01 - 14 Mar 2025 14 days open

Participants may be assessed on any topic of the Climbing Guide syllabus at any stage of the course and will be required to teach and supervise revision sessions and practical exercises.

It is expected that only minimal training will need to be given in any topic.

A Climbing Guides Course may include participants at Level 1 and Level 2. Level 2 participants are expected to have a sound knowledge of climbing guiding techniques and to be able to teach the techniques to participants on their Level 1 Course.

Level 2 participants will be assessed on their:

  • General mountaineering and technical rock and ice climbing.
  • Application and teaching of guiding techniques in a lead guide role.
  • Leadership roles in team situations and ability to provide quality feedback to other course participants.

The competence of successful NZMGA Climbing Guides should be such that they can guide efficiently on at least grade 4+ routes and be able to direct climbing instruction courses in alpine and/or glaciated terrain.

If this is the final IFMGA course, the participant should be considered a worthy NZMGA ambassador to any IFMGA country.



NZMGA LogoOn successfully passing a Climbing Guide Level 2 Course and ratification by the Technical Subcommittee, the participant attains the status of NZMGA Climbing Guide.

To be allocated a place on a Climbing Guides Level 2 Course, you must have met the following criteria:

A written record or logbook must be presented on application as proof that experience and supervision requirements have been met.

  • The course will take place in one of the high alpine areas of the Southern Alps. Typical venues are Aoraki/Mt Cook, Westland, Mount Aspiring, and the Darrans.
  • Climbing Guides Courses are usually run over 14 days in early December.



Client care
Subtotal 160
1 Trip preparation and planning 10
2 Communication with client 10
3 Route selection 20
4 Terrain analysis 20
5 Pace setting 10
6 Cooking and camp management 10
7 Shelters and bivouacs 10
8 Application of guiding technique 20
9 Group management 10
11 Client control 20
12 Client safety 20


 Subtotal 180
Personal skills and knowledge
13 General mountain movement 10
14 Fitness and stamina 10
15 Professionalism and personal appearance 10
16 Personal equipment 5
17 Reaction under stress 10
18 Leadership and decision making 10
19 Rope handling 10
20 Rock climbing 20
21 Belays on rock 10
22 Snow and ice climbing 20
23 Step cutting 5
24 Belays on snow and ice 10
25 Navigation 10
26 Snow safety skills 20
27 Mountain weather 10
28 Nature and environment 10


Subtotal 50
31 Speech and contact with students 10
32 Structure of the lesson 10
33 Site selection 10
34 Support material and demonstration 10
35 Ability to motivate 10


Search and Rescue
36 Improvised cliff rescue 10
37 Crevasse extraction 10
38 Stretchers 10
39 Avalanche rescue and transceivers 10
Subtotal 40


Mandatory non-assessment topics
These topics must be covered in a discussion format
- Radio use
- Aircraft safety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- NZMGA Harassment Policy
- NZMGA Accident Investigation Policy
- NZMGA Terrain, Supervision and Professional Guidelines


Trainers/assessors will give a written summary with comments and recommendations.

Important information before you attend this course:

Technical Syllabus Analysis of Topics Assessment Advice Assessment and Certification