Note the examples of gear mentioned is not an endorsement but rather a guide. There are many other excellent manufacturers. We encourage you to hire and borrow as much gear as you can. Doing the course and talking to other club members will provide you valuable advice before taking the financial plunge. 

Newmarket's the place to shop where you have Bivouac, Outfitters, Macpac and Living Simply all within less than a kilometre.

Remember, we will have an evening where all this is discussed and special discounts are offered before the course so hold off until then.

All items are required unless stated.

Climbing Gear

Climbing harness

Required. Preferably with adjustable leg loops. 


  • Black Diamond Couloir, pictured - Lightweight, tailored to mountaineering, not great as a rock climbing harness. Bivouac

  • Any other climbing harness.


  • 2x medium screw gate

  • 1x large screw gate, to be used with a belay device


  • Medium, Petzl Attaché or Black Diamond Positron or Nitron

  • Large, Petzl William or Black Diamond Rocklock.

Belay Device

Figure 8 is not acceptable


  • Black Diamond ATC Guide

  • Petzl Reverso

Prussick cords

4m of 6mm cord to be made into an abseil backup length (1.2m approx) and a personal safety prussic (2.5m approx). These will be tied during course time.

Available from Bivouac.

Climbing helmet - REQUIRED

Bicycle or kayaking helmet not acceptable. Black Diamond, Petzl, Wild Country, Grivel, many more.


  • Black Diamond

  • Petzl


Mountaineering Tools


If you're going to spend money on something make it boots. Having stiff soled mountaineering boots for this course is a must. Ensure you try out, get properly fitted and research a bunch of options before buying.


  • La Sportiva

  • Salewa

  • Scarpa

Boots can be hired from Living Simply.

Ice axE

A lightweight straight-shaft axe with classic alpine shape pick (approx 65cm long) is sufficient for the course but is more suited for glacier travel & non-technical (ie low snow slope angled) terrain.
If you want an axe that is more of an all rounder, look at getting a 50cm heavier axe (eg Black Diamond Venom, Grivel Air Tech). Very technical ice climbing tools are generally not suitable. Contact us if you are unsure.

  • Black Diamond Venom,

  • Grivel Air Tech

  • Can be hired from NZAC.


Must be compatible with your boots, check the bindings. If you have any doubts any of the instructors can check this for you.

  • Black Diamond

  • Petzl

  • Grivel

Can be hired from NZAC, Black Diamond Seracs freshly purchased in 2015.


  • Black Diamond

  • Petzl

Bring spare batteries.


30 - 55 litre capacity. Must have external attachment points for crampons, ice tools & stakes.


  • Macpac Pursuit - Macpac

  • Lowe Alpine - Outfitters

  • Black Diamond and Osprey - Bivouac




A hard shell will be both waterproof and windproof . If sustained rain conditions might occur, there is no replacement for a waterproof hard shell.

What to look for: Gortex or Pertex fabric, helmet compatible hood, pit zips, high pockets that wont get in the way of a
harness and long enough to fit under a harness. Large enough that multiple layers can fit underneath, but not so large it cant trap
heat against your body


  • Arc’teryx Alpha SV - Bivouac

  • Rab Latok Alpine - Outfitters

  • Prophet - Macpac

  • If you've got a waterproof jacket already then use that.


A base layer is the layer closest to your skin, meaning it collects the most sweat. The purpose of this layer is to keep you dry by
pulling moisture away from your skin and spreading it throughout the fabric. At the same time this fabric should fit snugly and retain
some insulating properties. Never wear cotton as a base layer.

What to look for: Snug fit; Synthetic or wool.

Long sleeve top and longjohns

  • 2 x tops

  • 1 x long johns


  • Icebreaker base layers - Bivouac

  • Rab Meco base layers - Outfitters

  • Prothermal base layers - Macpac

  • Arc'teryx Phase AR - Bivouac

Mid Layer

The purpose of the mid-layer is to capture warmth through trapped air. Typically a mid- layer is a fleece or a thick wool layer. A mid-
layer usually has some loft to it to help trap the warm air, but is also breatheable so it is not suffocating and sweat-causing underneath a
shell or outer layer.

What to look for: Full length zip to make it easier to take on and off with a helmet on; Hood; Snug fit over baselayer.

Fleece or Thick Wool

Insulated Jackets

An insulation layer, whether synthetic or down, provides extra loft and warmth. Down works best in dry snow conditions but does not perform well when wet as it will not retain its warmth.

What to look for: Goose down is warmer than duck; Mid to heavy weight fill; Wind resistant; Helmet compatible hood; Elastic cuffs


  • Rab Microlight Alpine - Outfitters

  • Pulsar - Macpac

  • Outdoor Research Transcendent - Bivouac

Softshell pants 

Softshell pants work well when you are moving fast and working up a sweat on fine days or when you are above the freezing level. They
shed snow well and a more breathable than hardshell pants but only water resistant.

What to look for:  Trim Fit to avoid snagging on crampons; Lace hook; Cuff closure; Pockets; Durable instep patch


  • Outdoor Research Cirque - Bivouac

  • Rab Vapour Rise Guide pants - Outfitters

Hard SHell PANTS 

Hardshell pants are for wet or severe conditions where maximum protection is required. Fully waterproof and windproof but
with limited breathability. Gore-Tex or similar waterproof/breathable fabric.  

What to look for:

Full leg length zips to easily put on over crampons; Suspenders or elastic waistband: Lace hook; Durable instep patch; Pockets


  • Rab Bergen Pants - Outfitters

  • Outdoor Research Mentor - Bivouac


Gaiters keep the loose snow out of your boots and also protect your expensive pants from being destroyed by your crampons.

What to look for: Tall design; Durable construction able to withstand repetitive damage; Top closure; Under boot strap or wire; Lace hook; Front or side closure preferable; Slim fit


  • Rab Latok Alpine gaiter - Outfitters

  • Outdoor Research Crocodiles - Bivouac


Gloves are a must at all times when on snow, which makes having a few pairs of different types worthwhile. Having a thinner liner glove
with a larger waterproof glove or mitt over the top is ideal for warmth and also the dexterity of just a liner if needed.

What to look for: Snug fit; Fleece, merino or polypropylene liner; Gortex over glove or mitt with insulation such as primaloft; A spare pair in case one gets wet; Wrist tensioning straps; Idiot cords - So not to loose a glove if dropped, these can be made
from 3mm cord if nessasary. 

Three kinds for different purposes.

  • Waterproof outer-shell with removable fleece or woollen liners, preferably Gore-Tex or similar. Could be an overmitt.

  • 1 - 2 sets of Polypropylene liners



Warm enough for 4 season use. If prone to blisters or cold feet consider a liner sock and a warm outer sock. Bring at least two pair.


Warm Hat -Must fit under helmet

Sunhat -No caps with button on the top; 

Buff or neck gaiter - Primaloft; Merino wool; Ideally not cotton




Essential when moving over snow.


Sunglasses and goggles

Both are required. Sunglasses should be cat 3, preferably 4 with good side protection.

Small first aid kit

  • Blister tape / strapping tape

  • Painkillers

Please make sure you bring any medication that you may need with you (Asthma puffer, epi-pen)

Compass, pencil or Pen

We will be using these for course activities. Ensure the compass is appropriate for use with a topo map. We will provide a waterproof NZAC branded notepad.

Pack liner

Can be heavy duty plastic bags.


Lodge gear


Medium weight, 2-3 Seasons, approximately 550 – 750gms. Down or synthetic equivalent will suffice. Sleeping bag warmth ratings are very subjective. If you feel the cold, choose a warmer bag. We will be staying in a lodge for the duration of this course, however if you are buying you might want to consider something warmer and more appropriate for the snow caving trip and such.

All suggested retailers have their own selection of appropriate sleeping bags.

Toilet bag, pack towel, gel hand sanitiSer

There are no showers in the lodge.



  • Hut clothes & shoes

  • Thermos - carry hot drink while out of the mountain.

  • Wet wipes for hygiene

  • Hut clothes & shoes

  • Camera

  • Ear plugs (for sleeping in the hut with potential snorers!)


The club provides group gear: ropes, snow-stakes, group first aid kits, snow shovels, probes, avalanche transceivers and emergency shelter (‘Bothy Bags’). The lodge has cutlery, cups, plates and cooking utensils.

Hirage Contacts
The NZAC hires out ice axes, ice hammers, crampons helmets, and harnesses. Contact our gear officer for hire gear for the course by email:
Other items such as harnesses as well as ice axes & crampons may be hired from other clubs and shops. 
Contact them directly to find out more:

Living Simply
1st Floor 255 Broadway, Newmarket
Ph  (09) 5247957
Outdoor Action
21 Rosedale Road, Albany


  • 6 Mercari Way, Albany

  • Cnr K Road & Gundry Street

  • Apex Megacentre, 315-375 Mt Wellington Highway, Mt Wellington