Beginners Snow School

This is a three-day course run during the mid-semester break. It is based at the New Zealand Alpine Club hut above Whakapapa ski-field on Mount Ruapehu. Attending one of these courses is essential in order to participate in alpine trips run through the club. One day will consist of a trip to the Summit Plateau if the weather allows.

The course covers:

  • Ice-axe and crampon use
  • Self-arresting
  • Snow-shelters
  • Avalanche-awareness
  • Safe route-finding

Advanced Snow School

This is a five-day course run during the mid-semester break. It is also based at the New Zealand Alpine Club Hut. This course is aimed at those who have completed Beginners Snow School and have subsequently been on a number of snow trips.

This course covers:

  • Glacier travel,
  • Crevasse rescue
  • Snow anchors
  • Pitching alpine routes
  • Mixed and ice climbing

Basic Bush School

It was once said that “a cow jumped over the moon and thus bush school was born”.

This course is an entry level bush craft course aimed at teaching the basic skills required for tramping.

This course will cover:

  • Basic Navigation
  • River safety
  • Environmental care
  • Tent pitching
  • Bivouac building
  • Fire lighting
  • Cooker use
  • Weather
  • Basic first aid
  • What to do if you get lost and much, much more

Advanced Bush School

It was once said that, “a myanmar swamp buffalo jumped over the moon and thus advanced bush school was born.”

This course is aimed at those who have completed Basic Bush School or equivalent and want to further their navigation skills.

It will cover:

  • Bivvying
  • Advanced navigation
  • Route planning

First Aid

First Aid in the outdoors encompasses a diverse set of situations which require forethought and knowledge not generally taught in other, more general, first aid courses.

The club organises Outdoor First Aid courses at regular intervals. Certificates need to be updated every two years, so courses are often timed to coincide with the expiry date of the last lot of qualifications, but they can be organised at other times as well. These courses are highly recommended, and teach first aid at a level beyond that of ordinary Workplace First Aid courses. The club will often provide a subsidy for people wishing to attend a course. If you’re interested in organising or attending one, get in touch with the Safety Officer ([email protected]).

Further information about courses though out the year will be sent out via email.

Providers include:

Avalanche Awareness

If you are thinking of heading onto the snowy back country, doing an avalanche awareness course may save your life.

The club organises at least one avalanche awareness course a year, run through an external provider.

Courses generally cover:

  • Snow pack analysis
  • Safe route-finding
  • Weather
  • Reading avalanche forecasts
  • Avalanche rescue

For more information visit

Providers include:

Peak safety

Mountain Safety Council

Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre

Aspiring Guides

External Course Subsidy

The club would like to support users of useful external courses by offering a 50% scholarship on these courses

A number of other organisations, provide courses and support to outdoor enthusiasts.

The courses offered by MSC can be found at

These courses include:

  • River school
  • Outdoor First aid
  • Avalanche Awareness
  • Navigation
  • Survival
  • Leadership

The courses offered by the New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC) can be found at

These include:

  • High Alpine Skills
  • Leading on technical ice

To apply for a scholarship email [email protected]