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Intro to Ski Touring Course – North Island


Intro to Ski Touring Course – North Island

Who is this course for?

The NZAC North Island Intro to Ski Touring Course (ISTC) is a four-day course designed for strong intermediate (or better) skiers with excellent aerobic fitness wanting to get a good grounding in ski touring so they can go experience the North Island winter backcountry by themselves!
This is not a ‘learn to ski’ course- you should be able to comfortably ski steep ungroomed slopes on a ski field. Telemarkers are welcome but must be of a high skiing standard for this course.

At a minimum, those wishing to register for the ISTC must be capable of:

  • Skiing all the ‘black diamond’ runs on your local ski field confidently.
  • Making turns in heavy wet snow on steep ground.
  • Confidently performing kick-turn on steep ground to get out of trouble if needed.
  • Slide-slip confidently to get down a slope too steep or rocky to turn on.
  • Being fit enough to ski hard for five days in a row.

On the ISTC, participants will learn the following:

  • Equipment- what to carry and why. How to look after your gear.
  • Trip planning and preparation
  • Skins- getting them on and off quick smart without holding too many people up.
  • Skinning- good technique – how to lay a good track others will enjoy.
  • Mountain travel -choosing a safe route – terrain analysis.
  • Snow- different snow conditions. What to expect on the North Island Volcanos.
  • Navigation- map and compass, altimeter, basic GPS. Navigating in a white out.
  • Weather – general and specific to the Central North Island mountains
  • Avalanches- about them and how to avoid the damn things.
  • Transceivers – how to use them.
  • Searching for an avalanche victim/s – shovel and probe.


The course will be run in a minimum 1:4 guide to participant ratio, headed by a fully qualified NZMGA Ski Guide. All participants must agree to follow the guide’s instructions and directions.

Course Fees

The course fees include instruction, accommodation, and most food (you will need to bring food for the planned night/day in the backcountry, more details below). The course fees are $1100.00. Payment of a $300 non-refundable deposit on acceptance secures you a place on the course. The remaining $900.00 is due by August 1st.  We strongly recommend taking out our loss of deposits insurance, which can cover your course fee in case something happens in the time leading up to the course start date.

Download a Course Information Pack

Register here

Registrations close 20th July so please register now!

Photo credit: Anna Partridge

Course Info


Mt Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park


20 September 2018 - 23 September 2018




NZAC Members $1100

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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