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Wed 1 Nov 2023 - Wed 31 Jan 2024

Posted by Dáire K on Tue, 14 Feb 2023
Leaders: Dáire K
Standard: Advanced
Meeting: No meeting

Hi Everyone,

This year it would be good to see another group from MUMC get out and do a technical mountaineering course (TMC) together. People typically do this trip in December or January. Early December or perhaps November is probably best now due to climate change.

In a TMC you will learn how to travel independently in a glaciated mountain terrain, how to make decisions, and how to climb effectively and safely. You should, by the end of the course, be ready to go off climbing some mountains independently.

People typically enter mountaineering from two different angles. There are those who come from a hiking/bushwalking background, who wish to extend their hikes to steeper slopes with hills, and over glaciated terrain. And there are those who wish to enter from the more technical rock-climbing background, and want to be climbing bigger mountains with ice and snow and get on more challenging routes. Both of these people can benefit greatly from the skills gained in doing a TMC.

Here are some commercial courses currently available in New Zealand, the closest country with "real mountains". This gives a good overview about what skills are taught:

Now you could sign up to one of these courses yourself, and most people do, but consider this alternative: MUMC is a great club to meet like-minded people, the club also offers good opportunities to practice and learn technical skills in Australia before heading over to a country with "real" mountains.

You can meet your partners here in Australia at MUMC who you will do the course with.

Train with them, climb with them, practice skills.

Hire equipment for a very cheap price from MUMC

Hire a guide (instead of joining a big pre-planned course), tell them your skills background, and your objective. There was a small group of us that did this in 2022 to great success.

The advantage of this is that, you will spend more time climbing, and you will get more value for your money. Some of these big courses end up spending days inside learning how to tie knots or teaching other basic techniques when the weather window is perfect for climbing a mountain objective on that day. This happens because the course needs to accommodate all skill levels on the trip, and you have no say in who could end up coming.

After the course is a perfect time to cement your skills, stay a little longer and climb some more mountains with your partners.

This trip is posted here to encourage interested people within the club to sign up and meet up, and begin organising. I am hoping to get to New Zealand myself this summer, and I will try to help facilitate planning for the trip as much as possible, and potentially go for a peak when you're skilled up.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, shoot me an email at or come and talk to me in person at one of the club meetings. I will be announcing this there too and at some point, given enough interest, we'll organise a meet up to discuss plans.

Not to scare people away, but mountaineering is an expensive sport. Private instruction with a mountain guide for one week will typically cost a minimum of $2000. Factoring in other costs such as food, transport, accommodation, and specialist equipment can easily put the cost of a trip over $6000.

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