Avalanche Courses

Improve your backcountry skiing/boarding, travel and avalanche skills under the expert guidance of professionals. Our NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) accredited avalanche courses include practical, on-the-snow training and theoritical avalanche information. You'll be learning from two experts in the snow business: Irene Henninger and Anna Keeling.

Snow Safety for Youth 

We're keen to keep our youth safe on the slopes and educate them about snow safety awareness. This course is designed for youth who ride at the club fields and like to venture into the more challenging parts of the club fields.  We're offering this course because it is important to give our youth the skills to understand the terrain they are riding in.

The course will ensure that our kids don't get complacent about avalanche safety and assume that the snow is stable all the time and head outside the patrolled boundary without really thinking about snow stability.

This one day course been specially designed by our course instructor, local expert and internationally certified UIAGM/IFMGA mountain guide Anna Keeling.

Course structure

Introduction: we will:

  • talk about where to get avalanche information and how to interpret the Avalanche Advisory.
  • look at the avalanche procedures in place at Broken River.

Morning session:

  • focus on transceiver use and companion rescue. 

Afternoon session:

  • focus on identifying avalanche terrain - measuring slope angles and slope aspect in order to understand what is avalanche terrain and what is safer terrain.
  • touch on snowpack assessment as this is an important concept to grasp.  Due to time constraints, we will not go into snow profiles or snow pack tests in any depth.

Our last run (conditions permitting) will be into Allan’s Basin and we’ll work on safe travel protocols for when passing through avalanche terrain.  We will remain inside the defined ski area of Broken River for the day. 

Date: Sunday 16th July 

Time: 9am-4pm.   Meet at Palmer lodge. 

Partcipant age: 10 to 18 years.   

Participant ability: Strong intermediate skiers (can ski all of Allan’s Basin in most conditions).

Max participant number will be 8.

Parents may attend the introduction at 9am and then rejoin us for the final ski through Allan’s Basin at the end of the day. 

Gear needed:  

  • Transceiver of acceptable vintage - nothing from the 90’s!  
  • Shovel and probe (Snow safety gear can be rented from Gnomes, CHILL or Bivouac)
  • Compass & Slope clinometer (Options: the Suunto SC 7 does both; Normal compass; compass app; clinometer app; BCA clinometer available at Chill or Gnomes)
  • Back pack to carry your gear
  • Extra warm layer and extra gloves (as hands get wet from digging)
  • Goggles, sunscreen etc
  • Lunch and drink (we’ll plan on having lunch at Palmer Lodge. Lunch can also be purchased there.)

2017 Price: $85.00

(Note: Payment by Visa, M/C & Debit Cards attract a 2.5% surcharge)

To Book or register your interest: email marketing@brokenriver.co.nz

 

Two Day Avalanche Awareness course

The 2 day/1 evening course includes:

- MSC accredited Avalanche Awareness course - 1 day and 1 evening lecture. You will learn about:

  • Mountain weather
  • Identification of avalanche terrain
  • Basic route finding and decision making
  • Companion rescue
  • Safety equipment, including use of transceivers

   Instructor: Irene Henninger - has extensive experience in snow safety and avalanche control work in both USA and NZ. She is currently Assistant Snow Safety Officer at Porters Ski Area.

- 1 day off-piste ski/board clinic

  • Two 1.5 hour clinics with a highly-qualified, internationally-trained ski/board instructor
  • Gain confidence and technique to improve your riding in backcountry terrain
  • You'll come away with a toolbox of techniques to amp up your fun in the backcountry powder and crud

Participants must provide their own snow shovel, probe and transceiver. These can be hired in Christchurch or Darfield.

Note the evening lecture takes place on the night prior to the two full days of the course.

2017 Price: covers 2 nights DBB accommodation (Sun, Mon), 2 lift passes, clinic instruction, MSC course fee and tow belt hire.

Standard rate
CHILL pass holder
Broken River Member BR Member with season pass
$560 $425 $420 $340

(Note: Payment by Visa, M/C & Debit Cards attract a 2% surcharge)

This course is also available without the 1 day off-piste clinic. Please contact us for more information by emailing marketing@brokenriver.co.nz

To book your course:

For further enquiries and bookings please email marketing@brokenriver.co.nz. Please let us know if you are a skier, boarder or telemarker.

 

Five Day Backcountry Avalanche Training Course

This 5 day/1 evening course includes:

- MSC accredited Four Day Backcountry Avalanche Course You will learn about:

  • characteristics of avalanche phenomenon
  • Snowpack factors (layers and shear planes)
  • Observation techniques
  • Human factors
  • Group travel in avalanche terrain
  • Small group search and rescue

   Instructor: Anna Keeling  - is an internationally certified UIAGM/IFMGA mountain guide who has been teaching avalanche classes and guiding backcountry skiing, rock, ice, and alpine climbing in NZ, USA, India, Canada, Africa and Europe for over 20 years.

- 1 day off-piste ski/board clinic

  • Two 1.5 hour clinics with a highly-qualified, internationally-trained ski/board instructor
  • Gain confidence and technique to improve your riding in backcountry terrain
  • You'll come away with a toolbox of techniques to amp up your fun in the backcountry powder and crud

Participants must provide their own snow shovel, probe and transceiver. These can be hired in Christchurch or Darfield.

2017 Price: includes 5 nights DBB accommodation (Mon-Fri), 5 lift passes, 4 packed lunches (Tues-Fri), off-piste clinic instruction, MSC course fee and tow belt hire.

Note you are required to be at Broken River on Monday night before the course starts and the accommodation for this night is included in the cost.

Standard rate
CHILL pass holder
Broken River Member BR Member with season pass
$1355 $1220 $1180

$1060

(Note: Payment by Visa, M/C & Debit Cards attract a 2% surcharge)

This course is also available without the 1 day off-piste clinic. Please contact us for more information by emailing marketing@brokenriver.co.nz

To book your course:

For further enquiries and bookings please email marketing@brokenriver.co.nz. Please let us know if you are a skier, boarder or telemarker.

 

2017 dates for Avalanche Courses:

TBA Snow Safety For Youth
July 23-25  Two-Day Mountain Safety Avalanche Awareness Course*
July 25  Off-Piste Ski Clinics both the Two- & Five-Day courses
July 25-29
 Five-Day Mountain Safety Backcountry Avalanche Training Course
Sept 6-8 Two-Day Mountain Safety Avalanche Awareness Course

* Starts on evening of July 23rd.

 

Minimum Requirements for 2- and 5-Day Avalanche Courses

Skiing/snowboarding ability: Intermediate

Note these courses are designed for skiers/boarders/telemarkers of intermediate and above levels and not people with minimal ski/snowboard experience. For the Backcountry Course Snowboarders should have poles, foot crampons that fit their showboots and 60 cm or longer ice axe.

Experience with or the ability to learn to use a "nutcracker" rope tow

Some previous experience using a nutcracker rope tow is required.  If you haven't ridden a rope tow before we'd be happy to help you learn but please arrive the day before your course to get comfortable with this lift system. You might like to check out our video on learning to ride the tow.

To book your course:

For further enquiries and bookings please email marketing@brokenriver.co.nz

 

 

Touring on The Remarkables, Allan's Basin. Photo Jim Henderson.