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Backcountry Ski Refresher

Falcon’s Nest Hut, Glenmore Station – Cass Valley Liebig Range

26-30 August

Registrations will close 15th July so please register now!

Download Course Info Pack Register Now

Who is this course for?

The NZAC Backcountry Ski Refresher course (BSR) is a five-day course designed for mature club members who are experienced skiers with high aerobic fitness but who want to refresh the core backcountry skills and regain confidence to safely ski in backcountry terrain.
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 high skiing standard for this course.


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

• Skiing in slackcountry terrain or show past experience of backcountry skiing.
• Skiing all the ‘black diamond’ runs on your local ski field confidently.
• Making turns heavy wet snow on ungroomed/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 BSR, 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 in Mt. Cook NP
• Navigation- map and compass, altimeter, basic GPS. Navigating in a white out.
• Weather – general and specific to NZ glaciated areas
• 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 IFMGA Guide. All participants must agree to follow the guide’s instructions and directions.


Course Location

Based at the Glenmore Station Falcons Nest Hut in the Cass Valley – Liebig Range. This is a new private alpine hut with a log burner and all cooking facilities. Accommodation for the night before the course starts at Unwin Lodge and is included in the course fee. Backup location if conditions are not suitable will be to be based out of NZAC Unwin Lodge and instruction will take place at Ohau Ski Field or Round Hill Ski Field.


Course Fees

The course fees include instruction, hut accommodation, and helicopter flights. The course fees are $1970.00. Payment of a $400 non-refundable deposit on acceptance secures you a place on the course. The remaining $1570.00 is due by July 31st 2018.


Questions can be directed to:


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