Backcountry Snowboard & Ski Touring Course 4 days


Our private huts at Robrosa are the perfect location for avalanche instruction.  It is a short flight from Wanaka Airport.  You are in the hills in less time than it takes to eat breakfast.

Power skiing is my favourite kiiiiiiiiiiiiiind of skiing

Steve, Australia

How can I say enough about this experience? The location: OMG simply stunning backdrop. The private Rob Rosa huts are well organised and, well, very private. The 15 minute heli ride in was pure joy and anticipation. The course: they delivered big time on avalanche knowledge including theory & practical; a relevant and succinct manual was provided (to keep), as well as a laminated map for each course participant; I learned much more than expected.  The skiing: we were fortunate with 3 great weather days plus one snow/rain day in the middle that was firmly seized to deliver theory & practical; meaning that the fair-weather days were used for ski touring & on-mountain snowpack analysis from sun-up to sun-down, most of it on virgin powder. We summitted Mt Pisa on day 1 and the walk out on day 4 was extended to 12.5 km to achieve additional powder runs. The guide: saving the best for last, it would be hard to imagine a more positive or motivated guide than Mark Evans. Mark, thank you for your thoroughness, your thoughtfulness, your focus on keeping us safe and imparting knowledge, but most importantly for your unbridled love of ski touring. "Power skiing is my favourite kiiiiiiiiiiiiiind of skiing!" This course is not for the unfit, or for the beginning skier. However if you love nature, skiing, earning your thrills and taking responsibility for your own safety then I cannot recommend this course highly enough.

More Information

Fly in to our private hut with stunning views of the southern Alps.   At 1750m above sea level Robrosa Hut is a skier and riders paradise with vast ski touring and backcountry snowboarding terrain.  With sleeping bags, lighting, cooking equipment, outside toilet and spectacular sunrises and sunsets supplied. 

The Aspiring Guides Backcountry Ski Touring Course provides a better understanding of the avalanche phenomenon and safe decision making when ski touring.  Topics will include: 

  • Search & Rescue; using tranceivers, probing, shoveling, small group tactics

  • Snowpack interpretation; layers, stability tests, variation over time and area

  • Route finding and terrain selection for backcountry boarding & ski touring

  • Weather systems; mountain weather interpretation, observations

  • Trip planning and preparation for the best ski touring and backcountry snowboarding tours.

  • Uphill travel techniques for skiers & snowboarders

  • How to use different ski touring equipment

We'd love to teach you the skills you need to enjoy backcountry ski touring and minimise risks. Check out the course details and contact us if you have any questions.

Available Dates

2018 Dates Status
July 15 - 18 Open
July 24 - 27 Open
July 29 - 1 Aug Open
Aug 2 - 5 Open
Aug 6 - 9 Open
Aug 10 - 13 FULL
Aug 13 - 16 Open (Women Only)
Aug 14 - 17 Open
Aug 18 - 21 Open (Boarders w snow shoes only)
Aug 22 - 25  Open
Aug 22 - 25 Open (Women Only)
Aug 26 - 29 Open
Aug 30 - 2 Sept Open
Sept 3 - 6 Open


C = confirmed to run

Private courses are available:
Inquire about available dates for a private course for yourself, or for a group of two to four people


Technical Difficulty

Participants need some previous experience with back country touring.  You will need to be a strong skier or rider in off piste conditions.

Physical Difficulty

A good level of fitness is required.  Participants need to be able to travel up steep hills and be strong enough to handle variable conditions.

Price Details

Guide Ratio Price
1 : 2 pax NZ $2,050
1 : 3 or 4 pax NZ $1,625


What's Included
  • NZMGA qualified guide
  • all meals and energy snacks
  • cosy hut and bedding
  • NZ Mountain Safety Council Certificate
  • 100+ page Guidebook: Avalanche Awareness in NZ Backcountry (RRP $34.99)
Not included :
  • Helicopter ride to the huts on the first day. Allow approx NZ$160-210 per person for groups of 3 or 4 or NZ$315 per person for groups of 2.

Itinerary / Trip Options (multi)

Prior to Start of Trip

Meet with your guide at our offices 5pm on the evening prior to departure. Your guide will check all your clothing and equipment required for the tour. Rental equipment is issued and last minute purchases can be made. The weather forecast will be discussed and a plan made for an early flight the following morning.

Trip Planning

Day One

We drive to Wanaka Airport (10min) and fly to the top of the Pisa Range by helicopter. Our backpacks are light because sleeping bags, cooking gear and other necessities will already be in the hut. Each evening, lectures are held in the hut. Further topics on the field excursion will be : Avalanche Rescue; Terrain Analysis, Mountain weather in New Zealand, Snow Stability, Transceiver skills; Group Travel, Emergency Snow Shelters.


Day Two & Three

Depending upon conditions, we may choose to ski the terrain right outside the hut door or wander further afield to the Cromwell Faces or Pisa Summit.  There is a wide variety of terrain for all abilities.  Focus will be on terrain evaluation (steepness of terrain, exposure, snow conditions). We will also talk about laying a proper track (considering climbing efficiency, steepness, speed, objective dangers etc.).


Day Four

Everything learned up to now will be applied for the trip out of the hills.  With complex terrain the emphasis will be on learning to chose a safe route.  Terrain anaysis is the one thing that you cannot learn in the class room and here you will get the perfect exposure to accurate decision making under the watchful eye of your instructor.    The final ski of the day reaches the Snow farm cross country ski area where they just happen to sell cold beverages.


Equipment Details

This video provides practical demonstration of how alpine ski touring (AT) equipment works.

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