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Alpine Recreation logo
Learning how to identify weak layers in the snowpack on the Backcountry Avalanche Course
Snowpack factors
Digging a pit to investigate layers
Learn about the nature and cause of different types of avalanches on the Backcountry Avalanche Course
Avalanche characteristics
Crown wall and debris from a recent storm slab
The Backcountry Avalanche Course is taught by certified avalanche instructors
Observation techniques
Learn from UIAGM / NZMGA ski guides
The Backcountry Avalanche Course teaches you how to travel safely through avalanche terrain
Saftey in avalanche terrain
Learn safe travel techniques
Rex Simpson Hut is a great venue for avalanche skills instruction
Rex Simpson Hut
Warm & well equipped - an ideal instruction venue

Backcountry Avalanche Course

A Mountain Saftey Council (MSC) accredited course

Learn how to analyse the snowpack, assess slope stability and develop safe travel techniques with expert tuition from avalanche professionals!
This is an accredited course, with a formal assessment and Certificate of Completion. It is designed for people who are already competent skiers and snowboarders who wish to travel beyond the bounds of a ski field. We will be based at Rex Simpson Hut in the Two Thumb Range, an ideal location for practising your route selection and decision-making re avalanche hazard.

We provide Penny Goddard's book, "Avalanche Awareness in the New Zealand Backcountry", and the other MSC course materials.




Alpine Recreation can provide alpine touring skis, poles, skins, avalanche transceivers, shovels and probes. You need to bring your own alpine ski touring boots. Outdoor clothing and packs can also be provided at no extra cost if necessary.

→Backcountry Ski Course Clothing & Equipment list (used for both types of courses)