Wanaka Mountain Guides

Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue Course

The short local Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue Course prepares ski or splitboard tourers or mountaineers and trampers for carrying out travel over glaciers. It covers all the alpine skills required for spring or summer missions from avalanche awareness to crevasse rescue. A customised refresher is available for those who have covered these skills previously prior to embarking on a season’s adventuring.

Course Locations

Wanaka Mountain Guides

In winter, we utilise access at local ski fields to practically cover the rescue skills on the snow. This is usually Cardrona but can also be arranged at Treble Cone or The Remarkables.

In summer, local crags are used to cover roping and rescue skills.

Winter field days can be accessed on foot or using ski or splitboard touring equipment. Please state your mode of transport when registering.

Course Syllabus

New Zealand’s high glaciers also provide inspiring destinations for ambitious ski or splitboard tourers. These environments pose a number of hazards and all members of a team should be able to identify the risk factors and have the skills move safety around the terrain and be familiar with emergency self and companion crevasse rescue techniques.

Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue Course [] Wanaka Mountain Guides

Visit our Downloads page for course resources. Also there is our Knowledge Base for useful articles and resources to prepare for this course.

The Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue course covers the equipment and safety considerations for glacier travel throughout the year and emergency rescue techniques for roped and un-roped crevasse falls.

Topics include:

  • Glacier travel ropework including knots and hitches, equipment considerations for glacier travel, roping up for glacier travel
  • Glacier geography, hazard identification and navigating glaciers
  • Avalanche awareness for ski and splitboard tourers or mountaineers and trampers
  • Crampon and ice axe work
  • Snow anchors including skis/boards or snow stakes
  • Abseiling and crevasse self-rescue
  • Companion crevasse rescue including pulley systems and progress capture options

Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue Course Options

The course is 2 days and uses local crags and ski fields to introduce and cover the practical skills of glacier travel and crevasse rescue.

For smaller groups, we can run a 1.5 day course including a practical field day preceded by a 3-hour evening session. This evening session demonstrates the theory of glacier travel, snow anchors and tools for crevasse rescue.

1 day Summer Course / Refresher

In summer, single-day refresher courses can be offered on roping and rescue skills based at the Wānaka crags.


Wanaka Mountain Guides
Wanaka Mountain Guides

For touring accessed courses, participants must have previous touring experience and equipment.

Wanaka Mountain Guides

Participants should be familiar with basic knots and hitches such as Clove hitch, Italian (Munter) hitch, and Figure-8.

Pricing and Dates

Duration: 1.5-day or 2-day course
Maximum ratio: 1:6
2023 Dates:
8th/9th July: COMPLETE
15th/16th July: COMPLETE
7th/8th August: COMPLETE
15th/16th August: COMPLETE
19th/20th August (foot-based for mountaineers and trampers): COMPLETE
2nd/3rd September: COMPLETE
16th/17th September: FULL

Can’t make these dates. Get in touch to arrange alternative dates or private courses.
2023 Price:
2-day course:
$430 per person (5+ participants)
$520 per person (minimum 4 participants)

Includes: GST, avalanche safety gear, and technical equipment, transport from Wānaka is provided for small groups.
Excludes lunch and snacks, ski or splitboard touring equipment hire (available from MT Outdoors in Wānaka)

See Also

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘A great knowledgeable instructor. He made sure each participant understood the material. Friendly and made you feel comfortable asking any questions. I would highly recommend [the guide] and would love to be a part of another one of his instructional courses.’

Tom, Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue Course

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘[Our guide] was an outstanding teacher. Very patient, knowledgeable and an excellent communicator. The course was engaging and I learnt loads! We spend a day in Wanaka at the climbing wall to get our rope work sorted and then moved onto the snow on the second day to put all our skills to work. Feeling more confident now, and highly recommend this course to anyone interested in crevasse rescue.’

Danielle, Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue Course

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘[Our guide] was really knowledgeable but also very realistic and sensible regarding what we needed to know and focusing on the common and more simple things. He was very patient with us when at times we got a bit muddled! He was a fantastic instructor.’

Biz, Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue Course

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