Snowcraft 2019 Is Almost Here !!


Snowcraft is a thorough introductory-level course on techniques required for moving safely and efficiently in an alpine environment. It is ideal for people with some tramping experience, a solid fitness base and a desire to learn more about travelling in the snow and mixed conditions.

Successfully completing Snowcraft qualifies you for going on WTMC ALP1 trips. The course runs over two weekends at the club lodge on Mount Ruapehu.

You must also be available for three Wednesday night sessions; all of which are between 1 and 2 hours each. See below for dates and venues.


Snowcraft is aimed at people with some outdoor experience and an interest in trans-alpine tramping and / or climbing.

To enrol you must:

  • be a member of WTMC; and,
  • fill out an application form and pay the course fee; and,
  • have a reasonable degree of fitness (eg regularly do medium grade trips); and,
  • have some familiarity with tramping, in New Zealand or overseas

It is expected that students enrolling:

  • will have limited or no experience using crampons and an ice axe; or,
  • want to refresh their crampon and ice axe skills after a period of not using them; or
  • want to consolidate their informal learning of alpine movement techniques


Snowcraft includes instruction on:

  • clothing and equipment
  • shelter
  • food and hydration
  • weather
  • navigation and route selection
  • moving on snow and ice without technical aids
  • moving on snow and ice with ice axe and crampons
  • alpine hazards
  • leadership, decision making and risk management.

The course does not cover the use of ropes and related technical climbing equipment.


Snowcraft is run by experienced WTMC members. The instructors are volunteers experienced in the alpine environment; not professional instructors with formal teaching qualifications.

While instructors will make every effort to look out for your health and safety, this is primarily your responsibility. You cannot use our Snowcraft course as credits for any NCEA or other educational programme. If you want to do a professionally run course contact a guiding company.


To do Snowcraft, you must have your own:

  • solid tramping boots that can take crampons
  • water-proof & wind-proof raincoat and over-trousers
  • gloves – lots of them
  • sunglasses (and preferably goggles too)
  • lots of warm clothes
  • compass and whistle

Gear will be covered during the first session on the course.

The club has ice axes, crampons and helmets available for hire at a small cost.

Other gear you should take is listed on ‘what to take on a trip‘.


We run Snowcraft every winter from our Club Lodge at Ruapehu.

The dates for the 2019 course are:

Date Time Venue
26 June (Weds) 5.30pm-7.00pm WTMC clubrooms
03 July (Weds) 5.30pm-7.00pm WTMC clubrooms
05-07 July (Fri-Sun) 5:00pm Friday night to Sunday Ruapehu Lodge
17 July (Weds) 5.30pm-7.00pm WTMC clubrooms
19-21 July (Fri-Sun) 5:00pm Friday night to Sunday Ruapehu Lodge
24 July (Weds) Return gear + debrief WTMC clubrooms + Hop Garden



Snowcraft is open to club members only, and is run on a cost-recovery basis with volunteer instructors.

Cost: $ 400.00.

Course costs cover:

  • a Snowcraft manual for each student to keep
  • shared meals at the lodge on the two weekends away
  • accommodation at the lodge on the two weekends away
  • transport to and from the lodge on the two weekends away

Course costs do not include the cost of gear hire. You can hire ice axe, helmet and crampons from the Club for a small charge.

Paying & Applying

Payments should be made by electronic banking:

  • Account Name: WTMC
  • Account number: 38-9017-0330533-00
  • Reference: SC 2019 – Fees – [your surname & initial]

To sign up for the course and receive an application form :

  • email

Signing up for Snowcraft does not guarantee you a place. Applications to join the course will be assessed for suitability on an individual basis.

On Completing Snowcraft

Once you have completed Snowcraft, you will be able to go on alpine club trips graded ALP 1, appropriate to your level of fitness for alpine conditions.

If you enjoy alpine trips then the next step may be to do an alpine instruction course where you learn how to use ropes and other equipment to do snow, ice & mixed climbing.


If you have any questions about Snowcraft:

  • E-mail
  • Come to the alpine trips talk at the club on Wednesday 17th April, 2019
  • Come along to club rooms and ask to speak to Gareth Robinson or henry fisher