Avalanche Safety Courses

Whiteroom is the first and only company to offer Avalanche NZ courses in Australia!

At Whiteroom, we are passionate about backcountry skiing & riding, it’s our business. We are also passionate about empowering backcountry enthusiasts to make informed decisions. That is why we offer  certified Avalanche New Zealand accredited Avalanche Training courses in Australia in 2017 and Japan in 2018.

Winter backcountry exploration opens a world of opportunity to experience the mountains & ski or ride untracked terrain. When stepping out into the backcountry it is our responsibility to make decisions in order to keep ourselves, friends & family safe. Avalanche Training is an essential element for all winter backcountry enthusiasts.

Knowledge is the key to staying safe in the backcountry

Whether you intend to ski or ride the backcountry of Japan, New Zealand or Australia, we have the right Avalanche New Zealand accredited Avalanche Training courses to meet your requirements.

Avalanche Awareness 2-day course

Backcountry Avalanche Avoidance 4-day course

We will be running courses over a variety of dates in Thredbo, NSW this coming 2017 season with Victorian courses on request. For the 2017/18 northern hemisphere winter these courses will be run out of our bases in Niseko and Furano, Japan.  Please see below for more information on the 2 course types offered below.

 

Avalanche Awareness Course – $300* per person

An essential 2-day introductory course for backcountry users who need the basic knowledge required to help them make decisions about their own safety, whilst promoting the principles of group based decision making when in avalanche terrain.

 

Backcountry Avalanche Avoidance Course – $600* per person

A 4-day course designed for those who travel deep into the backcountry. This course focuses on applying the skills of pre-trip planning, route selection and rescue skills. Suitable for those who have a basic understanding of the avalanche phenomena and wish to increase their skills & awareness.

 

Thredbo Avalanche Awareness course dates:

28 – 29 July 2017 – Sold out
5 – 6 August 2017 – Sold out
28 – 29 August 2017 – spaces available
7 – 8 September 2017 – spaces available
9 – 10 September 2017 – Sold out

Thredbo Backcountry Avalanche Avoidance course dates:

24 – 27 July 2017 – Sold out
31 July – 3 August 2017– Sold out
24 – 27 August 2017 – Sold out
7 – 10 September 2017 – Sold out
11 – 14 September 2017 – Sold out
15 – 18 September 2017 – spaces available

Private Courses – If you are a group or company please enquire about a private course. We can look after most requests including Avalanche Safety talks. We have a minimum of 4 people per course and & discounts can apply for large groups.
Please email education@whiteroomtours.com to get in touch for more information or to book.

*discounts can apply for large groups of 10 or more

Avalanche Awareness Course – $300* per person

The avalanche awareness programme provides essential introductory information for backcountry users, who need the basic knowledge required to help them make decisions about their personal safety when in avalanche terrain.

The course provides foundation knowledge only and we recommend that course participants travel in the backcountry with experienced leaders until they have gained sufficient understanding of avalanche phenomena to make sound judgements for themselves.

The course comprises a theory session & field days. Field days are focused on practical work on snow.

 

Pre-requisites:

  • Solid movement skills on snow (ski, snowboard, telemark, cross-country, snow shoe)
  • Online theory course and quiz to help you get the most out of your practical field day. You can do the quiz as many times as you like, and the aim is to get 100%. It is a prerequisite for attendance at the field-days.

 

Learning outcomes:

Participants are expected to complete this program with a general awareness of:

  • The avalanche phenomenon
  • Issues related to decision making
  • Terrain identification and safe travel techniques
  • Practical techniques for companion rescue

 

Assessment:

This course does not have a formal assessment component but the provider issues an official certificate of attendance at completion of the course.

 

Required Equipment: 

You will require full ski clothes and equipment.  You will also require the basic backcountry kit:

  • A backpack
  • Avalanche transceiver (Digital is mandatory.  3 antenna digital is highly recommended!)
  • Avalanche probe
  • Avalanche shovel
  • Sunglasses and goggles
  • Sun cream
  • Warm jacket
  • Packed lunch and water

We have equipment for hire if you do not have your own.

Backcountry Avalanche Avoidance Course – $600* per person

This 4-day course is designed for individuals who spend time traveling in an alpine environment, outside of ski area boundaries and focuses on applying the skills of personal preparation, route decision making and rescue skills. The course focuses on avoiding the need for avalanche related rescue, but also dedicate time to learning the technical skills required for rescuing a companion or small party.

It will suit those who have a basic understanding of avalanche phenomena and spend time travelling in an alpine terrain as part of a skiing, snowboarding trip or outdoor experience.

The course is taught in uncontrolled terrain (outside of a ski area boundary) of low to moderate-angles where rope protection is not required for safety. There may be some exposure to heights.

This course is also a prerequisite for gaining an ISIA Stamp.

 

Course includes: 

The course covers:

  • Trip planning and preparation.
  • Environment: weather, terrain, snowpack and how these relate to avalanche conditions.
  • Travel: Evidence based decision making about route selection and safe travel techniques.
  • Emergencies, rescue, equipment and what to do.

 

Course Prerequisites:

Participants must:

  • Be 16 years of age
  • Have a fitness level appropriate to travel safely for 8 hrs in back country terrain and conditions.
  • Be physically capable of walking, skiing or snowboarding in a variety of snow conditions on moderate angled terrain.
  • Have attended an MSC Avalanche Awareness course or a similar level of knowledge.
  • Have completed the Online theory course and quiz

 

Learning outcomes:

On completion, the participant will have a theoretical knowledge of:

  • Characteristics of the avalanche phenomenon
  • Snowpack factors (layers, crystal ID, basic metamorphism)
  • Observation techniques
  • Human factors in decision making
  • Group travel in avalanche terrain
  • Small party search and rescue

 

Assessment:

This course has a formal assessment of avalanche rescue skills and on successful completion; the provider issues a ‘Certificate of Competence’.

 

Required Equipment: 

You will require full ski clothes and equipment.  You will also require the basic backcountry kit:

  • A backcountry backpack that is specially designed to carry skis/snowboard (if you are not skinning).
  • Avalanche transceiver (Digital is mandatory.  3 antenna digital is highly recommended!)
  • Avalanche probe
  • Avalanche shovel
  • Either snowshoes or climbing skins and touring bindings & poles
  • Sunglasses and goggles
  • Sun cream
  • Warm jacket
  • Packed lunch and water

We have equipment for hire if you do not have your own.

Ronan MaguireRonan_ski-Patrol

LEAD SKI GUIDE – NISEKO
AVALANCHE TRAINING CO-ORDINATOR & AVALANCHE FORECASTER

An Irish man who happened to land on his feet in the high alpine of NZ. Ronan has since made the mountains his home and Ski Patrolling, Avalanche Training & Avalanche Forecasting his profession complete with Jazz, his Avy Search and Rescue Dog. With eleven seasons at Mt Hutt as well several in America, Canada & Japan, Ronan is now NZMSC’s National Avalanche Forecaster and manages Snow Safety and the Avalanche Program for Mt Hutt. He looks forward to sharing his passion for the Mountains with you and enjoying some good turns together.

 

 


Ross McSwiney

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

JAPAN OPERATIONS MANAGER & HEAD SKI GUIDE

Ross has seen more winter than most people see in two lifetimes. Having first guided in Japan with Whiteroom Tours four seasons ago, he now heads up our Japan operations. He is responsible for managing, training and sourcing new guides as well as insuring Whiteroom runs to the highest of standards. Ross has over 21 years experience as a Thredbo Ski Patroller, National Ski Patrol trainer and examiner plus skied 16 years in Hokkaido, 8 as a ski guide. He holds his NZ Avalanche Stage 1 Professional, Remote/Advanced/Advanced Resus/Occupational First Aid and is also an Avalanche Awareness and First Aid Trainer.