Tararua Tramping Club

Te rōpū hikoi o te pae maunga o Tararua   -   Celebrating 100 years of tramping

TTC Alpine Instruction

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TTC Snowcraft and Alpine Instruction Course (AIC)

Sign up for AIC 2024 is currently full. Please submit an application to join the waitlist!

The course this year is a snowcraft alpine instruction course teaching essential mountaineering skills and optional ropework.

Overview of Snowcraft and AIC

Snow 1
This is a practical weekend run on the Whakapapa ski field on Mt Ruapehu. The weekend covers the fundamental snowcraft skills such as the use of ice axe and crampons, and how to self-arrest.
Rock 1 & 2
We are offering instruction on the basic rope skills required for mountaineering. Rock 1 is a practical full-day at the TTC clubrooms and on Mount Victoria and includes issuing climbing equipment, introduction to basic knots, rope management, and climbing techniques needed for mountaineering. Rock 2 is a full-day at Titahi Bay spent applying the skills learned on Rock 1 in an alpine-like environment.
Snow 2
This is a practical 3-day weekend run on the Whakapapa ski field on Mt Ruapehu where you will have the opportunity to put your rope skills from Rock 1 & 2 into practice on the snow. This weekend will be spent applying and further developing alpine skills by travelling around the mountain. We will cover mountain weather, route finding and terrain. A day will be spent practicing basic avalanche rescue skills and safe backcountry planning and travel techniques. If the opportunity presents then we will look to climb to one of the mountain's summits.

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

Post AIC course trips

We are planning two post AIC course trips which are an excellent opportunity to help cement the knowledge you will gain through the course. One will be North Island and the other South Island. These trips are optional and will be led by our volunteer instructors. Dates will be confirmed shortly.

Is it for me?

We expect course participants to have a high level of fitness and the ability to walk up to 12 hours per day, at standard walking pace, with off track travel and 1000m of vertical ascent.

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.

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 convener 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 $71 (or $49 if you are 25 or younger).

The full course cost is $850. This covers accommodation, food, and transport for the Snow 1 and 2 weekends, course administration and subsidising our volunteer instructor costs.

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

Schedule for TTC AIC 2024

Snow 1 Talk - TTC clubrooms (6-8pm) Monday 22 July
Snow 1 Ruapehu weekend Friday 26 July - Sunday 28 July (travel on Friday evening, return Sunday evening)
Rock 1 TTC clubrooms (9am-4pm) Saturday 10 August
Rock 2 Titahi Bay (meet at Whitireia Public Car Park at 9am - return 5pm) Sunday 11 August
Rock 1 Contingency TTC clubrooms (9am-4pm) Saturday 24 August
Rock 2 Contingency Titahi Bay (meet at Whitireia Public Car Park at 9am - return 5pm) Sunday 25 August
Snow 2 Talk - TTC clubrooms (6-8pm) Monday 2 September
Snow 2 Ruapehu long weekend Thursday 5 September - Sunday 8 September (long weekend, leave Wellington Thursday evening and return on Sunday evening)
  • Talks are held at Tararua clubrooms, Moncrieff St, Mt Vic.
  • Ruapehu weekends are based at the Tararua Lodge and leave Wellington Railway Station 5.15pm the day before the weekend.


Interested in TTC's alpine instruction? Contact James Gilbert-Milne -> mailto:alpine [period] instruction [snail] ttc [period] org [period] nz?Subject=Query from TTC website on 027 324 3475 or sign up to the waitlist here

Snowcraft for Trampers

TTC is also exploring running a Snowcraft course for Trampers if there is sufficient demand.
Snowcraft skills are essential for those contemplating transalpine tramping or venturing above the bushline in winter conditions.

Skills covered will include:

  • avalanche awareness
  • moving on snow with and without crampons
  • correct use of an ice axe for safe travel
  • mountain weather
  • emergency shelters
  • navigation and route selection.
This course would likely take place over a weekend in August on Mount Ruapehu
Please email James Gilbert-Milne -> mailto:alpine [period] instruction [snail] ttc [period] org [period] nz?Subject=Query from TTC website on 027 324 3475 to express interest in such a course and to be kept in the loop as this develops.
Climbing and Mountaineering Instruction

Page last modified on 2024 Apr 25 10:52

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