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New Zealand Snow Safety Institute

Mountain Skills Course for Climbers and Trampers



5-day Mountain Skills for Climbers and Trampers


Course Objectives:
This course is designed for climbers and trampers who wish to gain experience and technical expertise in the mountains. Develop mountain skills to comfortably and safely climb moderate routes in the mountains.

Some aspects of the course will be optional, but it will be possible for you to learn essential mountaineering skills, spend a night in a snow cave, learn what to do when travelling on ridges and glaciers, avalanche awareness and many other skills for people wanting to head out into the mountains.


Skills List:

  • Equipment Selection and its proper use.
  • Ice axe and crampon use.
  • Rope use including: Abselling, Advanced anchor construction, Lowering a person.
  • Two tool movement
  • Steep terrain movement
  • Alpine rescue techniques
  • Hauling systems
  • Risk management
  • Weather, route selection and avalanche hazard.
  • Winter survival and shelters including snow caves.
  • Navaigation
  • Glacier travel


Equipment you are required to bring:

  • Back pack with Pack liner (45-65L) with Alpine attachments*
  • Ice Axe & Hammer*
  • Snow stake*
  • Crampons*
  • Rock Climbing Harness with the following*: 4x Screwgate Karabiners, 4x Snaplink Karabiners, 1x Belay device (Not Fig8 style), 3 prussic cords (1m/2m/3m), 1x 6m Cordelette, 1x 5m Sling (Un-tied), 1x (+/-) 20cm Ice Screw.
  • Transceiver, Shovel & Probe*
  • Plastic or Solid Leather Tramping / Mountaineering Boots (spare footware for the lodge).
  • Snow Gaiters
  • Compass (Map K33 optional)
  • Gloves for snow work & a spare pair gloves
  • Polypro gloves
  • Helmet (Climbing specific only)
  • Waterproof breathable jacket and pants
  • Layers: Thermal clothing that can be varied depending on conditions
  • Sun hat & Beanie
  • Sun glasses
  • Spare change of clothes for the lodge including trainers/slippers
  • Sleeping bag (3+season)
  • Bivouac Bag
  • Head Torch & Spare Batteries
  • Personal Medication & First Aid kit
  • Toiletries inc. Sunscreen!
  • Note book & Pencil
  • Camera (optional)

*Most technical equipment can be hired from the NZSSI with prior notice
*If you are borrowing or buying crampons ensure that they fit your boots before the course
*Ropes are provided for this course

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 capable of walking up hills in the snow; preferable pervious tramping experience.
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.