Core Mountain Skills Course in Mt. Cook National Park
Core Mountain Skills Course in Mt. Cook National Park

Activity Snapshot

  • Sport level
  • Spoken languages
  • Duration
    5 days
  • Opening seasons:
Alpine Guides-logoOrganized by Alpine Guides

Activity description

Find your footing on this alpine skills course in Mt. Cook National Park.

An unforgiving landscape where reading the mountain can make all the difference, learn how to survive at altitude on this 5-day mountaineering course. Combining practical knowledge with hand’s on skill building, explore the elements in the heights of the Southern Alps, following the contours of the mountain by day and bivouacking on the snowline by night.

This activity is run & operated from Mt. Cook Village and travels across Aoraki National Park, visiting Mueller Range, Mount Barth, Ball Pass, Sefton Bivouac, Whale and Twin Streams. These areas provide a range of alpine terrain and opportunities to train and climb peaks on snow, ice, and rock.

Learn to trust your alpine instincts on this 5-day mountaineering course in Mt Cook. At an altitude high-enough to create its own atmosphere, being exposed to the elements can be a real risk. Spend the next few days in the company of a NZMGA / IFMGA certified guide – learning skills like map reading and navigation topics, studying mountain weather and avalanche awareness –plus perfecting your camping building and survival skills. Whilst no two courses are the same, most are divided into two sections split between Mt. Cook Village and a range of alpine locations that will be organised based on the weather. During this course, you will learn how to navigate loose terrain, scree slopes & ridge travel - as well as a full day of rock climbing instruction, including rope handling skills, abseiling, learning basic knots and hitches. In the mountains, you will be creating your own camp and sleeping under the stars. Small parties may take a tent, but normally the campsite will be a bivouac – helping you develop your wilderness skills across the excursion.

Accommodation & Catering
A fully catered 5-day course, guests will be wild camping in bivouac conditions. Modern 3-season sleeping bags with breathable water-resistant shells are ideal for alpine camping in fine weather. Each person is expected to carry a share of food and cooking equipment and to assist with preparing meals.

This course is designed for people with a background in hiking/tramping. You must be used to carrying a moderately sized backpack over uneven terrain for several hours at a stretch. No prior knowledge of rope systems or climbing is required.

minimum 18 y/o
Cancellation policy: 
strict1) Cancellation 30 days or more prior to the agreed activity starting date
→ You are automatically refunded the full activity price

2) Cancellation between 30 and 10 days prior to the agreed activity starting date
→ You are entitled to a 50% refund

3) 10 days or later, prior to the agreed activity starting date, are considered last-minute cancellations
→ No refund will be made
Offer Description

This is an introductory level mountaineering course and a perfect starting point for people developing an interest in the high mountains, including travelling and camping above the snow line. With the format adapted to better suit 'summer' conditions, it can be used for general mountaineering and alpine travel, anywhere in the world.


- General mountaineering skills
- Basic rock climbing technique
- Ridge travel and scrambling
- Route selection
- Navigation
- Bivvying and camping

  • Alpine Guides Technical Manual
  • All meals
  • National Park fees
  • Local transport
  • Technical Equipment
  • Local Accommodation
  • Camping Equipment
Do not forget to bring
Do not forget to bring
  • Full Kit List on Booking
Meeting point
81Bowen Drive, Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, 7999, New Zealand Get directions
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