4 days

Participants may be assessed on any topic of the Hard Ice Guide training syllabus at any stage of the assessment. They will be required to teach and supervise revision sessions and practical exercises. It is expected that only minimal training will need to be given.

Participants will be assessed on their personal technical skills necessary for guiding and instructing on the lower, hard ice glacial areas.

Participants’ guiding and instructional skills will be assessed to see that they will be effective guides and instructors for:

  • Half or full day walking trips and helihikes on lower hard ice glacial areas
  • Ice climbing days on lower, hard ice glacial areas.



NZMGA LogoOn successfully passing a Hard Ice Guide Assessment Course and ratification from the Technical Subcommittee, the participant attains the status of NZMGA Hard Ice Guide.

To be allocated a place on a Hard Ice Guide Assessment Course, you must have met the following criteria:

A letter of verification from the employer or Chief Guide of logged guiding work at time of assessment must be submitted with the application. The Association may also request that the written logbook retained by the applicant be presented for sighting and examination.

Usually, this will be run over four days in spring or autumn



Subtotal 120
Client Care
2 Communication with client 10
3 Route selection 20
4 Terrain analysis 20
5 Pace setting 10
8 Application of guiding technique 10
9 Group management 10
11 Client control 20
12 Client safety 20


Personal skills and knowledge   
Subtotal 140
13 General mountain movement 10
14 Fitness and stamina 10
15 Professionalism and personal appearance 10
16 Personal equipment 10
17 Reaction under stress 10
18 Leadership and decision making 10
19 Rope handling 10
22 Ice climbing 10
23 Step cutting 20
24 Belays on ice including anchors 10
27 Mountain Weather 10
28 Nature and environment 20


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


Search and rescue
37 Crevasse extraction 10
38 Stretchers 10
40 Accident site management 10
Subtotal 30 


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