Introduction to Winter

This course is an introduction to basic winter alpine skills.

It’s suitable for beginners keen to experience snow, ice and rock scrambling for the first time and regular alpine trampers wanting to refresh their skills for alpine hiking.

Our highly-experienced instructors will provide you with a solid grounding to increase your level of skill and knowledge. All of our alpine instructors have New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association (NZOIA) qualifications and our instructor to client ratio is kept at a maximum of 1:6.

NOTE: the Introduction to Winter Mountaineering course teaches you core skills to move around in an alpine environment. We can also offer technical mountaineering skills courses, including the alpine climbing skills needed to summit the Remarkables Mountains and navigate their exposed ridges. See our Technical Mountain Skills page or contact us for more information.

Introductory Mountain Skills wanaka nz

Course Outline

  • Pre trip planning – weather forecasts, route planning
  • Avalanche awareness skills and decision making
  • Identifying and managing mountain hazards
  • Choosing equipment for an alpine environment
  • Terrain management
  • Route selection and navigation
  • Footwork and walking in a variety of snow conditions
  • Ice Axe use – walking, self belay, cutting steps and self arrest
  • Safe use of crampons in ascent, descent and traversing
  • Emergency snow shelters and communication
  • Ascending simple scrambling routes whilst developing safe and confident movement over rocky terrain

This course is a great place to start your journey exploring the winter mountain environment. It will give you the core skills needed to build your experience in the snow and confidence to try a local peak in winter conditions, or a transalpine tramp. We are happy to recommend the most appropriate content and course length for you if you contact us for more information.


Our Avalanche Awareness course is a perfect compliment to the Mountain Skills course. Please contact us for a discount if you wish to book both at the same time!

Prices and Availability

This course is usually available from June until October. The length of the course can be anything from 1-3 days, depending on your learning objectives and experience. Please contact us to discuss current conditions and your aspirations. We also offer a Summer Alpine Skills course, which is usually available November until April.

Group SizePrice per person, per day