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Wellington

about the region

 

Wellington is famous for the breeze that’s been known to pick up from time to time but perhaps not so well known for being a rock climbing destination. In truth the greater Wellington region provides a range of rock climbing opportunities for climbers at all levels and all within easy travelling distance. From the bouldering opportunities at Baring Head to some other delightful seaside climbing, Wellington has a lot to offer. When it comes to alpine climbing, generally you will find Wellington climbers heading north to the Tongariro area and across to Taranaki or making the trek to the South Island. The Tararua range in the winter also provide climbers with a chance to get their crampons and axes out.


The section

The Wellington section of the NZ Alpine Club has a large, active membership. The section runs both rock and alpine courses each year and provides support to enable members to develop their climbing skills through subsidised club trips. An annual photo competition takes place in the middle of the year providing budding photographers with an opportunity to show off their skills and be in for a prize or two.

Meetings

The Wellington Section normally meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6pm at the Third Eye Tuatara Brewery, 30 Arthur Street, Wellington. Generally the evening will consist of a brief update from the committee, a presentation from a climbing personality and an opportunity to chat and network with other section members over a drink. Occasionally this pattern varies a bit so if in doubt, check the latest Vertigo (our mostly monthly digital newsletter) or go to our Facebook page. Both are linked below here.

Social Media Links

We’re on Facebook and Instagram. Our Instagram account is nzacwellington.


Trips

The club runs a variety of trips in both the North and South Islands. Trips are pitched at different levels to provide opportunities to those who are just starting out as climbers through to those climbers with more experience. Tukino is proving to be a popular destination for rock, general alpine and ice climbing as well as ski touring.

View events and trips here https://alpineclub.org.nz/events/


Gear Hire

The club has a number of PLBs available for section members to use – club trips have priority over individuals. There is no charge for PLBs, just a deposit. In addition to the PLBs the section now has an InReach for hire.

We also have ice axes, avo gear, helmets, hammers and crampons available for hire to section members only. Complete the form if you’d like to hire gear. Please give as much notice as possible for gear hire (at least a week).

2020 Snowcraft Instruction

We’ve now scheduled our 2020 Snowcraft courses. Be quick as these courses sell out every year.

The Wellington section alpine instruction course is for you if you are interested in becoming an alpinist. It is a progressive program consisting of three levels to allow you to gain skills and experience to your level of interest. The full program can be completed over three years.

Dates

Course 1: Level 1 – Theory evening 16 July, Practical weekend 24-26 July

Course 2: Level 1 – Theory evening 23 July, Practical weekend 31 July – 2 August

Course 3: Level 2 / Level 3 – Theory evening 6 August, Practical weekend 14 – 16 August

Course 4:  Level 2 / Level 3 – Theory evening 13 August, Practical weekend 21-23 August

Please note that each course starts with a theory night on Thursday night followed by a practical weekend at Mt Ruapehu from Friday to Sunday a week later. You will be required to leave Wellington by mid-day (this is a course requirement). Course content is subject to change based on weather and other factors.

Link to Course Registration form

Level 1 Course Information

Outline

The purpose of the Level 1 Snowcraft Course is to provide an introduction to travelling in alpine terrain where rope protection is not required for safety. It is designed for individuals who have little to no experience in an alpine environment and focuses on personal preparation and movement on snow. 

On completion, the participant should be able to:

  • Identify personal fitness, clothing, food and equipment requirements
  • Identify alpine terrain features
  • Recognise the main weather characteristics that affect travel, the snow pack and avalanche conditions
  • Travel with an ice axe and with or without crampons, cut steps and self-arrest
  • Identify possible emergency situations and suitable responses
  • Conduct an avalanche transceiver search

Level 2 Course Information

Outline

The purpose of the Level 2 Snowcraft course is to provide fundamental alpine skills for travelling in terrain where a rope may be required for protection. It is designed for individuals who have some experience in the alpine terrain and are looking to expand on their Level 1 skills. It introduces the use of ropes, harnesses and anchors required for protection when travelling in steeper and more exposed terrain. 

On completion, the participant will be able to:

  • Correctly fit a harness
  • Demonstrate an understanding of risk management through awareness of alpine hazards including surface conditions, avalanche danger, terrain factors and weather
  • Tie appropriate knots for alpine use
  • Set up a belay according to current accepted practice
  • Set up a variety of snow anchors for different snowpack conditions
  • Plan routes and navigate 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of weather in an alpine environment
  • Establish an emergency shelter in the alpine setting and understand the requirements of emergency management
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of avalanche phenomena
  • Demonstrate their familiarity and use of avalanche rescue equipment

Prerequisites:

  • Completion of Wellington Section NZAC Level 1 course
  • Four days travelling on snow (minimum of five hours per day)

Level 3 Course Information

Outline

The purpose of the Level 3 Snowcraft course is to provide extended coaching in alpine skills for travelling in terrain where pitching is required to progress. It is designed for individuals who have reasonable experience in alpine terrain and are looking to develop further techniques in mountaineering in order to access more routes. 

On completion, the participant will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a detailed understanding of risk management through awareness of alpine hazards including surface conditions, avalanche danger, terrain factors and weather
  • Use a variety of snow anchors for different snowpack conditions
  • Demonstrate efficient rope management abilities and transition safely.
  • Demonstrate advanced decision making around route planning, navigation, weather changes, emergency situations.
  • Demonstrate their ability to plan and run trips safely
  • Show competency in avalanche rescue, recognition of avalanche terrain and route planning

Wellington Section committee

Committee Email: [email protected]

Name Role
Simon Williamson (Outgoing) Chair
Eva Duncan Treasurer
Keith Munro Secretary and Club Liaison
Peter Laurenson Vertigo Editor, Section Evening Coordinator
Stacey Wong Trip Coordinator
Emma Hayward Section BANFF Organiser
Guy Dubuis Photo Competition Organiser
Simon Williamson Course Coordinator
Carolyn Ellis Gear Custodian
Naomi Bondi Committee member
Derek Cheng Committee member
Rosie Percival Committee member
James Warren Committee member
John Nankervis Patron

 

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