New Zealand Mountan Safety Council

New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) endorsed Avalanche Courses

It is possible to spend a life time safely recreating in avalanche terrain but it takes skills and knowledge learnt through time in the hills and taking education courses.

We have endorsed a number of training providers across NZ to deliver our recreational courses, and the Professional level courses are delivered by a number of tertiary providers around New Zealand.

Click here to be taken to the endorsed course provider page

Avalanche course descriptions

Avalanche Awareness:

An essential introductory for skiers and snowboarders who need the basic knowledge required to help them make decisions about their personal safety when in avalanche terrain.
arrowFull description

Backcountry Avalanche :

 The Backcountry Course is the next step in the development of observation, route finding and decision making skills that are critical for winter recreation in the mountains. It will give you the knowledge to travel and make sound safety decisions while in avalanche terrain. This is the course to take if you are intending to spend time in alpine terrain beyond the ski area boundary or in the parks and backcountry areas around New Zealand and the world.
The course usually lasts for four days and may be embedded within other mountain craft courses depending on the provider.
arrow Full description

New Zealand Certificate in Avalanche Risk Management Stage 1

This is an introductory professional course for people involved in the safety of alpine recreational activities and in the collection of snowpack data. It is the prerequisite for the Stage 2 course and the Diploma and a requirement for employment in many related areas including Ski Patrol, Guiding and Instruction.

These courses are delivered by a number of tertiary education providers, over 6-7 days. The course is primarily field based but does have a class-room component and a written exam.
arrow Full description

Diploma in Avalanche Studies

This qualification will provide the outdoor snow sector with individuals who have the advanced skills and knowledge required to evaluate and manage avalanche risk to people and infrastructure while operating in dynamic outdoor contexts.

It incorporates the New Zealand Certificate in Avalanche Risk Management Stage 2, which is a prerequisite for many professional leadership and decision-making roles in mountain terrain.
arrow Full description



Avalanche Forecast Regions:
Mountain Safety Council managed websites
Mountainf Safety Council websiteAdventure Smart websiteNew Zealand Avalanche Center