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Avalanche Awareness Course

The introductory course for those looking to travel backcountry in winter. Learn essential decision-making skills for avalanche terrain!


$499 inc gst

1 evening + 2 days


Mackenzie Community Centre, Fairlie

Fox Peak Ski Area – Two Thumbs Range, Canterbury


Day 1: 10am-4pm at Mackenzie Community Centre

Day 2: 8am-3pm at Fox Peak Ski Area

Participant requirements:

  • Appropriate for ages 16 and up
  • Must have completed an Intro to Mountaineering course or have the equivalent experience and competence (see course info PDF for more details)


Programme Overview:

Avalanche Skills Course 1 (ASC 1) is an introductory course taught over two days. This course is a fantastic starting point for those looking to venture beyond the ski field or further into the hills mountaineering or winter tramping/hunting. 

This is a foot-based course to make it as inclusive as possible.

Course contents follow the Mountain Safety Council Course Outline for ASC-1 covering:

  • Trip planning and preparation
  • Defining the avalanche phenomenon
  • Understanding the NZ Avalanche Advisory
  • Weather, terrain, snowpack and how these relate to avalanche conditions
  • Travel: Evidence-based decision=making about route selection and safe travel techniques
  • Human factors and decision-making tools
  • Avalanche rescue


1 night of accommodation is provided at Fox Peak Ski Club Lodge 


2wd vehicle access to the lodge

Chains will not be required

We will arrange transport from the lodge to the top of the road each day in a Peel Forest Outdoor Centre vehicle.

If snow is forecast to be below the lodge and chains or 4wd is needed, we will be in contact to arrange transport to the lodge from the valley floor.


Food is not included with course cost. Bring food for 1 night and 2 days. Lots of hearty snacks and a packed lunch for during the day. The lodge has good cooking facilities with an outside cool store.

Look at some of our participants in action!

Course Schedule

Ready to book!

Gear List

We will be spending lots of time outside exposed to all elements. Come prepared for the weather and the season knowing that we may be adventuring into unsheltered terrain and cold temperatures. 

Any gear highlighted can be provided to you when you arrive if you do not have your own.

Compulsory Gear:

  • Boots – these must be a minimum of 3/4 shank. (Ideally full-shank is best.)
  • Gaiters
  • Hard shell jacket (A seam-sealed raincoat type jacket. PVC or similar is not appropriate due to sliding hazard)
  • Hard shell pants (A seam-sealed raincoat type. PVC or similar is not appropriate due to sliding hazard)
  • Thermals – polypro or 200 weight merino top and bottoms
  • Fleece top x2
  • Fleece or soft-shell pants
  • Pack – 30l minimum with waist and chest strap
  • Thick wool socks x2
  • Warm hat
  • Light gloves x2 (Niga Freezer work well)
  • Warm gloves x1 (Windproof gloves/mittens)
  • Buff/balaclava
  • Sun hat
  • Sun glasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Torch and spare batteries
  • Water bottle (ability to carry 2l)
  • Any medication you take

We Provide

(or BYO if you already own the following equipment)

Avalanche Rescue Equipment

  • Avalanche Transceiver (digital)
  • Probe
  • Shovel

Technical Equipment

  • Helmet
  • Ice axe (walking axe)
  • Crampons (minimum 10 points)


  • Pillow
  • Sleeping bag
  • Food
  • Toiletries

Optional Gear:

  • Camera
  • Smartphone
  • Goggles
  • Puffer jacket

Other activities

We aim to provide opportunities for all to experience, learn and grow. Our safe, affordable, and quality outdoor and environmental programmes are designed to educate, challenge and inspire.