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 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.
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.
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/
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.
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.
Level 1 Course Information
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
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
- Completion of Wellington Section NZAC Level 1 course
- Four days travelling on snow (minimum of five hours per day)
Level 3 Course Information
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]
|Simon Williamson||(Outgoing) Chair|
|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|
Wanted – a new Section Chairperson!
After five years in the Section Chair role, Simon feels it’s time to give someone new a chance to take our Wellington Section further. He has kindly agreed to act as outgoing Chair until the next AGM; and will remain an active member of the Section for the foreseeable future, so the new person will have support from him to answer questions and seek clarifications as required.
The Chair plays a pivotal leadership role in shaping the direction of the Wellington Section and ensuring that the Section Committee functions effectively, so that all facets of the Section are managed well. The Chair also represents the Section in an outward facing capacity with the national NZAC office, other Sections and the general public.
NZAC has a long proud history and is constantly evolving to reflect changes in our wider society. The Section Chair role offers someone wanting to give back to our club, while being both stimulated and challenged, a special opportunity to make a positive difference. If you’re interested, click here to see a Role Description and contact Simon to discuss the role further –
[email protected], 021 054 7684.
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