Beginners Mountaineering Course

This instruction course is for beginner mountaineers/ alpinists wanting to learn the skills for safe travel and climbing in the alpine environment

About our introductory/beginners Mountaineering courses

A 6 day climbing instruction course is perfect for those wanting low key alpine adventures, snow covered alpine pass crossings or simply to experience the mountains and learn a few of the basic skills to get around in the alpine world. It is a perfect start to future, bigger alpinism projects.

The course takes place in an alpine setting, experiencing glorious moments in the Southern Alps and mountain vista sunsets. Beginner mountaineering courses will typically fly into a location like:

  • Alymer hut or Chancellor hut on the West Coast with training peaks like Chancellor Dome, Mt Drummond and St Mildred easily accessible or
  • Helicopter into Barron Saddle hut at the head of the Mueller glacier and walk out via the spectacular "high route" past Mt Sealy.
  • Another option is to helicopter up to Bevan Col near Mount Aspiring and use the glaciated terrain of that area to prepare for climbing peaks like Rolling Pin, Jofree and Mt French.

The decision where to go is usually dictated by the prevailing weather and forecast, the group's experience and aspirations and conditions at the time of snow cover and glacier access.

Beginners Mountaineering Course Objectives

  • how to use an ice axe and crampons
  • what to do with rope and harness
  • get familiar with weather forecasting
  • basic knots for climbing
  • belays in snow, ice and on rock
  • avalanche awareness
  • basic crevasse rescue
  • cook and look after yourselves in a mountain hut
  • navigation
  • equipment selection

Logistics: all trips fly in and fly out

1 person 2 people 3 people 4 people
5100 3030 pp 2400 pp 2090 pp
Length of trip: 6 days
Season November - April
Location Alpine glacial setting eg Fox or Franz neve, Barron Saddle. This will depend on weather and conditions at the time of the course.
Transport: Drive to Fox glacier or Mt Cook village, fly to hut. Fly out of venue. Return drive to Wanaka.
Price Includes: Guiding fee, hut fees, local accommodation, GST of 15%, party technical equipment e.g. rope, stove, fuel, ground transport, food
Price doesn't include: Personal clothing and equipment, flights in and out of mountains, personal rental equipment. More about flights

Contact us anytime: e-mail us please



Southern Alps New Zealand mountaineering instruction courses

available from Novemer 2020


just ask about mountain guide availability: email or simply call us


All courses in NZ with Gary Dickson, IFMGA/NZMGA mountain guide, are (since Oct. 2015) in collaboration with

Alpine Guides (Aoraki) Ltd.

Bookings will go through their office and will be subject to their booking conditions. Trips with Gary will be run as per AGL's concession and safety management system requirements.

Pre-trip information and discussions are available from us anytime.

Our Instruction Clients say

"Had a brilliant 6 days at top of Fox and F. Joseph Glaciers being taught mountaineering skills, climbing out of a crevasse the highlight!! Very professional, experienced guiding and teaching from Gary and awesome meals from both Gary in the huts and Iris back in Wanaka. Thank you very much, it has been a fantastic course. Will definitely recommend and lovely Ziggy an added bonus".
Ruth Littlejohn, UK

Had an excellent time and one of the best instructed courses I've ever been on. Gary is a mountaineering expert. PS: Iris is a great cook."

Shaun Hazell, Australia

more feedback here

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mountaineering instruction course alpine climbing instruction course beginners instruction course
mountaineering course introduction to alpinism course alpine climbing instruction


Guiding Qualifications

To become an internationally fully qualified mountain guide takes approximately five years of training and assessment. Kiwi guides are trained and assessed through the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association (NZMGA) which is overseen by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA).


Alpinism & Ski Ltd, Wanaka, New Zealand :: Ph 027 229 5534 :: e-mail: info@alpinismski.co.nz