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Tararua Tramping Club

TTC Alpine Instruction

TTC Alpine Instruction Course (AIC)

The 2018 AIC course is now full and applications have closed. If you are interested in completing a snowcraft only course then there are spaces available. This course will be the Snow 1 lecture and Ruapehu weekend as described below. Please contact Sean for more information if you are intersted in this offering.

The course is suitable for people who wish to learn the basic skills required for climbing New Zealand mountains. The course may also be appropriate for those who wish to gain experience in alpine terrain to extend their skiing or tramping.

The full course syllabus is as follows:

  1. Alpine clothing and gear.
  2. Walking on snow and the use of ice axe and crampons.
  3. Self-arresting.
  4. Rock climbing.
  5. Belaying, abseiling.
  6. Use of rock, snow and ice protection.
  7. Basic avalanche safety, route selection, and the use of an Avalanche transceiver.
  8. Trip planning.
  9. Mountain weather.
  10. Alpine shelter.

This content will be covered as a series of lectures and as practical sessions.


Rock Intro. This will be a half-day session run in the clubrooms where we practice basic knots, harness use and belaying.

Rock Practical. This is a practical day session run at Titahi Bay in Wellington. Here we will practice basic rock climbing skills, abseiling and belaying.

Snow 1. This is a practical weekend run on the Whakapapa ski field on Mt Ruapehu. The weekend covers basic snowcraft skills such as the use of ice axe and crampons, and how to self-arrest.

Snow 2. This is a practical 3-day weekend run on the Whakapapa ski field on Mt Ruapehu. The weekend introduces roped climbing on snow and alpine rock on steeper terrain. We will also cover the use of an avalanche transceiver and spend time consolidating basic skills by spending time moving around the mountain.

Snow 3. This is a practical weekend which will be run somewhere in the Central Plateau. The goal of this weekend is for the students to have the opportunity to plan and experience an Alpine trip. If the opportunity presents then we will look to camp in the snow and climb one of the peaks or Mt Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe or Tongariro.

All of the snow weekends are preceded by a lecture to introduce content and to prepare for the weekend.

Is it for me?

We aim to make the course as accessible as possible to people of moderate fitness. A guide to fitness requirement is the ability to complete TTC medium-graded trips (defined as up to 7 hours per day, at standard walking pace, some off track travel.)

The best way to acquire mountain fitness is to go on some club tramping trips before the course!

The course includes supervised travel on moderately-angled snow slopes which can be icy. Participants are encouraged to climb short steeper sections as their confidence and footwork improves. The roped exercises will be undertaken on steeper snow and rock slopes under close instructor supervision.

We can expect to experience storms and strong winds on Ruapehu and will adapt the programme to suit the conditions.

There will be space for 8 students on the course this year.

Contact the course convenor if you have questions about the suitability of the course for you.

Course Cost

The course is available only to members of the TTC. Joining the club is straightforward and the membership cost is $75.

The full course cost is $700. This covers accommodation, food and transport for the Snow 1, 2 and 3 weekends.

The TTC will provide all technical equipment for the course (axes, crampons etc). Students will be required to have appropriate mountain clothing and footwear.

Schedule for TTC AIC 2019

Rock Intro - clubrooms Sunday 8th July
Rock Instruction - Titahi bay Saturday 14th OR Sunday 15th of July (Use best weather day)
Snow 1 Talk - clubrooms Monday July 23
Snow 1 Ruapehu weekend July 28-29 (travel on Friday)
Snow 2 Talk - clubrooms Monday August 6
Snow 2 Ruapehu long weekend August 10-12 (travel on Thursday)
Snow 3 Talk - clubrooms Mon Aug 20
Snow 3 Ruapehu weekend Aug 25-26 (travel on Friday)
  • Talks are held at Tararua clubrooms, Moncrieff St, Mt Vic.
  • Ruapehu weekends are based at the Tararua Lodge and leave Wellington Railway Station 5.30pm the day before the weekend.


Interested in TTC's alpine instruction? Contact Sean Buchanan -> mailto:alpine [period] instruction [snail] ttc [period] org [period] nz?Subject=Query%20from%20TTC%20website on 021 183 2213

Climbing and Mountaineering Instruction

Page last modified on 2018 Jun 17 03:00

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