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Winter Ski Touring & Avalanche Courses

Anna Keeling Guiding run a range of courses to sharpen your winter skills so you can be safe out in the winter environment and get the most out of your skiing adventures. Click on the buttons below to find out more!

Introduction to Ski Touring

This one-day class is a great way to set yourself up for the Haute Route or for a Snow Safety class – or to just try out the sport.  The courses are timed to coincide with early season Snow Safety classes.

This class is for strong intermediate skiers who are capable of skiing off-piste in most conditions.  You should be capable of comfortably hiking up 300-400m in one go (think Rapaki track or the Bridle Path in Christchurch).

A professional ski guide will gently instruct you in the fine art of ski touring.  We meet at a local Craigieburn Range ski area for easy access to the backcountry via the lifts.

You’ll learn:

  • To pack your pack effectively
  • How to use your snow safety equipment
  • How to use your touring equipment (boots and bindings).
  • We’ll then head out into the back country for 1-3 runs depending on weather, conditions and group desire.

Dates:

  • 19 July 2024 (Friday)
  • 28 August 2024 (Sunday)
  • 9 August 2024 (Friday

Gear: Upon payment of your deposit, you’ll be sent comprehensive gear list. You will need backcountry touring gear and avalanche safety gear (available for rent at Chill). Please see our FAQ page on where to hire ski touring skis and boots. You may be able to use your own ski boots and you will be able to use your own ski poles. We recommend Gnomes Ski shop in Darfield for a solid rental fleet. We welcome split boarders but snowboarders using snow shoes should contact us first.

Timing8.30am-4.30pm

Cost$345 per person

Snow Safety Classes: 2024

Dates for our Two-Day Snow Safety Class (AKA Avalanche Skills Course 1/ASC1)
  • 20-21 July 2024 (timed to coincide with the Intro to Touring class on July 19)
  • 27-28 July 2024 
  • 10-11 August 2024 (Intro to Touring can be added on August 9)
 

In conjunction with Chill

These two-day field-based classes are for the recreational backcountry skier/snowboarder looking to expand their avalanche awareness skills and backcountry independence. This class is certified by the NZ Mountain Safety Council.

What you need to know:

  • Skiers and riders should be of an intermediate standard and able to ski off-piste blue runs in a variety of snow conditions.
  • Backcountry equipment (skins, bindings with releasable heels, split boards or snow shoes) are necessary.  See the FAQ page for information on where to rent ski touring gear.
  • You must be able to walk 400m+ uphill and stay out for 6 hours
  • MSC-endorsed, this class is longer than a standard Avalanche Awareness class – spending two days in the snow and terrain (instead of one day).
  • Experienced NZMGA ski guides/instructors will take you outside the ski area boundaries as conditions permit.
  • Day one focuses on using avalanche safety equipment, companion rescue, understanding the avalanche advisory and identifying avalanche terrain.
  • Day two puts it together on a day tour focusing on gathering information about the snow, route finding and safe travel protocols.
 

This course is an effective refresher for those who feel their avalanche skills are rusty and it’s for those who are taking their first ever avalanche class. AKG will send course information ahead of time to help preparation and ensure you are ready for action.

Private Snow Safety classes can be arranged for groups of friends.  Email Anna at anna@annakeelingguiding.co.nz for info.

Price: $525 per person

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Backcountry Avalanche Classes (Avalanche Skills 2)

Our four day certified/MSC-endorsed courses take the two-day Snow Safety into more complex terrain and explore the avalanche phenomena in greater depth.

1. Broken River: 24-27 July 2024 (Wednesday to Saturday) – with Broken River (includes a 5th day for off-piste skiing/learn to ride rope tows): Click here for more info

2. Cheeseperson: 5-8 September 2024 – with Chill: Click here for more info Cost is $1795 all inclusive (food, accommodation at Snowline  Lodge, instruction, MSC book and learning resources).

What you need to know:

This course is for the recreational backcountry tourer who is looking to expand their knowledge of the complex interplay of terrain, weather, snowpack and hazard.

  • Field based for all four days with a mix of field days and lectures. More field than classroom!
  • We cover companion rescue in greater detail and will introduce you to multiple transceiver rescue systems
  • You will get ample time to study snow profiles and practice snow tests to better understand what is under your feet
  • Snow tests, terrain analysis and route finding will be the focus as we head out into more complex terrain as conditions allow
  • We will endeavour to tour from different ski areas along the range to practice group management and route-finding skills
  • This course is perfect for the person who has done an Awareness class or Two-day Snow Safety class, has toured some and is now looking to learn more without getting into the operations detail of the Avalanche Risk Management level 5 (formerly Avalanche 1) certificate
  • Strong intermediate or better riding ability and an ability to stay out for 6-8 hours is necessary. You should be capable of riding a rope tow with a 5kg pack and have the fitness to skin or hike 500m up hill
 

 

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