Wanaka Mountain Guides

Backcountry Ski and Splitboard Touring Course

The Backcountry Touring Course for skiers and splitboarders develops the touring and avalanche skills you need to be able to confidently undertake your own winter day trips or overnight tours in the local area or further afield. Perfect for new ski and splitboard tourers to learn the latest techniques from NZ-certified mountain and ski guides.


Wanaka Mountain Guides [] Backcountry Ski and Splitboard Touring Course

The 3-day course is field based so everyday you will meet for a morning briefing in Wānaka and head up the hill. Days will include travel and practical exercises to develop skills and seek out great skiing and riding beyond the ski field boundary. The course runs through all weather. In fact, monitoring conditions during storms is great for developing an understanding of changing conditions so that you can be in the right place to get safe, fresh tracks when the skies clear. There are some theory sessions that will be presented during bad weather or evenings.

Backcountry Touring Course Location

Wanaka Mountain Guides [] Backcountry Ski and Splitboard Touring Course

The course uses backcountry venues accessed through Cardrona, Treble Cone, or The Remarkables ski fields.

It is also possible to arrange multi-day overnight courses staying in mountain huts or winter camping.

Backcountry Touring Syllabus

Courses can be tailored to the group’s abilities and aspirations. There is a strong focus on backcountry travel to maximise the opportunities to refine terrain analysis and touring skills.

Topics covered include:

  • Ski and splitboard equipment selection, management, and maintenance. For some pre-reading, check out our article on ski and splitboard touring equipment.
  • Uphill and downhill backcountry travel techniques in soft and firm conditions, use of ski crampons or ice axe and boot crampons (if required).
  • Backcountry hazard identification and risk management.
  • Trip planning including avalanche and terrain analysis and mountain weather forecasting.
  • Navigation.
  • Avalanche awareness and rescue.
Wanaka Mountain Guides

The MSC Avalanche Skills Course 1 is included in the 3-day Backcountry Ski and Splitboard Touring course.

Next Steps

Wanaka Mountain Guides [] Backcountry Ski and Splitboard Touring Course

Following the course, participants will be set up to continue to build their touring experience on guided or self-led tours.

After consolidating their experience, it is possible to undertake an Avalanche Skills Course 2 or Glacier Ski and Splitboard Touring Course to gain further skills in avalanche risk management or safe travel in more challenging glaciated mountain terrain.

Pricing and Dates

Duration: 4-days
2024 Dates:
22nd – 25th July: Places available
2nd – 4th August: Places available
26th – 29th August: Places available
6th – 9th September: Places available

Can’t make these dates? Get in touch to arrange alternative group or private courses dates July to September.
2024 Price:
Group courses $650 / $770 / $990 per person for 5 / 4 / 3 participants.

Includes: GST, guide fees, compliance costs, small group transport from Wānaka, and avalanche safety equipment.
Excludes: lunch and snacks, touring equipment hire, TC lift pass.
If you don’t have a Treble Cone season pass, a backcountry pass can be brought on the day for $75.

Ski touring equipment can be hired from MT Outdoors in Wānaka for $80 – $95 per day. Splitboards can be hired from Snowboard Workshop in Queenstown or from SplitN2 in Christchurch for $85 – $115 per day. If you are not able to pick up splitboards, we can arrange a courier for an additional $120.
Maximum ratio: 1:5

See Also

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘Myself and two friends (who’d never done any back-country touring before) skied/boarded with Wanaka Mountain Guides at Treble Cone a couple of days ago. He did a great job with finding some fresh powder and managing the day in a way that meant we all had fun and ended the day with some great memories.’

 Mark, Introduction to Ski and Splitboard Touring Course

Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘Really good  no1 fun day. Perfect conditions, great guide, got everything out of the trip that we wanted and more: fresh tracks, beautiful scenery, stunning weather, great company, and very safe and knowledgeable guide.’ 

— Wayne, Treble Cone Backcountry Tour

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

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