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Queenstown Mountain Guides Mountaineering School. Learn climbing & skiing skills from a professional mountain guide.


We offer a variety of mountaineering courses for beginner through to advanced climbers. Our beginner courses will teach you the basic mountaineering skills of rock climbing, snow and ice climbing, safety skills and use of equipment, and rope work.

Our advanced courses will take you climbing on some of the amazing big routes in the New Zealand southern alps. You will learn lead climbing skills for multi-pitch alpine and rock terrain. We can help you develop your climbing skills so you can get to the next level.

Advanced Climbing Course

Advanced Climbing Course

The Advanced Climbing Course is for participants with previous climbing experience. The focus of this course is lead climbing and we aim to climb as many peaks as possible on the course. Skills taught on the course include lead climbing techniques, rope work and anchors for multi-pitch climbing on snow, ice, and rock, glacier travel and crevasse rescue skills.

New Zealand Mountaineering Course

New Zealand Mountaineering Course

The New Zealand Mountaineering Course is a beginner to intermediate climbing course for learning modern mountaineering skills. The goal of the course is to teach participants how to safely climb independently in high mountain areas and on glaciers. the course covers an introduction to equipment, climbing techniques, glacier travel, and crevasse rescue as well as other essential skills for mountaineering.

Mt Aspiring Course and Ascent

Mt Aspiring Course and Ascent

The Mt Aspiring Course and Ascent is a 7 day mountaineering expedition that includes a guided ascent of Mt Aspiring. Get snow, ice, rock, and glacier mountaineering experience with the goal of climbing a significant New Zealand 3000m peak.

3 Day Queenstown Mountaineering Course

3 Day Queenstown Mountaineering Course

The Queenstown Mountaineering Course is a 3 day course for climbers wanting an introduction to mountaineering. On this course you will learn mountaineering and climbing skills on snow, ice and rock. Learn about and become confident in the use of climbing equipment such as harnesses, belay and abseil devices, carabiners. Develop your knowledge of rope work skills and gain a love of climbing.


Beginner through to advanced rock climbing courses. On the beginner rock climbing course you will learn the basics of rock climbing – rock climbimg movement, safety skills, use of equipment, and rope work, how to build an anchor, and abseiling techniques.

On the advanced rock climbing courses you can learn lead climbing skills, anchor building, multi-pitch techniques, traditional gear placements, anchor building, and rope rescue skills. 

2 Day Lead Climbing Course

2 Day Lead Climbing Course

Learn to lead climb in Queenstown. For many climbers the most challenging and potentially dangerous challenge is making the transition into lead climbing. There are so many new skills to learn and become proficient at to remain safe at all times. The 2 day Lead Climbing Course will give you the skills to safely and successfully lead single pitch bolted climbs while continuing to develop your movement on rock skills.

2 Day Outdoor Rock Climbing Course

2 Day Outdoor Rock Climbing Course

The 2 Day Outdoor Rock Climbing Course is course for anyone that wants to learn how to climb outdoors. We have designed a course to teach you foundation rock climbing skills. No previous climbing experience is necessary. The focus of the 2 day course is on teaching skills to safely enjoy climbing in the outdoors. On this course you will learn the most current techniques and protocols under the supervision and support of an expert climbing instructor.


Learn the skills  to travel safely in the backcountry. Our focus is to teach backcountry travellers the skills needed to travel efficiently through the backcountry. You will also learn about equipment, clothing, avalanche decision making, planning, and rescue skills. On our ski mountaineering courses you will learn the skills needed to travel, ski, and climb in big mountain glaciated terrain
Avalanche Awareness Course

Avalanche Awareness Course

A New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) accredited course for skiers & snowboarders. Focus on skills and knowledge to make safe decisions when travelling in avalanche terrain and rescue skills if someone in your party is caught in an avalanche.

Backcountry Travel Course

Backcountry Travel Course

The Backcountry Travel Course is for recreational backcountry skiers and boarders. Learn avalanche skills & backcountry travel techniques - proper use of backcountry equipment, navigation & route planning, group management, route setting, assessing mountain terrain for safest routes of ascent & descent & identifying mountain & snowpack areas of concern.

Ski Mountaineering Course

Ski Mountaineering Course

6 day big mountain skiing program designed for skiers & snowboarders to learn ski mountaineering and backcountry avalanche skills in glaciated terrain. The 6 day course includes the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) Backcountry Avalanche Qualification.



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Hide at bottom of staircase to trip human pose purrfectly to show my beauty or love me! this human feeds me, i should be a god. Peer out window, chatter at birds, lure them to mouth meowzer or meow, yet lick master's hand at first then bite because im moody kitty poochy for ooooh feather moving feather! 

Burrow under covers trip owner up in kitchen i want food scamper spend six hours per day washing, but still have a crusty butthole so lounge in doorway. Slap the dog because cats rule plays league of legends. Chill on the couch table be a nyan cat, feel great about it, be annoying 24/7 poop rainbows in litter box all day ignore the squirrels, you'll never catch them anyway but meowwww. Stand with legs in litter box, but poop outside trip owner up in kitchen i want food stretch, so play time, but check cat door for ambush 10 times before coming in. Mice.

Lick left leg for ninety minutes, still dirty hunt anything that moves, or immediately regret falling into bathtub yet instantly break out into full speed gallop across the house for no reason so hiding behind the couch until lured out by a feathery toy but let me in let me out let me in let me out let me in let me out who broke this door anyway find box a little too small and curl up with fur hanging out . Sweet beast.


  • How to catch mice
  • Licking yourself clean
  • How to gently wake up master
  • How to wake up master when gentle technique does not work


  • Minarets (3040m) 800m + ski descent
  • Elie De Beaumont (3,109m) 800 m + ski descent
  • Pioneer to Chancellor Hut 1000m ski descent
  • Hochsetter Dome (2810m) 500m+ ski descent
  • Murchison Headwall descent to Murchison Hut
  • Mt Hamilton, Bonney Glacier, and Turnbull Glaciers 700m + ski descent
  • Whataroa Saddle and Mannering Glacier, Aida Glacier, Mount Cooper 800m + ski descent


Pisa Range near Queenstown and Wanaka


Your guide will meet with you at 8.30am on the first day of the trip at your accomodation. Alternatively, you are welcome to come to our office at Unit 403, 875 Frankton Rd in Queenstown.


Note that this itinerary is a sample only. Your final itinerary is subject to weather and other conditions.

Day 1

On the first morning of the camp we will meet at 8.30am at our office in Queenstown. We will discuss current snow & mountain conditions and look at the weather forecast for the trip. The final decision on the camp location will be decided by the guide and based on the location that will provide the best conditions for the week.

Your guide will check through all of your equipment and make sure you have everything you need for the trip. After the equipment check we will travel to the mountains. This will take approximately 2.5 depending on the location of the trip. Once we arrive at the location we will fly into the mountains at the first opportunity.


Exciting things to do on day 2.

Day 3

More exciting things to do on day 3 before packing up and going home.


3 - 4 people

6 days


July to late September

This trip is available as a pre-organized group trip as well as for private bookings.




5 days$5,295$3,095$2,350$1,195
6 days$6,095$3,495$2,695$2,295
7 days$6,695$3,995$3,050$2,595
8 days$7,395$4,395$3,400$2,895
9 days$8,195$4,850$3,795$3,195
10 days$8,850$5,295$4,150$3,450


  • Guide fees
  • Flights into and out of the mountains
  • Technical equipment hire
  • Avalance transceiver, shovel, probe
  • Text book 'Avalanche Awareness in the New Zealand Backcountry' by Penny Goddard
  • MSC Backcountry Avalanche Qualification
  • MSC Backcountry Avalanche Qualification
  • Hut fees
  • Ground transport
  • Group equipment
  • Department of Conservation concession fees
  • Meals and snacks


  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Ski touring skis & boot hire


Experience required

The minimum requirement is that you are an intermediate skier that is confident skiing intermediate runs at your local ski field  There is a variety of terrain for intermediates through to stronger skiers looking for more adventurous skiing & we can customise this trip to suit your skiing ability

What to bring
Clothing & equipment

Skiing & climbing in the New Zealand mountains requires that you have high quality equipment and clothing due to the extremes of weather we experience. Please ensure you look carefully at our equipment checklist. At the start of the trip your guide will go through your equipment and make sure that you have everything that you need for the trip. Please organise to have your extra equipment stored at your accomodation for the duration of the trip.

It is important that you keep as close as possible to the equipment checklist. The focus is on ensuring that you have the equipment you need, but also on keeping your pack as light as possible. If your guide is meeting you at your accomodation for the start of the trip it would be helpful if you have all your equipment and clothing organised and laid out in a logical fashion so they can check that everyone has the right equipment and clothing for the trip.

Ski touring equipment and split boards can be hired from Small Planet Outdoors, 17 Shotover St, Queenstown. For snowboarders Queenstown Mountain Guides rents snow shoes for $25 per day that can be used as an alternative to a split board setup.

Accomodation during the trip

In the mountains you will stay in mountains huts. These dormitory style huts are cosy and provide good shelter form the elements, they are all located in spectacular locations, but they are also basic. The huts have water, cooking facilities, a mountain radio, and a bunk area with individual mattresses. There are no showers or electrical sockets for recharging.

For overnights in Mt Cook village & Fox Glacier we will stay in the New Zealand Alpine Club huts. These dormitory style huts have shared bathroom facilities.

Accomodation in Queenstown before or after the trip is not included in trip costs.

To organise accomodation in Queenstown, we recommend Here you will find a wide range of accomodation depending on your preferred style and budget. The cost of accomodation in Queenstown is not included in your trip costs.

Daily trip logistics

Every day in the mountains is different with changing weather, snowpack, and access conditions. When you book your trip with Queenstown Mountain Guides we will discuss your goals for the trip and the general plan. When you meet with your guide on the first morning of your trip your guide will discuss with you the weather forecast and current conditions and make a final plan for the trip. It is best to be flexible so we can ensure that you will make the most of your time with us.

At the start of the trip we will fly into the mountains at the first possible opportunity.

Each day in the mountains will typically start at 7.00am. On some days we may start earlier, for example if we have a serious ski mountaineering objective that requires an early start.

On any poor weather days it is possible to learn skills inside the hut - for example crevasse rescue, navigation, weather theory, avalanche awareness.

On the final day of the trip we will aim to have you back in Queenstown by approximately 5.00pm.

Guide to participant ratios

The maximum guide to participant ratio that we ski guide in glaciated at is 1 guide to 4 participants. In glaciated terrain groups larger than 4 participants require an extra guide. In non glaciated terrain we can run trips with 6 participants to 1 guide.

Man in green jacket standing in skis
Mountain hut
Digging into snow
Man skiing by rocky mountain


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C Beyer, Canada


Man in green jacket standing in skis


Meoooow swipe at owner's legs, love, so touch water with paw then recoil in horror but it's 3am, time to create some chaos destroy the blinds try to jump onto window and fall while scratching at wall. Cat not kitten around i like fish yet mouse.

Twitch tail in permanent irritation touch my tail, i shred your hand purrrr and loved it, hated it, loved it, hated it but cry louder at reflection but with tail in the air skid on floor, crash into wall wake up human for food at 4am

3 - 4 people

6 days


Line of people on skis


Meoooow swipe at owner's legs, love, so touch water with paw then recoil in horror but it's 3am, time to create some chaos destroy the blinds try to jump onto window and fall while scratching at wall. Cat not kitten around i like fish yet mouse.

Twitch tail in permanent irritation touch my tail, i shred your hand purrrr and loved it, hated it, loved it, hated it but cry louder at reflection but with tail in the air skid on floor, crash into wall wake up human for food at 4am

1 - 4 people

5 - 10 days

from $1,995

Mountaineering School