Find yourself in the vast backcountry

Backcountry Skiing Course

Join us in our specially designed 4-day course to kickstart your backcountry touring adventures! Equip yourself with up-to-date techniques and skills to ski safely beyond the resorts. 

Based out of our unique alpine Geo Dome Camp in the McKerrow Mountains, you will gain the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) Avalanche Awareness qualification during this course.

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Difficulty Level Low ?
Fitness Level Medium ?
Duration 4 days
Elevation 1,600M / 5,249FT
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Bring your mates and enjoy exclusive access to our Alpine Heli Camp - Liz Mathieson

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Breakfast, coffee and go! - Geoff Marks

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Relax in our geodesic domes after a day in the powder - Steve Moffat

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This course is designed to teach a range of backcountry touring skills - Camilla Rutherford

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Snow safety and avalanche awareness - Camilla Rutherford Photography

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The perfect base for your adventure - Suze Kelly

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Spectacular sunsets after a great day's touring - Suze Kelly

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Fresh tracks! - Guy Cotter

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Fly directly to the camp and get straight into the action - Suze Kelly

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Learn with like-minded people in a fn environment - Suze Kelly

From Aug 26 to Aug 29, 2019
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
$2,090 NZD $
From Sep 09 to Sep 12, 2019
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
$2,090 NZD $
From Jul 27 to Jul 30, 2020
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
$2,090 NZD $
From Aug 03 to Aug 06, 2020
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
$2,090 NZD $
From Aug 24 to Aug 27, 2020
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
$2,090 NZD $
From Sep 07 to Sep 10, 2020
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
$2,090 NZD $
  • Overview

    • Gain a NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) Avalanche Awareness qualification
    • Learn how to make sound decisions in the mountains
    • Stay at our unique Geo Dome Camp high on Wanaka's McKerrow Range


    This course is designed to provide you with up-to-date techniques and safety skills for backcountry ski touring. It is directed toward fit and motivated people who have a background in resort-based skiing or snowboarding and wish to extend their skills into the backcountry.

    The emphasis of the course will be on route finding and avalanche awareness, as your guides progressively introduce a wider range of skills and techniques.

  • Why AC?

    With our headquarters based at Lake Wanaka we have the distinct advantage of short travel times to the venue with the best weather and conditions at the time. We have the option of the Westland, Aoraki Mount Cook, Aspiring and Remarkables mountain regions in addition to crags around Wanaka and alpine rock at the Remarkables. This enables us to get you into the most appropriate location much faster and gives more choice of venue.

    Our courses have been designed by Guy Cotter who has been climbing for over 35 years. Additional to his extensive record in New Zealand, his career has includes over 40 high altitude expeditions and polar journeys, including several ascents of Mt Everest and other 8,000m peaks.

    As an IFMGA Guide since 1991, Guy Cotter recognises the need for people to learn about ‘climbing’, and not just being taught the technical skills in isolation. This is not an easy task and cannot be achieved without experienced and highly skilled guides with good instructional skills. The guides at Adventure Consultants are recognised as amongst the best in the industry with the ability to help you get the most from your time with us.

    The main points of difference on an Adventure Consultants Course are:

    • More time to gain experience while practicing skills
    • Focus on remote mountainous areas
    • Highly experienced expedition guides instructing
  • MSC Accreditations

    Adventure Consultants offers courses to attain either the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) Backcountry Avalanche Certificate or Avalanche Awareness Certificate.

    MSC Avalanche Awareness Certificate: An introductory avalanche awareness qualification providing essential information for skiers and snowboarders to help make decisions about personal safety while in avalanche terrain. Our courses which offer this certificate are:

    • Avalanche Awareness Course - A 1.5-day course to offer you the most essential information in a rapid timeframe.
    • Backcountry Skiing Course - Detailed here; incorporating backcountry skiing skills and techniques alongside fundamental avalanche training.


    MSC Backcountry Avalanche Certificate: An advanced avalanche awareness course providing skills and knowledge necessary to travel and make sound safety decisions while in more complex avalanche terrain. Our courses which offer this certificate are:

    • Backcountry Avalanche Course - 4-days of theory & practical training to extend your avalanche knowledge and skills to the next level.
    • Glacier Ski Touring Course - A complete backcountry skiing and avalanche awareness course in the high glacial regions of the NZ mountains.
  • Dates & Prices

    2019 Dates

    BSC 1: July 29 to August 1   CLOSED
    BSC 2: August 5–8   CLOSED
    BSC 3: August 26–29
    BSC 4: September 9–12   FULL!

    2020 Dates

    BSC 1: July 27–30
    BSC 2: August 3–6
    BSC 3: August 24–27
    BSC 4: September 7–10

    2019/20 Pricing Schedule

    The course fee is NZ$2,090 per person.

    Private Instruction Courses are also available on demand, contact us for further information.

  • Payment Conditions

    Inclusions

    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Guide and permit fees
    • All trip-related meals and energy foods
    • Camp/hut fees
    • Use of group technical equipment
    • Use of avalanche rescue equipment
    • A copy of 'A Climber’s Guide to NZ Mountaineering Techniques' by Guy Cotter and Mark Sedon
    • A copy of 'Avalanche Awareness in the New Zealand Backcountry' by Penny Goddard
    • Mountain Safety Council Avalanche Awareness Certificate
    • Helicopter access and egress flight and landing fees
    • 15% NZ Goods & Services Tax


    Aircraft Access

    We utilise helicopters to access the McKerrow Range that serves the base for our course. The access and egress helicopter flights are included in the course fee.

    Registration, Deposit & Balance Payments

    In order to confirm a guide and your trip, we require a completed Registration Form and a deposit of NZ$1,000.

    The balance of payment is then due 60 days prior to the start date.

    Please note that in order to reserve a guide we recommend that you book well in advance.

    Payment Options

    All payments should be made by bank transfer to the following bank and account:

    Bank: Bank of New Zealand
    For the account of: Adventure Consultants Limited
    Account number: 02 0673 0043443 00
    Account Type: NZ Dollars

    We can also accept your deposit and balance payment by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) plus a 3% credit card payment fee.

    Cancellation & Refund Policy

    Once you have paid your deposit your trip is confirmed, subject to payment of the balance of fees owing 60 days prior to your trip commencement date. An expedition member may then cancel his/her participation on the following basis:

    • Up to 60 days prior to the departure date a NZ$250 fee applies.
    • Inside 60 days of the departure date we reserve the right to retain 50% of the full fee.
    • Inside 30 days of the departure date we reserve the right to retain 75% of the full fee.
    • Inside 15 days of the departure date forfeits 100% of the full fee.


    Trip Cancellation Insurance

    We highly recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance via your travel agent. This is usually packaged together with your travel insurance and covers you for loss of deposits should you not be able to make the trip for personal reasons.

    Minimum Numbers

    If we are unable to meet minimum numbers on the course (3 people) then we will offer you a shorter program for private guiding, with an access flight only.

  • Course Notes

    BSCThe Course Notes provide detailed information and background for the Adventure Consultants Backcountry Skiing Courses.

    You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:

    Backcountry Skiing Course Notes 2019

    Backcountry Skiing Course Notes 2020

    Team Membership

    The course will run with a minimum number of 3 people and a maximum of 8. The guiding ratio is 1:4.

    Our Guides

    NZMGA IFMGA LogoAdventure Consultants is a member of the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association Professional and experienced mountain guides run the course. Adventure Consultants have a commitment to ensure the highest standard of instruction and guiding practices and we only employ guides who share in our philosophy. Our guides will offer you the best possible learning experience, and a safe and enjoyable time. An open Adventure Consultants' mountain guides are qualified IFMGA / UIAGM Mountain and Ski Guides and helpful approach is encouraged within the group to help communicate and reinforce the learning process.

    Our guides are all NZMGA and/or IFMGA internationally qualified. They have been trained and assessed through the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association, and operate to the high standards and guidelines set out by the association.

    Head Office Support Team

    Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.

    Em Weatherall climbing cropEmberly Wetherall, Client Liaison

    Emberly has been with Adventure Consultants since March 2016 in the role of Client Liaison and Retail Buyer. She brings a positive attitude and 'can do' approach to her role. 

     

     
    AC Team 2016 Landscape

    Your Health

    Our registration form requests that you advise us of any medical problems you may have and if you are on any medication. Any information you supply will be treated as confidential.

    Level of Experience Required 

    The course is directed toward fit and motivated people who have a background in resort based skiing or snowboarding and wish to extend their skills into the backcountry.

    Preparing for Your Trip

    To make the most of your skiing experience we encourage you to work on your fitness and skiing/snowboarding prior to the trip. You need to be a strong intermediate skier or snowboarder to get the most out of the course. Your guide places special focus on fitness levels and will regulate the pace accordingly. See our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for your course.

    Food

    We place emphasis on providing nutritious meals and a good supply of snack food throughout the trip. If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us at the time of registration. For special diets such as vegan and gluten/dairy free we will call you to discuss your needs and how this will work in the group cooking situation.

    Adventure Consultants will provide food while the course is running which is from 9.00am on Day 1 until 5.00pm on Day 4. All food outside this time will be at your expense.

    Accommodation

    Wanaka has a range of accommodation from backpackers, youth hostels, motels, and hotels to luxury lodges. We are happy to assist with your accommodation arrangements.

    Adventure Consultants will provide your accommodation while the course is running. When in the mountains, you will stay in our unique Geo Dome Camp with shared bunkrooms and basic facilities. There are no single rooms available and you will need to provide your own sleeping bag.

    For overnights in Wanaka, you will stay in dormitory-style backpackers with shared bathroom facilities. You may decide to upgrade to single accommodations in Wanaka at your own expense, should you require.

    Clothing & Equipment

    Climbing in winter in the New Zealand mountains requires good personal gear due to the potential cold weather conditions. Our focus is on having the essential clothing and equipment, whilst keeping pack weights as light as possible for your comfort and ease of travel.

    Upon receipt of your deposit and registration form we will send out a comprehensive equipment list. Your guide will go through an equipment checklist with you prior to the trip. All group equipment will be organised by your guide.

    We carry a good range of modern rental equipment; we have snowshoes available for rent for snowboarders or we can help you rent a splitboard and climbing skins. For skiers, we can help you find specialised touring skis, boots and climbing skins. If you will be renting equipment from us please advise your requirements in advance to ensure correct sizing and availability. If you intend on buying any equipment items, we are happy to advise on recommended brands and models, and of key importance, their suitability to the type of activity. We offer our clients discounted prices on a selection of climbing equipment and clothing, and can arrange for the equipment to be available upon your arrival.

    You can also read the following equipment notes which are designed to help you when making decisions about which equipment best suits your personal needs.

    Transport

    We commence this trip from our base in Wanaka. The nearest airport is located in Queenstown, approximately one hour's drive away. Air New Zealand and Jetstar airlines provide daily services to Queenstown from Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington. There are also direct international flights from most major Australian cities.

    A shuttle service operates several times daily between Queenstown and Wanaka (from $35 each way), see https://www.ritchies.co.nz/wanaka. We are happy to assist with your transfer arrangements.

    Bus services also operate daily between Christchurch and Wanaka (approximately 6 hours' travel time).

    Weather

    Weather is an integral facet of any mountain range and getting to understand and work with this major environmental factor is what will distinguish you from the others. The New Zealand weather can be fierce but also benign. A climber who learns to optimise their opportunities here will have the skills to climb in any other mountain environment on earth.

    Our backcountry skiing and snowboarding season runs from August through to October. Our experience with New Zealand weather shows that August has more stable weather conditions and in October the glaciers are ‘nice and full’ (less crevasses) with longer days and warmer weather. Daylight hours are approximately 9 in winter. Temperatures will drop to as low as –10°C and could rise too as high as 15°C.

    On your course, it is probable that some adverse weather may affect our touring plans. However, we will attempt to anticipate what best moves to make for the positive outcome of the course. If adverse weather affects our access into the mountains, we can utilise the excellent backcountry skiing terrain accessible around Wanaka with day trips until it improves.

    Adventure Consultants reserves the right to cancel, or alter the course at any time if mountain conditions are perceived by Adventure Consultants as being too hazardous. However we will, to the best of our ability, endeavour to find alternative suitable touring venues in order for the course to take place.

  • Curriculum

    We operate our Backcountry Skiing Course in the McKerrow Range of New Zealand's Southern Alps, which offers an abundance of great terrain for learning and touring.

    Each night will be spent in our unique Geo Dome Camp, which allows us to start skiing straight from the door each morning.

    • Rope handling skills applicable to backcountry skiing or snowboarding
    • Crevasse rescue
    • Avalanche awareness and rescue
    • Route finding
    • Ski and/or snowboard touring techniques
    • Trip planning and navigation


    Factors such as weather and snow conditions may at times dictate that not all topics are covered in full.

    We will spend as much time in the mountains as possible actually skiing and riding, whilst developing skills. Initially we will develop and reinforce skills in a contained environment and move onto more challenging terrain during the course if conditions permit.

    The emphasis of the course will be on route finding and avalanche awareness techniques and will involve fairly long days where your guides will progressively introduce a wider range of skills and techniques.

    Weather plays a major factor in any mountain experience and New Zealand’s Southern Alps get their share. We intend to run the course according to schedule however as we at the whim of the weather we often have to adjust our program accordingly. This in itself is an important lesson for the group in versatility and objective selection based on the present and forecasted conditions.

    The course begins at 9.00am on Day 1 at the Adventure Consultants Office in Wanaka. If you are renting any touring equipment, please collect this the day prior. This will enable us to leave Wanaka as soon as possible on the first morning to get into the mountains.

    Following the introductions, your guide will present the course syllabus, outlining how the week will operate. Equipment will be discussed and any final advice can be given. Our guides will ensure that your rental equipment fits correctly and any final purchases can be made.

    We then drive around the shores of Lake Hawea (around half an hour’s drive), load up the helicopter and fly into the mountains. Leaving our gear in the camp, we’re off for a ski/board!

    Each day, depending on conditions, we will tour around the Camp Peaks region while operating workshops on different aspects of backcountry skiing and snowboarding techniques. A few turns are high on the list, as well as a little time to take in your surroundings. At the end of the course, we will make our way to a lower elevation and fly back to our vehicle (weather permitting) with an approximate 5.00pm finish on the final day.

    The following is a sample itinerary for the course:

    Day   
    1 We convene at the Adventure Consultants office in Wanaka, have a meet-and-greet session and discuss the plan for the week, including the latest weather forecasts. We sort our gear and drive to the helipad on the shores of Lake Wanaka, where we fly into our Geo Dome Camp. After some initial transceiver training, we spend the remainder of the day skiing the slopes of Teat Ridge. Then it’s back to the hut for dinner and a weather talk by our guide.
    2 It’s up early and the stoves are on for a cooked breakfast and plenty of coffee. After making lunches, we head out the door and tour around to ski the northern slopes. It’s not all about the turns though, as our guide takes us through looking at layers in the snowpack by digging a snow pit. The snowpack tests show us that things are stable, so we get to ski some steeper lines as we tour back towards the camp. Back at the domes, it’s a hungry team that devours their dinner with a continued talk on avalanche awareness and our observations from the field.
    3 High cloud is building today with a deteriorating forecast. With the remaining good visibility, we get out for some turns. We make our way back to the Geo Dome Camp for a cooked lunch as the cloud envelopes the surrounding slopes. The afternoon is spent going through snow anchor building, using our skis and boards as anchors, and running through different rope rescue techniques.
    4 We wake to find the weather has cleared overnight. Today the guide puts the group in the hot seat and gets them to plan the day ahead, including where they think they will find good snow to ski and where it will be safe to do so. It is later in the afternoon that our helicopter arrives to pick us up and take us back to the lakeshore and the short drive back to Wanaka. What a fantastic few days!

    Day 1 of the course begins at 9.00am at our office, at 20 Brownston Street, Wanaka. Please arrive just on 9.00am as the guides will be preparing prior to that time.

    You will find some of New Zealand's best sport climbing in the Matukituki Valley, the gateway to the Mt Aspiring region (just a ten-minute drive from our office). Three ski resorts provide plentiful winter activity and all year round fishing, boating and numerous other recreational activities abound.

  • Add Ons

    Wanaka and Queenstown have some of the most relaxing and beautiful accommodation in New Zealand. Let your friendly liaison know if you would like to discover some of the potential options that they have to offer.

    IMG 00170Take a private transfer between Queenstown Airport and Wanaka in a Jaguar F-Pace S.

    Available any time of the day or week, the service is personalised and includes an airport meet and greet at the gate.

    A Frankton shopping stop can be included in this service, as can a brief Wanaka orientation tour upon arrival.

    Each transfer can be tailor-made to meet your needs and transport can be included for up to 4 passengers.

    Please see Wanaka Chauffeured for more information.

    (Photo: Wanaka Chauffeured)

    Wild Wire - Top Pick!

    Experience a via ferrata (iron rung) climb on soaring waterfall whilst in Wanaka! Wild Wire is a truly great guided day out climbing a private via ferrata at Twin Falls in the Matukituki Valley. A safe and fun active activity for all ages.

    Scenic Flights

    In Wanaka we are surrounded by a myriad of lakes and mountain ranges as well as South Westland and Fiordland National Park, with the world famous Milford Sound. Seeing such sights from above by helicopter or plane is a must whilst visiting the South Island. Talk to our office about booking a flight.

    Bike and Boat Tour

    Enjoy a fun and adventurous half day boat and bike tour which combines a scenic lake cruise on the pristine Lake Wanaka with a mountain bike tour skirting the lakeshore with our friends at Wanaka Bike Guides.

    Wanaka Wine Tours

    Discover the scenery, history, food and wine of Wanaka and Central Otago with Wanaka Wine Tours. Catering to all, from complete wine novices to dedicated wine connoisseurs, their explorations of the local vineyards are a delight to the senses!

    Bungy Jumping / Canyon Swing

    Bungy… the quintessential New Zealand activity that speaks for itself. And Canyon Swing! Let us organise this for you after your trip with us and take the hassle out of it. Talk to our staff about it today!

    Fiordland Helicopter Flight, Cruise or Remote Scuba Dive

    Take an incredible scenic helicopter flight through Fiordland National Park, a listed World Heritage Area, where you will land on a private boat in the very remote Dusky Sound. Enjoy a cruise of the Sounds and if you're feeling adventurous then don your dive gear and head underwater for a phenomenal dive in the unique underwater world that Fiordland has to offer. Feast on an amazing lunch of fresh seafood, before heading back to civilisation. Truly an experience not to be forgotten.

    Multi-Pitch Ice Climbing

    After your trip/course you could add-on a multi-pitch single day 1:1 ice climbing ascent with your guide. Depending on your skill level, there is a range of excellent options within a couple of hours walk. or a short helicopter flight near Queenstown. Contact us to learn more.

    Have a camera man join your trip and document the entire thing! Choose from a variety of options for different budgets. You could have a full-colour book and short film, or a full documentary for television. Your trip is the trip of a lifetime; why not keep it to show your friends and family. Contact us or see our specialty Film and Photo Services page for more information.

    Let us take the hassle out of buying new gear. We can sort all of your equipment requirements for you from head to toe with specific personal purchases that will leave you with all of the best gear on the mountain. Contact us or see our specialty Gear Store page for more information.

    Your friends or family may wish to join you on your holiday but don't like the idea of heading into the backcountry for skiing or ice climbing. Let us know if this is the situation and we will be able to put together an itinerary that keeps them busy while you are up high. There are so many wonderful things to do, so have a chat with us and we will put together the perfect program.

  • Travel Insurance

    Finding the right travel and rescue insurance for your trekking and mountaineering adventures can be tricky! Rest assured when you book with the expedition specialists here at Adventure Consultants we'll help by sending through advice on what you'll need, including:

    • Travel insurance including trip interruption and cancellation cover
    • Medical Evacuation and Rescue Insurance


    For further information check out our Travel and Rescue Insurance page or contact us.

  • FAQ

    • Contact Us

      The following Frequently Asked Questions answers serve as a helpful guideline for the Adventure Consultants New Zealand Guided Ski Touring Programmes and Courses. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!

      info@adventure.co.nz
      US: +1 866 757 8722 (Freephone from North America)
      NZ: +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm PST + 19 hours)

    • Choosing a Provider

      How long have Adventure Consultants been in operation?
      Adventure Consultants commenced operations in 1990 and has been guiding internationally ever since. You can read the full story of the company on the AC History page. The New Zealand guiding operation for Adventure Consultants under CEO Guy Cotter’s leadership was established after 1996 and quickly propelled AC to become New Zealand’s largest guiding operation within a few years.

      A few outfitters claim to have the same level of experience and prestige as Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you the first choice for your climbers?
      As a New Zealand company leading clients to the summit of Mount Everest, we are renowned for our expertise at high altitude and the expansive logistics that are necessary to be able to be extraordinarily successful guiding in such extreme environments. This ‘top down’ approach is applied to all our planning and processes and we are proud to apply this service and level of detail to each and every trip we operate. We maintain such high standards by focusing on quality and by attracting the best guiding and headquarters administration staff in the business.

    • Food, Accommodation & Facilities

      What are the NZ Mountain huts like? Can I have my own room?
      NZ offers some fantastic huts in amazing locations and most often these provide dormitory style bunk rooms and communal kitchens. Toilets are 'long drops' and many are famous for their views! Expect to share the huts with other like-minded climbers. Read more on our New Zealand Alpine Huts page.

      What is a Geo Dome?
      These are 7-metre diameter steel-framed domes. They are sturdy against the wind and covered in a durable PVC with a wooden floor and an insulated liner to retain warmth. There is a built-in kitchen area and a small log burner to ensure you are well-fed and toasty at night,

      What showers and washing (clothes) will be available on the course/ascent?
      In the high alpine environment, there are no showers or clothes washing facilities. The alpine huts and AC Geo Dome Camp have a small supply of fresh water for a basic wash cloth refresher and/or wet-wipes can be handy for a tidy up during your hut or camp stay.

      What food will be available?
      During your trip or course, we will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks and ample hot and cold drinks to keep you well-nourished and hydrated. We can cater for a variety of diets and with the convenience of flying in and out of the mountains, we are able to provide a good variety of fresh goods, protein sources and produce.

      What is the food like?
      All of our NZ guides are proficient cooks who aim to prepare high-quality popular dishes that are filling and nutritious. Please indicate any special dietary requirements on your application form, so that we can take this into consideration when planning.

    • Travel

      Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts? And when should I book my flight to leave?
      With an early start on Day 1, we do ask that you arrive at least one day prior to your trip start. This will allow you to get settled in and organized, and also provides some leeway in case of delays or lost baggage. This also means that you start your trip well-rested and ready to get into the mountains. You are welcome to arrive several days early or stay for extra nights at the end, and we are happy to assist with accommodation bookings and/or travel advice.

      When should I book my ticket?
      If you are joining a group course we generally ask you to wait until 60 days prior to your trip start date to ensure your trip has met the minimum numbers and will operate. If you see a good deal and want to book your flights then ensure you can make changes to your tickets or you run the risk of losing your ticket if we do have to cancel the trip.

      If you are joining us for a 1:1 course or ascent, or with a group of friends then you are welcome to book your tickets as soon as you wish.

      Can I get a cheap ticket online?
      The problem with these tickets is that you usually end up having to pay quite a lot more if you have to make any changes to your ticket. Therefore, we highly recommend using a travel agent.

      Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
      Our NZ ski trips start at the Adventure Consultants head office, which is located on 20 Brownston Street in Wanaka, which is on the corner of Russell and Brownston Streets.

      We can easily arrange for your guide to come pick you up from your accommodation and your Client Liaison will be happy to assist with booking airport transfers.

      What if I am arriving early or departing late?
      Adventure Consultants can make reservations for you and can often make recommendations for local attractions you can enjoy while waiting for your trip to begin. Please let our office know your specific plans.

    • Clothing & Equipment

      Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
      Yes, once your booking form and deposit have been received, we will send you out a specific gear and equipment checklist along with additional equipment notes, which will provide a description, example and recommendations for each item required.

      Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
      Yes, all of the items on the list (except those marked optional) are necessary for skiing in New Zealand. Due to the variable weather and conditions in the New Zealand mountains, some of the listed items may or may not be utilised on your trip and your guide will discuss this with you during your gear check on arrival.

      How warm do we need our sleeping bags to be?
      A sleeping bag rated to 4-seasons or 700g+ down fill (approximately -5˚C to -10˚C) is required for New Zealand winter trips.

      We suggest buying a sleeping bag big enough to allow you to wear some clothes in if it is especially cold. Sleeping in a warm hat can greatly improve a bag's warmth.

      Can I rent or buy gear from you?
      We carry a good range of modern rental equipment. If you will be renting equipment from us please advise your requirements in advance to ensure correct sizing and availability. If you intend to buy any equipment items, we are happy to advise on recommended brands and models, and of key importance, their suitability to the type of activity. We offer our clients discounted prices on a selection of climbing equipment and clothing, and can arrange for the equipment to be available upon your arrival.

      How much weight will we carry?
      Once we arrive at our alpine base we will be able to leave most of our gear and only carry what is required for each day. This is all trip dependent, but you will need to be able to carry a day pack with warm clothes, water, snacks, camera and whatever else you need for the day. Generally, it will be a medium weight of approximately 5–10kg/10–20lb. You need to be prepared to carry a full pack of about 20kg/45lb for trips that include a tour in or out of the mountains.

      What first aid supplies will be available on the trip?
      All our guides carry a full first aid kit to deal with any medical emergency on the trip. You need to bring any medications you regularly use (don’t forget to tell us about them), plus some extras. Also, bring a small first aid kit including a blister kit and mild pain relief medication.

    • Guide & Team Members

      How many guides will be assigned to our group?
      You will find the trip ratio in the 'Trip/Course Notes' section above. Generally, our group scheduled trips are guided at a maximum ratio of 1:4.

      Who goes on your trips?
      Our climbers and ski tourers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels. We provide courses, expeditions, treks and guided ascents for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts, from those seeking skill development to those looking for assistance in reaching the world's highest mountains. We love what we do and we look forward to assisting you with whatever mountain adventure you’re dreaming up.

    • Health & Fitness

      What kind of physical condition should I be in for my trip?
      We encourage you to work on your fitness prior to your trip. Gym training, swimming, running and cycling add to your base fitness and are a great addition to a pack training program.

      Arriving fit and prepared for your trip is an essential key to a successful and enjoyable time. Here at Adventure Consultants, we have partnered with the experts at Uphill Athlete to create scientifically sound training plans designed by two professional coaches and leading mountaineers. Together we provide a range of training programs designed specifically for mountain activities, as well as one on one online coaching options. Check out our programs at Training Peaks or see our Fitness Training page for more information.

      How do I know this is the right trip for me?
      We offer trips to suit all levels of ability and ambition, from your first mountain experience to extreme ascents and everything in between. To help you navigate the choices available, our trips are graded by both the level of physical exertion and the level of skill required, allowing you to find your perfect expedition match. These ratings are displayed in the icons at the top of each expedition page, with a further explanation available by clicking on the accompanying question mark. A full run-down of the categories can be found on our Difficulty Ratings page and our team is more than happy to discuss your experience to find the right trip for you.

    • Communication & Electronic Devices

      Will there be any access to a satellite phone? If yes then what would be the charges for usage?
      Yes, our guides take satellite phones on our NZ trips and you are welcome to use these at a cost of US$4 per minute. In some huts and camps, you will be able to get cell phone coverage, but please do not depend on this.

      I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
      The best place to reach a loved one is through our office, as we can pass on messages when the guide calls in with updates.

      Will there be any power source for charging batteries, etc. available throughout the course/ascent?
      We highly recommend fully charging your phones and cameras before heading into the New Zealand Mountains. Once at the huts and camps, there are no charging facilities. We recommend that you bring a camera that uses standard batteries and it’s a good idea to bring some spare batteries as a backup.

    • Weather Forecasts

      Which weather reporting service do you use?
      On the days leading up to your trip, your guide will be looking closely at the weather and we utilise a variety of websites as well as being lucky enough to receive updates from landowners, the Department of Conservation and others already in the mountains. Once in the mountains, your guide will contact our office on a regular basis via satphone to receive weather updates and any changes to the perceived weather pattern for the week.

    • Insurance

      What insurance do I need to get?
      We strongly recommend that you take out trip cancellation insurance and travel insurance to protect yourself in case of injury, mishap or cancellation prior to/or whilst on our trips. The New Zealand Alpine Club offers insurance options for Australian and New Zealand residents, and your client liaison will send you more details on this option.

      While our number one focus is on safety and our track record supports this, the mountains do have hazards and there is always the potential for mishap.

      Who do you recommend for insurance?
      Coverage varies based on your nationality and the trip that you are taking with us. When you have booked on for a trip with us we will send you information on various insurance options which will serve as a good starting point for obtaining the best coverage available for yourself.

      What is trip cancellation insurance?
      Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Adventure Consultants highly recommends cancellation insurance for all of our trips and courses. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip, then we will refund your fees paid. However, if you have to cancel your trip at the last minute trip cancellation insurance will cover your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred in the lead up to your trip.

    • Fees & Payments

      Can I pay by credit card?
      Yes we have a secure online credit card payment service using Payment Express. A 3% credit card payment service fee is added to all transactions. We also accept payment by bank wire transfer and please seem further details in the 'Payment Conditions' sections above.

      What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
      Each trip page on the website has a downloadable pdf document with exactly what is and what is not included in the trip. Please see the 'Payment Conditions' and 'Trip Notes' sections above. International airfares are not included in the trip price however, we recommend excellent travel agents should you require help with arranging your international airfare.

      Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
      We are proud to be leaders in the industry offering a variety of courses, trips, tours, treks, and expeditions worldwide. We base our prices on the high level of operation and services we provide throughout the entire trip experience with us. Some of the things that set us apart are our internationally qualified guides, many of whom are world-renowned, our small group sizes which provide for safe client-to-guide ratios, high-quality equipment and extensive pre-trip support, plus all those extra services along the way that help to make your experience with us extraordinary.

      How do I sign up for a trip?
      The best way to reserve your space on a trip is to contact our office or complete our online booking form (click 'Book Now' below). Your deposit can be submitted by bank transfer (please see 'Payment Details' in the 'Payment Conditions' section above) or via our secure online payment system.

      info@adventure.co.nz
      US: +1 866 757 8722 (Freephone from North America)
      NZ: +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm PST + 19 hours)

    • Photography

      I love the photographs in your brochure and on your website, are they for sale?
      Yes, our images are available for licensing or purchase. Please contact our office for more information.

    • Employment

      I want to become a mountain guide, where do I start?
      Those with limited experience generally start by taking an alpine climbing course and then go out and climb for a few years. You generally should have at least 5 years of climbing and/or teaching/guiding experience. You need avalanche and medical training and then you can apply to do an NZ Mountain Guides Course or the equivalent in your country, aligned with the IFMGA.

      Please see Adventure Consultants Mountain Guide Scholarships on our Career Opportunities page and check the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association for more information.

  • Photo Albums

Book Now

IMG 2869

AC are very professional yet still friendly and helpful.
Backcountry Ski Course 2017

Will Power
Australia
IMG 0789

I enjoyed the course immensely, it was challenging but rewarding. Thanks for everything.
Backcountry Skiing Course, 2016

Dean Willoughby
Australia
Suze kelly dude skiing 2

AC just stuck out as a professional organisation - a really nice and helpful group of people that work around the weather to help you gain the most of the course.
Backcountry Ski Course, 2017

Dale Larner
Australia