Advanced Mountaineering and ice climbing


Scheduled Course Dates:

5-8 August 2023 - places available

12-15 August 2023 - fully booked


The four day Advanced Mountaineering and Ice Climbing course is aimed at those participants who already have some climbing experience on rock or ice, or who wish to develop the skills to undertake their own adventures on remote and steep terrain.

The course is conducted in the region of Blue Lake in the Snowy Mountains of NSW. Access is by snowshoe or ski, departing from either Guthega Ski Resort or Charlotte Pass Ski Resort depending on conditions and group preference.

We camp on the snow for three nights in the region of Blue Lake but not actually at the lake itself as this is not allowed by National Parks.

The group meets at the designated point at 8.30am on the first day, where gear is checked and group equipment distributed. We then snow shoe to the camping site, where we set up our tents and run through the elements of establishing and maintaining winter snow camps. In the afternoon of the first day we run through basic mountaineering skills and learn the differences between general mountaineering equipment and ice climbing equipment.

Days two and three are spent at Blue Lake learning ice climbing techniques, abseiling, jumaring, steep snow climbing and self arresting. We also practice placing protection, top roping and building ice belays.

On the final day we spend the morning revising essential skills before snow shoeing out to the carpark to arrive by 4.30pm.

Topics covered on this course include but are not limited to, elements of the following:

  • Clothing and equipment selection
  • Ice climbing versus mountaineering boots
  • Selection and use of crampons – French, German and American techniques
  • General Rope Skills
  • Essential knots
  • Glacial Travel
  • Selection and use of Ice Axe & Ice Hammer - glacier, mountaineering and steep ice
  • Mechanical ascenders/descenders
  • Prussiking
  • Self-Arresting
  • Snow and Ice Anchors/Protection/belaying
  • Placing anchors
  • Belaying on ice
  • Top roping
  • Route finding
  • Safety considerations
  • Avalanche Awareness
  • Snow shoe usage
  • Snow Camping
  • Snow Shelters
  • Leave no trace skills and ethics

Your Guide

The course will be run either by Andrew Lock or Alex Sweet, both mountaineers with an exceptional background in alpine achievement and instruction. See the specific course date at the top of this page to identify who your guide will be.


Guiding fees are $1600 (GST inclusive) per person for the 4 day course for 4 people. If there are less than 4 people, Andrew Lock Adventures will contact you to discuss alternatives. If the course is cancelled by Andrew Lock Adventures, all deposits will be fully refunded.

Equipment hire costs are additional. Please see the Equipment Rental form for up to date rental costs.


  • Highly experienced mountain guide
  • Full Liability Insurance
  • NPWS guide fees & charges (this does not include the National Park’s Visitor/Car entry fee)
  • Communications, first aid kit, water purification tablets, navigation equipment
  • Disposable biodegradable toilet waste bags

Not included

  • Travel to and from Thredbo
  • Accommodation and meals
  • Hire costs of required clothing and/or equipment
  • Any other costs not listed under Inclusions

Camping and Meals

Accommodation is in tents, camping on the snow. (Snow tents are available for hire from Andrew Lock Adventures).

Participants will need insulated sleeping mattresses and sleeping bags rated to at least -10 celsius.

Participants provide their own food but will be advised of the type of food to bring.

Participants will need to bring lightweight camping stoves and pots. (These are available for rent through Andrew Lock Adventures if needed.)

Participants generally share tents and cooking equipment unless they specifically want to be on their own.


This is a physically demanding course. While you do not need to be an elite athlete to take part, you should have good fitness and be able to carry a 20 kg pack for 3 to 4 hours. There is no age restriction but Andrew Lock Adventures reserves the right to decline participation to anyone who we feel may be at undue risk due to health or fitness issues. If you have any concerns about your ability to undertake the course please contact Andrew Lock Adventures and/or your doctor.

Clothing and Equipment

You must bring the correct clothing and equipment. The correct boots are essential for this course. You can download the required Clothing and Equipment list specific to this course at the bottom of this page. Please review the list and contact us if you have any questions. The clothing and equipment list provides additional information about retail outlets that rent out alpine camping equipment.

Technical climbing equipment and mountaineering boots are available for hire through Andrew Lock Adventures.. Please complete the Equipment Rental form if you wish to hire any of this equipment.

National Parks Permits and Insurance

The course is run in conjunction with K7 Adventures which has the required National Parks and Wildlife Service permits and libaility insurances. However these do not cover you for accident or injury and you should have your own travel/medical insurance.

Booking a place

To reserve a spot on this course, you must complete the booking form, medical history and liability waiver.

A non-refundable 50% deposit of the course fee is required to confirm your place on the course. The deposit is required not less than 4 weeks prior to the course.

Please email should you have any questions.

Download the list of required Clothing and Equipment for this course.