Avalanche Awareness

Avalanche Awareness

2-Days, $499 gst incl

Looking for a four day course?

See Calendar for Occurrences

This course is ideal for you if:

You are beginning to start exploring the backcountry, or want to start exploring the backcountry.  Anyone travelling in the backcountry should have a basic understanding of the risks involved, as well as how to keep yourself and your friends safe!  If you have realised that you prefer to explore the snowy mountains without the crowds in the ski areas, then this introductory course is for you.

There is no previous experience required for this course. The course will consist of classroom and outdoors hands-on practice, so a reasonable level of fitness is recommended but not required.



All courses are hosted at Ferrier Lodge at Temple Basin Ski Field, located above snow line, approximately 500m above Arthurs Pass proper. Access to the lodge is via a foot track, with a goods lift available to bring your gear up making the walk very pleasant! The lodge boasts a full time chef, a bar with craft beer on tap, and bunkroom accommodation based on four people to each room. The Lodge is very comfortable with a drying room, hot showers, and a large lounge/dining area. Theory and rope skills are hosted inside a specifically designed lecture theatre.

Course content/instruction topics

This course is an introduction to the avalanche danger in the mountains.  You will learn the basics of staying safe and aware of where and when avalanches are likely to occur.  The course content includes companion rescue and the use of transceivers, identification of avalanche terrain, basic avalanche mechanics, mountain weather, and decision making / route finding in the backcountry.


Arrive on Friday evening and get settled into the lodge. On Saturday the course will begin between 8:30 and 9am with a session on avalanche basics and how they happen. You will spend the day practicing with avalanche transceivers and learning about companion rescue. There will be additional indoor sessions focused on identifying avalanche terrain and safe travel routes. On Sunday you will be given the chance to put your knowledge to the test, exploring and analysing the in-bounds terrain within the ski area, utilising the lifts to gain access to the higher level terrain and making judgments about the complex avalanche terrain within the ski area.

Gear required

An avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel. These can be rented from NZSSI, however, practice with your own transceiver is highly recommended. A small backpack for gear. A ski touring setup (climbing skins, touring bindings) is NOT required. Indoor Gear:  Head torch with spare batteries, Drink bottle, Notebook and pencil, Camera, Personal toiletries, Towel, Sleeping bag


Included in price, accommodation Friday and Saturday nights, as well as all meals from dinner on Friday through to lunch on Sunday.

Participants should be over 18 years of age, of reasonable fitness and previous tramping experience. If you have some pre-existing condition about which the instructor should be aware in an emergency, it is your responsibility to communicate this. Information such as this will be kept confidential.