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Mountaineering is hiking in snow conditions. Due to the inherent risks of this sport, it is extremely important to only undertake this activity if you have a significant level of knowledge and experience. It is also recommended that you only undertake this activity with an experienced guide. More information about this sport can be found on the Mountain Safety Council's website. 

Key Contacts for Mountaineering:

  • New Zealand Avalanche Advisory - Avalanche activity and training information.
  • Mountain Safety Council - provides significant resources relating to land-based activities around New Zealand as well as practical courses, training information and preparation videos.
  • Department of Conservation - managing the conservation of New Zealand's nature, including information about tracks, wildlife management and hut management.

There are wonderful locations to ski and snowboard in New Zealand. While large ski fields are operated commercially, this does not mean that the commercial operators are responsible for your safety. You must behave responsibly, dress appropriately and ensure that you are mindful of the safety of loved ones and others. Always take a form of waterproof communication with you, and make sure that you 'mention your intentions' to others on the mountain, especially if there is a time when you intend to ski or snowboard alone. 

Trails are unfenced, and while you can follow specific routes it is easy to go off-trail - which you should never do unless you have experience in the area and you know where you are going. A safer option for going off-piste or to enjoying backcoutry snow sports is to hire an experienced guide as well as a a personal locator beacon (PLB). Find out more in the link (left).

Top tips for skiing and snowboarding:

  • Know your limits: recreate to your ability, control your speed, if you're tired, take a rest.
  • Be aware: be mindful of changing conditions, take a lesson, stop where you can be seen, give others room, look ahead.
  • Protect yourself: wear a helmet, obey all signs and closures, go somewhere safe if the conditions are deteriorating.

Key contacts for skiing and snowboarding

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