Wanaka Mountain Guides

Avalanche Skills Course 2

The 4-day Avalanche Skills Course 2 (previously known as the Backcountry Avalanche Course) NZ Mountain Safety Council endorsed. This comprehensive course is the highest level of recreational avalanche course available in New Zealand.


To attend this course you should have previously completed the Avalanche Skills Course 1 or an Avalanche Awareness Course or have similar knowledge and experience. It is also useful to have consolidated your experience with some self-led ski or splitboard touring trips in a variety of backcountry locations. will continue to build your knowledge and management of avalanche risk including danger assessment, terrain analysis, and companion rescue. The result will enable you to make decisions to safely travel in more challenging terrain and on multi-day trips away from a public avalanche forecast.


Wanaka Mountain Guides [] Avalanche Skills Course 2

The Avalanche Skills Course 2 is a mixture of theory and practical field days run as day trips from Wānaka. Venues include Treble Cone, the Pisa, Cardrona, and the Remarkables. A lift pass is required to access the Treble Cone backcountry.

Avalanche Skills Course 2 Syllabus

We recommend revising the MSC Online Avalanche Course prior to attending this course. Especially if it is a while since you attended an Avalanche Skills Course 1 or Avalanche Awareness Course.

Course syllabus includes:

  • Increasing understanding and identification of avalanche terrain and its effect on avalanche danger.
  • Understanding of how current and previous weather changes the snowpack and the effect of avalanche danger;
  • Information gathering from observations in the field and using this to adjust avalanche forecast and decision making;
  • Trip planning. Understanding and interpreting weather and avalanche forecasts and group management;
  • Route finding and navigation;
  • Safe travel techniques;
  • Avalanche small party companion rescue including more complex scenarios.

What to Expect

Wanaka Mountain Guides [] Sastrugi

All participants must be equipped for background travel with suitable clothing, eyewear, and ski or splitboard touring equipment and have some experience using it. This includes avalanche safety gear including a shovel, transceiver, and probe that are provided if required.

A full equipment list can be found here:

Why a Wānaka Mountain Guides Avalanche Course?

All our avalanche courses are delivered by Avalanche Risk Management Level 6 qualified mountain or ski guides. This is the highest level of avalanche qualification available in New Zealand and demonstrates significant avalanche industry practical knowledge and experience in fields including guiding, ski patrol, and forecasting. This ensures that participants receive industry-leading instruction covering the latest techniques.

Wanaka Mountain Guides [] Ski Touring

Pricing and Dates

Duration: 4 days
Maximum ratio: 1:4
2024 Dates:
22nd – 25th July: Places available
2nd – 5th August: Places available (weekend course)
26th – 29th August: Places available
6th – 9th September: Places available (weekend course)
2024 Price:
Group courses from $990 per person (minimum 4 participants)

Includes: GST, guide fees, compliance costs, avalanche safety gear, and transport from Wānaka.
Excludes: food, lift passes, touring equipment hire, and accommodation in Wānaka.
Participants require a Treble Cone lift pass for some days. For those without a season pass, a day touring lift ticket can bought on the morning for $75.

See Also

Rating: 5 out of 5.

’10/10. Extremely Knowledgeable. Fantastic Group Facilitation Skills. Great Teacher. Passionate about Skiing, Mountains/ Weather/ Snow Pack. Incredibly Patient. Cool, Calm, and Collected.’

 Fiona, Avalanche Skills Course

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘I Learnt heaps on my course, it was a wonderful experience. WMG has very experienced and knowledgeable guides who share this knowledge with skill, expertise, and grace. Highly recommended.’

Stuart, Avalanche Skills Course

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘Excellent – great knowledge and very good at simplifying potentially complex information and presenting it in a way that we all understood.’ 

— Andy, Avalanche Skills Course

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