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Intro to Backcountry Skiing Course

Based out of Mt. Olympus Ski Field

2-6 September 2018 – FULL

If you register after the 20th July you will be waitlisted.


Download Course Info Pack Register Now

Who is this course for?

The NZAC Intro to Backcountry Skiing Course (IBSC) is a five-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 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 IBSC 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 IBSC, 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 the Craigieburns.
  • Navigation- map and compass, altimeter, basic GPS. Navigating in a whiteout.
  • Weather – general and specific to the Canterbury high country
  • 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 Fees

The course fees of $1620.00 include instruction, accommodation, food and lift passes. 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.


Questions can be directed to:


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