness/L5 Avalanche Risk Management – If you are working towards industry qualifications.

If you do not meet the requirements in your personal skills we have aligned this course to our Alpine Training Course, where you can combine the 9-day alpine training course and this 7 day IDP.

We strongly recommend you combine our personal skills course with the Instructor Development Programme to observe how our alpine instructors deliver and scaffold learning to a group as well as ensure your personal skills are at industry standard. 


Level 1 Alpine Instructor Recommended Training Pathway

The OENZ 9-day alpine course + 7-day Instructor Training for leading groups in non-technical, low consequence terrain where a rope may be used for the confidence of clients only.

We also encourage keeping a personal logbook starting with 20 days of personal experience in the mountains plus working towards additional time observing others and assisting in teaching alpine skills. 

Recommended additional training for leading and teaching others in alpine terrain

OENZ Facilitation and Leadership Module (this is an optional separate 5-day module)

+ Should be working towards BAA or for those going into Industry (professional and paid instruction) L5 Certificate in Avalanche Risk Management.


See our Senior Alpine Training for more details on the  Level 2 Alpine instructor


Instructor Training Location

This course will be held between Christchurch, the Craigieburn’s and with the possibility of also basing from Temple Basin in Arthurs Pass depending on the weather and snow.


Instructor Training Accommodation

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


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

Arthurs Pass Lodge

The first night will be 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.






Living Springs Cabins

Accommodation Living Springs

At the end of Day 2, we return to

Christchurch to our local accommodation at Living Springs where you will stay for the remainder of the course.

Living Springs is a 25-minute drive from Christchurch that sits above Lyttelton Harbour.




Basic hut, snow caving or snow camping 

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


Gear & Equipment

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.

We will also supply all of the group and client equipment needed for the model client days.


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.



Free Transport

Outdoor education New Zealand mountain courses
OENZ 4×4


We collect you from your accommodation on day 1 and then provide daily transport to and from the mountains and accommodation for the rest of the week.



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.



Travelling From out of town?

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.





When is the next course 7-day Alpine Instructor Training ?

IDP Alpine courses run between July & September.  Visit our Course Calendar for scheduled course dates. Custom courses can be created on alternative dates by request.


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Price: $2999*


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


What’s Included in this

Alpine Instructor Training ?


L1 Alpine Instructor

Mountain skills course
View from Mt Cheeseman


Weather & avalanche forecast

  • Applying weather & avalanche forecasting to decision making.
  • NZ mountain weather


Avalanche Rescue 

  • Fitting a client group with equipment
  • Briefing a group on rescue principals
  • Demonstrating correct rescue techniques
  • Demonstrating safe group travel techniques when moving with a group


Understanding and demonstrate teaching skills and group management in the following:


Mountaineering course
Flat foot crampon training
  • Fitting a client group with crampons efficiently and correctly
  • Briefing correct walking techniques in crampons
  • Managing a group walking in crampons through varied terrain (i.e traversing, steep uphill, steep downhill).


Ice axe

  • Holding an ice axe
  • Self-belay/plunge
  • Self-arresting progressions & techniques
  • Step cutting


Terrain travel

2 day mountaineering course
Successful group summit
  • Managing a group and unconfident individuals while moving through varied terrain
  • Step cutting when and where appropriate


Snow caving/Emergency shelters

  • Snow cave construction
  • Emergency shelters




Instructor Development Programme
Confidence roping clients
  • Stomper belay
  • Handlines
  • Basic anchors
  • Confidence roping



Leadership/Instructional skills:

  • Plan and prepare 2 x single-day educational and safe alpine experiences for model clients
  • Lead and manage a group for 2 non-consecutive days in the alpine environment
  • Apply effective safety management applicable to group, terrain and environmental conditions.



Alpine Instructor Training Timetable

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 Instructor Specific Skills Day Instructor Specific Skills Day Facilitation & Planning Model Client Experience Reflection & Planning Model Client Experience End of course – wrap up and final results.



How many people will be on my training?

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 training 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. ie. any extra time following the course being shortened.


Course downloads


Gear List

Course Outline











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PHONE: +64 3 329 9076                                EMAIL: [email protected]