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AVALANCHE

AWARENESS COURSE

Learn route selection, decision making, planning, & avalanche rescue skills.
The Avalanche Awareness Course is a New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) accredited course for skiers & snowboarders.

The focus of the course is to give backcountry travellers the foundation skills and knowledge to make safe decisions when travelling in avalanche terrain and what to do if someone in your party is caught in an avalanche.

Queenstown Mountain Guides use experienced mountain guides, ski touring guides, heli-skiing guides, and  ski patrollers that have real experience working professionally in the industry.  Your experienced instructor will share with you their personal real life experience in decision making, avalanche forecasting, and avalanche rescue.

The Avalanche Awareness Course is held over one 3 hour evening session on the first night and then followed by a full day at the Remarkables ski field. Prior to the course you need to complete the Online Avalanche Theory Course and QUIZ. This is a requirement for the field day and will help you get the most out of the course.

AVALANCHE AWARENESS COURSE SKILLS SYLLABUS

  • Introduction to the avalanche phenomenon – snowpack layering, triggers, avalanche types, avalanche sizes.
  • Avalanche terrain – slope angles, aspects, altitude/elevation, trigger points, terrain traps, avalanche terrain exposure scale
  • Conditions – Identifying signs of snow instability
  • Decision making
  • Safe travel techniques
  • Route finding in avalanche terrain
  • Rescue – Avalanche Transceivers, probing, shovelling technique

LOCATION

Remarkables ski area, Queenstown

MEETING POINT & TIME

Evening Lecture: Meet at 7.00pm for a 3 hour lecture and slide show on the avalanche phenomenon.

Field day: Meet at ski area at 9am. Full day at Remarkables Ski field. The field day will finish at 5.00 pm

ITINERARY

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

Evening Lecture

3 hour lecture and slide show on the avalanche phenomenon.

Field Day

You will meet with your guide and instructor at 9am at the Remarkables Ski field. The field day is run within the ski field boundary using the lifts to access avalanche terrain (backcountry touring equipment is not required for this day.) A full day lift pass is required for the field day. We use the lifts to maximise learning time.

 The field day will finish at 5.00 pm

AVALANCHE AWARENESS COURSE

3 to 12 people
1.5 days
$270
June to August

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

BOOK A GROUP TRIP


PRIVATE TRIPS

People1234
1 day$650$375$375$300

INCLUSIONS

  • Guide fees
  • Group equipment
  • MSC avalanche assessor card

EXCLUSIONS

  • Remarkables Ski Field Day Pass (Required for field day)
  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe (hire available for $20)
  • Lunch & snack food

TRIP NOTES

Experience required

This course is for skiers and snow boarders. Participants need the ability to ski/ride off piste in a variety of conditions.

Online theory course and quiz 

What to bring

You will need to bring:

  • Food and water
  • A pack large enough to carry avalanche equipment as well as your spare clothing, food, and water. 
  • Warm clothing, windproof jacket and pants, warm gloves, sunglasses or goggle, and sunscreen.
  • Ski or snowboard equipment
  • A full day lift pass for the Remarkables ski field.
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. 

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. 

Guide to participant ratios

The maximum guide to participant ratio is 6 participants to 1 guide.

Slab avalanche
Learning about avalanche terrain avalanche course
Snow pit test avalanche awareness course
Avalanche Awareness Course Instructor

TRIP TITLE

GOES HEREEEEEEEE

Tagline goes here

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.

INSTRUCTION TOPICS MAY INCLUDE

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

POSSIBLE DESCENTS

  • 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

LOCATION

Pisa Range near Queenstown and Wanaka

MEETING POINT & TIME

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.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

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.

Day2

Exciting things to do on day 2.

Day 3

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

SKI MOUNTAINEERING COURSE

3 - 4 people

6 days

$2,700

July to late September

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

JOIN A GROUP TRIP

REQUEST A PRIVATE TRIP/COURSE

PRIVATE TRIPS

People1234
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

INCLUSIONS

  • 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

EXCLUSIONS

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

TRIP NOTES

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 www.booking.com. 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

CUSTOMER REVIEWS

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Man in green jacket standing in skis

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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

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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.

3 to 12 people
1.5 days
$270
June to August