Intro to Ski Touring Course

Intro To Ski Touring

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

See Calendar for Occurrences

This course is ideal for you if

You want to get out and explore the backcountry and need a place to begin. The course will give you the tools and knowledge required to make basic decisions on your own, and make you aware of how to increase your knowledge in the future. This course can also help if you’ve been into the backcountry a few times and want to solidify what you do and don’t know.

You should be relatively fit for this course, with previous hiking and trekking experience. You should be at least an intermediate skier/rider, capable of descending most ‘black’ rated terrain.



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, steep inbounds chutes and mellow rolling alpine slopes and tarns, Temple Basin has perfect ski touring terrain suitable for all level of backcountry enthusiast from beginner to extreme! The mellow alpine basins in Upper Bills (above 1700m) are host to a consistent snowpack which provides learning opportunities even during the thinnest of seasons. The mellow slopes in Upper Bills provide space to learn to navigate, route finding selection, and access safe terrain to learn about the snowpack and avalanches! The peaks and rocky terrain of Arthurs Pass National Park provide a plethora of terrain to further expand your knowledge with the Temple Basin lodge never too far away.

Course content/instruction topics:

  • Essential (and non-essential) equipment and trip planning.
  • Safe travel techniques and route planning.
  • Uphill movement and skinning technique.
  • Technique tips for skiing off-piste.
  • Basic avalanche awareness and rescue.
  • Mountain weather and navigation.


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 avalanche rescue tools, and uphill/downhill travel on skis/snowboards.

Gear required

Touring skis or splitboard and climbing skins. Beacon/probe/shovel (these can be hired from NZSSI).


Included in price, accommodation Friday and Saturday night. All meals from Friday night to Sunday lunch. All instruction and any required use of the ski lifts.

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.