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WN Section - Snowcraft Course (Beginner)


Beginner course:

Course 1 : 19th July and 27th - 29th July - Course now full – waitlist available, please enquire at [email protected]

Course 2 : 26th Jul and 3rd - 5th Aug - 1 advanced place is available on this course, please enquire at [email protected]

Course 3 : 9th Aug and 17th - 19th Aug

Theory and practical evenings at Bivouac Store, Mercer Street, Wellington. Practical weekends at Whakapapa Ski-field, Mt Ruapehu
$280 ($300 if you need to hire gear)

  • Includes accommodation, food and instruction
  • Does not include snack food or transport to and from the lodge

Note : To be eligible for these courses you must be available to attend the start of the course on the Thursday night and be able to depart Wellington in time to arrive at Whakapapa by 8:30pm on the Friday night. This usually means leaving Wellington by 3pm.

Course content is subject to change based on weather and other factors.

Beginner Course Outline
The purpose of the Beginner Snowcraft Course is to provide an introduction to travelling in low-angle alpine terrain where snow and ice may be encountered but 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.

The course covers an introduction to:

  • Personal : Fitness, clothing, food and equipment
  • Environment : Weather, terrain, snowpack and avalanche
  • Travel : navigation, on snow travel with and without crampons, use of ice axe, step cutting, self-arrest
  • Shelters : type and use
  • Emergencies and what to do

On completion, the participant will 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 on snow in low-angle terrain with an ice axe and with or without crampons
  • Identify possible emergency situations and response

Choose the Beginner Course if you have a season or less experience in an alpine environment. Focus is on essentials, personal preparation and safe movement on snow.

If you have completed the Beginner course and have 2 seasons or more in alpine terrain, sign up for the Intermediate course which introduces ropes, harnesses and anchors required for protection when travelling in steeper terrain.

If you have completed the Intermediate course and have had 3 seasons or more in an alpine environment and you’re comfortable with using ropes and building snow anchors, the Advanced course provides an introduction to pitching as well as more work on snow anchors.

Send your questions to [email protected] or register here:

Photo source: NZAC Wellington Section Facebook Page

Course Info


Theory and practical evenings at Bivouac Store, Mercer Street, Wellington. Practical weekends at Whakapapa Ski-field, Mt Ruapehu


3 August 2018 - 5 August 2018




NZAC Members only - Own Gear = $280, Hire Gear = $300

If you have registered on this website or are an NZAC member please login first before applying to join this course.

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