Alpine Trips

Like Rock Climbing?  Try Ice Climbing!

AURAC and the Auckland University Tramping Club get together to run alpine trips: mountaineering is a combination of tramping and technical rope/climbing skills.  We have a dedicated Alpine Officer who sits on the committee of both clubs to coordinate these activities.

We run instruction courses (Snowschools) to teach you how to look after yourself in the mountains, and how to get places you never thought you could go.

Our local mountains are Taranaki, Ruapehu, its friends Ngauruhoe (aka Mt Doom from Lord of the Rings) and Tongariro. Most club trips are in this area but occasionally the more adventurous head down to the South Island.

The club also has a range of alpine gear available, check the Alpine Gear Page and Guide Book Page for details.

Beginners Snowschool

This teaches basic alpine skills, such as self-arrest, crampon use, step cutting and basic avalanche knowledge. Attendance on this course is compulsory for any trips above the bush line.

This is the most popular course of the year and is run during the inter-semester break. 

All of the courses offered through AURAC are organised by volunteers who give their time freely. Course fees cover the costs incurred and do not make a profit. For this reason the courses at AURAC are some of the cheapest around. Although every effort is made to make the courses as safe as possible, participants undertake courses at their own risk and AURAC takes no responsibility for any accidents that may occur, although this is unlikely.

Advanced Snowschool

This teaches advanced alpine skills such as dynamic belays, alpine knots, crevasse extraction, placement of anchors etc.

There are a few requirements that you need to meet before attending Advanced Snow School.

1. All hopeful participants must have completed a Beginner's Snow School or equivalent, such as a NZAC or MSC alpine course. This is to ensure that basic knowledge has already been obtained.

2. It is necessary that all participants have been on at least two alpine trips since their Beginner's Snow School. There are two reasons for this: To re-enforce skills learnt on Beginner's Snow School and to demonstrate a commitment and interest in the Alpine as Advanced Snow School requires a lot of valuable instructor-time.

There will be at least one trip run before Advanced Snow School for the purpose of helping those who haven't got two trips get a jump-start. It will be however necessary to organise/participate in another trip that you organise/join.

3. Preferably, all Advanced Snow School participants will have some prior knowledge of ropework, particularly relating to climbing. Some brush-up/information nights will be held before the course so that those who need some extra help will be supplied it.

Annual alpine highlights:

The Moonlight Crossing: the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in winter – beneath the full moon. A stunningly beautiful trip.

Summit luncheon: Climb to the summit of Mt Ruapehu for a formal luncheon. Dress code: black tie