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Advanced Snow School 2023



Ten new graduates recently completed Advanced Snow School at Tukino, Mt. Ruapehu. Advanced Snow School is our most technical alpine course, co-run with AUTC. In this course we covered the technical alpine skills of glacier travel, crevasse rescue, and mixed/ice climbing, and improved students' understanding of weather systems and avalanche forecasts. By providing our club members with greater leadership and planning skills we ready them to step up and safely lead alpine trips. The course also enables them to continue their personal alpine journey into greater adventures!

Here's what they had to say about their experience:





​Leo Sbai

Trip Highlight:

Mixed climbing! Very fun and new (and kinda spooky).



Most Useful Skill Learned:

Snow/ice anchors, pretty critical knowledge essential for any more advanced alpine activities.

​Jayden Chapman

Trip Highlight:

Definitely dry tooling! Trusting a couple of crampon points on a sliver of rock really brings the adrenaline rushing.


Most Useful Skill Learned:

Translating from map work to real-world navigation. Such a difference between what I could visualise on paper to what was physically there.





Lizzy Whiteaker

Trip Highlight:

My highlight was learning about the NZ snowpack, particularly when we dug several snow pits.

Most Useful Skill Learned:

Most useful was the crevasse rescue systems and snow anchors. Really enjoyed seeing how strong a t-slot can be.

Matt Hookings

Trip Highlight:

My highlight was the massive amount of things to learn and practice. Every day we went over many things, and it felt like even 5 days wasn’t enough.


Most Useful Skill Learned:

The most useful skill was all the snow anchors and how to build them. It’s pretty cool how strong they are. I also really liked Ryan's tip for easy prusik unweighting.




Jodie Dickins

Trip Highlight:

It's hard to pick just one highlight from an awesome trip. However, being able to set up snow anchors and practising some pitching was pretty awesome.


Most Useful Skill Learned:

Learning about crevasse travel and crevasse rescue was super useful. It was also super impressive to see how strong snow anchors can be.

Mai Feldborg

Trip Highlight:

My highlight of the trip was snow pitching. When compared to multi-pitch sport climbing, there is a lot more to consider and be aware of. *Fingers also get very cold!


Most Useful Skill Learned:

The importance of keeping everything tidy and in good order when setting up and undertaking snow pitching.





Jake Clayton

Trip Highlight:

My favourite part was honestly feeling the slow increase in confidence in being in the mountains. At the beginning of the course, I felt that I could safely follow someone else in the mountains but not lead my own trip. By the end, I still had a lot of things to improve on but felt that I could finally start to plan my own trips and lead basic objectives with confidence in my judgments. Which is a very exciting prospect and really exactly what I wanted from the course


Most Useful Skill Learned:

Learning all of the multiple things that need to be considered to effectively manage risk when planning and route finding in the mountains, both immediately visible, potential risks and holistic factors

Brendan Cooper

Trip Highlight:

I really enjoyed being able to get out every day in the mountains to get heaps of time there within a short time. Being able to learn some more technical, but essential, mountaineering skills such as snow pitching was great to learn. Mixed climbing was also awesome!







Most Useful Skill Learned:

Getting to experience some tougher weather conditions than what I had been in already in the mountains. It was interesting to see how it affects decision-making and makes everything that much harder





Nicole Yong

Trip Highlight:

Highlight was having so many days on the mountain and feeling more confident in different terrain and conditions.


Most Useful Skill Learned:

Most useful thing was anchors and snow pitching. As well as getting a better grasp on weather interpreting.

Kyle Langstone

Trip Highlight:

My highlight was writing this paragraph.





Most Useful Skill Learned:

Most useful was reading the group messages and doing my homework.

Congratulations to them all for upskilling, and best of luck for all of their future exploits.


And once again, a massive thanks to the instructors; Kiera Montgomery, Aidan Sarginson, Dan Smith, Ryan Tonkin, and Claudia Woods. Your collective knowledge and understanding was valuable as ever.


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