The ANUMC has a distinguished history in the sport, and today offers many opportunities to learn about and participate in it. Mountaineering means, well, climbing mountains. Really it means climbing BIG mountains, and that means mountains with snow on them most of the year. In common with mountaineers in many parts of the world, Australian mountaineers don't have mountains like this on their doorstep, but what we do have is an abundance of opportunities (especially in the ANUMC) to participate in many of the activities that are part of mountaineering and build skills and experience. Tough bushwalking, navigation, rock climbing, canyoning, ice climbing and ski touring all are in category. The extra, specialized skills needed for mountaineering are those involving crossing glaciers, moving and belaying on steep snow and ice, and anticipating and avoiding avalanches and rockfall. Climbing vertical ice isn't an essential part of most mountaineering, although the kind of extreme climbing that gets the headlines might make you think so!
The most accessible big mountains for us are just across the Tasman, and we are fortunate in having such fantastic mountains so close. Each year, groups of ANUMC mountaineers travel to climb in the Southern Alps. Participating in guided courses in NZ is the best way to learn those extra mountaineering skills and get a head start in mountaineering by spending a week in the company of a real expert. After that, the sky is the limit. Beyond NZ, ANUMC mountaineers have visited many of the greater ranges, and where you go and what you do there is limited only by your ambition and your wallet. The ANUMC has an Expedition Fund which may be able to provide start-up funds for that dream expedition to Antarctica, Greenland, or points between.