Intro to Mountaineering

Intro to Mountaineering

2 days, $600 incl gst, 3 cooked meals/day & 2 nights accommodation

See Calendar for Occurrences

This course is ideal for you if

You have previous experience tramping/trekking and are looking to gain the basic skills to continue your trips during the winter in the alpine environment.



All courses are hosted at Ferrier Lodge at Temple Basin Ski Field, located above snowline, approximately 500m above Arthurs Pass proper. The lodge is warm and features hot showers, a bar, and plenty of indoor learning space when the weather is too inclement outside. Our drying room makes quick work of any wet gear you may acquire from time outside. With the glaciated peaks of the main divide of the Southern Alps in our backyard, nearby gorges, ice, and bolted rock routes, Temple Basin is one of the best places in the world to learn mountaineering skills! The peaks and rocky terrain of Arthurs Pass National Park provide a wide range of difficulty levels to advance your comfort in exposed terrain, with the lodge never too far away.

Course content/instruction topics

  • Ice axe & crampon use
  • Steep terrain movement and self-arrest
  • Navigation and route finding
  • Safe travel techniques
  • Basic avalanche awareness
  • Weather analysis
  • Winter survival and shelters


Arrive Friday night and get settled into Temple Basin Lodge. The course will begin with a brief lecture following breakfast on Saturday morning. Practical hands-on learning will be the main focus with the aim to spend as much time outside as possible. Time spent outside will include practice with the use of ice axes and crampons, as well as travel above snow line around Temple Basin’s unique terrain on the divide of the Southern Alps.

Gear required

Sturdy boots with a stiff sole for use with crampons and gaiters to stay warm and dry during snow travel, clothing suitable for winter conditions. Required technical gear including transceiver/shovel/probe, ice axe & crampons, and a climbing helmet can all be rented from NZSSI.


Included in price, accommodation Friday and Saturday night. All meals from Friday night to Sunday lunch.

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.