Technical Syllabus

Knots
Knots appropriate to guiding.

Roping up
Sit, chest, and body harnesses, improvised harnesses; for glacier travel, for ridge travel and short roping.

Rock craft
All forms of anchors – bollards, chock stones, nuts, pegs, camming devices, bolts. Belay methods – body, Italian hitch, and mechanical devices. Direct and indirect belays. Moving together with and without runners. Leading to grade 15 with alpine equipment and grade 20 or higher in rock climbing shoes. Setting up top ropes, and top rope rescues for ‘stuck clients.’

Snow craft
All forms of anchors – ice axe (shaft and stomper), stakes, pigs, deadmen, bollards and improvised belays as for rock craft. Step kicking, step cutting, self-arresting, moving together either in glacier travel or short-roping mode.

Ice craft
All forms of anchors and associated belays – screws, drive-ins, bollards, V threads, ice tools. Belay methods as for rock craft. Cramponing (10-point and front-point), step cutting.

Glacier travel
Roping-up, travel on skis (ski guide only), anchors. All crevasse rescue methods: self – climb or Prusik out; client – assisted hoist, unassisted hoist, and abseil in to injured client.

Descending
Down climbing, lowering clients, abseiling, anchors, and back-up methods, self-belay, abseil devices, abseiling with clients, and rope retrieval.

Shelters
Tent and bivouac sites, snow caves, igloos, snow mounds, trenches, and crevasses.

Navigation
The use of map, compass, altimeter, and GPS. Planning of routes. White-out and night navigation.

Weather
Detailed knowledge of weather systems, interpretation of forecasts and signs, and field forecasts.

Snow safety
Terrain and route finding, weather, snow pack, stability and hazard evaluation, rescue procedures – visual, transceiver, and probe searches.

General knowledge
Glaciology, geology, National Park principles and legislation, alpine history, environmental protection, and flora and fauna.

Rescue theory
Search and rescue in NZ (administration, organisation, funding), radio procedures, and helicopter safety.

Rescue practical
Improvised stretchers, lowering and raising, multiple lowers, cliff rescue, self rescue, and mountain first aid.

Skiing
Downhill in difficult terrain and on a variety of snow conditions, laying a skinning track. Ski Guide only.


Note This technical syllabus is largely based on the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides Technical Handbook, copies of which are available from the NZMGA Executive Officer.