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New Zealand Snow Safety Institute

Backcountry Ski and Splitboard Touring Course


Introduction to Ski and Splitboarding Touring Course

Course Objectives:

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 youíve been into the backcountry a few times and want to solidify what you do and donít know.

You should be relatively fit for this course, with previous hiking and trekking experience. You should be an intermediate Ė advanced skier/rider, capable of descending most terrain.

Venue: All courses are hosted at Ferrier Lodge at Temple Basin Ski Field, located above snowline, approximately 500m above Arthurís 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 drying rooms hot showers.

Theory and rope skills are hosted inside a specifically designed lecture theatre.

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.

Itinerary: 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 Saturday morning to Sunday lunch (dinner can be purchased for $30 extra on Friday night). All instruction and any required use of the ski lifts.

Course Fee $499 gst incl.

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.

Course Dates: 2017

  • August 12-13

Course Instructor: TBC

For more detailed information on equipment please refer to the detailed equipment notes which will be supplied to you upon your course enrolment.

Participants should be over 18 years of age, fit and competent skiers or splitboarders on intermediate terrain, capable of walking up hills in the snow. And able to use a rope tow with a "Nutcracker".
If you have any pre existing conditions of which the instructor / guide should be aware of in an emergency it is your personal responsibility to inform the instructor / guide. This information will be confidential.