Avalanche Stage 1

Avalanche Stage 1 is a nationally recognised training programme designed for people wanting to work or already working in an alpine environment

NZ MSC Avalanche Stage 1 is jointly administered by Whitireia and the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council. This is a nationally recognised training programme is designed for people wanting to work or already working in an alpine environment. Career opportunities include working as ski patrollers, mountain guides, ski area staff, heli-ski guides, outdoor leaders, teachers, search and rescue, backcountry travellers, police and the armed forces.

The dates for this residential avalanche course are 13 - 20 August 2017 (13 August is accommodation only, course begins 14 August) and will take place at Levin Waiopehu Lodge, Whakapapa Skifield, Mt Ruapehu. It is aimed at people involved in professional or advanced recreational alpine activities. Staff deliver intensive and thorough training, fundamental skills to manage avalanche risk will be assessed.

At the completion of this course, students will have improved decision making skills to minimise travel risk, improved personal safety awareness, and be able to: 

  • Recognise avalanche terrain and identify safe route selection
  • Understand the formation and classification of avalanches
  • Identify and record current weather conditions
  • Identify and interpret snow crystals and structures
  • Carry out snowpack analysis and record snow profiles
  • Contribute to an avalanche search and rescue operation

To gain a place on this programme, a non-refundable fee of $500 upon application is required. Full payment is due no later than two weeks before the course start date.

For more information contact Mark Cowley: phone 04 298 0205 ext 4223
Email mark.cowley@whitireia.ac.nz


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