Introduction to Mountaineering

introduction to mountaineering course

Scheduled course dates in 2021:

9-11 July 2021 - completed

7-9 August 2021 - cancelled due to covid

6-8 September 2021 - cancelled due to covid

12-14 September 2021 - cancelled due to covid


This Mountaineering course is introductory in nature and designed to give participants basic mountain climbing skills. At the conclusion of the course, participants are well prepared to sign on to a guided ascent of a trekking peak in Nepal or similar, or to take a more comprehensive mountaineering course. A list of the topics covered in the course is located below.

The courses are generally conducted as overnight camping expeditions in the vicinity of Thredbo. If the weather is too poor for camping above the snowline, then we may move the course to Guthega and camp at neaby Island Bend. When starting from Thredbo, we take the chairlift to the top of Crackenback and then snow shoe to the training area nearby. If at Guthega, we park our cars there and snow shoe to the training site. There is free overnight parking at both resorts.

Courses start at 8am at the nominated meeting place, where personal equipment is checked and technical and group equipment distributed.

We return to the carpark around 4pm at the end of the course.

There is an optional ascent of Mt Kosciuszko on the third day for those who wish to stay on and climb one of the seven summits!

Topics covered

The 2 day course will include elements of the following topics:

  • Avalanche Awareness
  • Clothing and equipment selection
  • Essential knots
  • General Rope Skills
  • Glacial Travel
  • Selection and use of Ice Axe & Ice Hammer - glacier, mountaineering and steep ice
  • Selection and use of crampons – French, German and American techniques
  • Mechanical ascenders/descenders and their use
  • Prussiking
  • Self-Arresting
  • Snow Anchors/Protection/belaying
  • Snowshoe Usage
  • Navigation
  • Steep snow climbing and descending

If camping above the snowline

  • Snow Camping
  • Snow Shelters
  • Leave no trace skills and ethics

Your Guide

Andrew Lock is Australia’s most accomplished high altitude mountaineer. He is the only Australian (in fact the only person in the British Commonwealth) to have climbed all fourteen of the world’s 8000 meter ‘death zone’ mountains, including Mt Everest, twice. He was the first Australian to lead a commercial expedition to Everest’s summit and has been leading treks, mountain climbs, scientific, research and adventure expeditions for more than 25 years from the Arctic to Antarctica and from the Himalaya to the Australian outback. He was expedition leader and field training officer on three Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions and has been teaching alpine and mountain skills for 20 years.


Guiding fees are $600 per person for the 2 day course for a minimum of 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.

Thredbo chair lift tickets are additional and at the time of printing were $41 per person per day. Equipment hire costs are additional. Please see the Equipment Rental form for up to date rental costs.

The optional ascent of Mt Kosciuszko costs an additional $300 per person.


  • 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
  • Thredbo chairlift
  • Any other costs not listed under Inclusions


Accommodation on the Saturday night is up to the participants to arrange. Some people rent rooms in Jindabyne or Thredbo. There is also good free camping at a couple of public camping sites near Thredbo. (see the additional information sheet)

Camping above the snow line as part of the course is possible but this must be arranged prior to the course in consultation with Andrew and with the agreement of all participants.


While you do not need to be an elite athlete to take part, the course is physical and you will have to carry a backpack of around 15kg. 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 clothing and equipment listed. Note that correct boots are essential for this course. Please see the notes in the list and contact us to discuss if you have any questions. You can download the required Clothing and Equipment list at the bottom of this page. Please advise us of the make and model of boots that you will use so we can ensure we supply the correct fitting crampons.

Technical climbing equipment is available for hire through Andrew Lock Adventures. Please download the Equipment Rental form, tick what you need to hire and return to Andrew Lock Adventures at .

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 and return them to us at .

A non-refundable 50% deposit of the course fee is required to confirm your place. 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