Avalanche Skills Training (AST) Programs

Photo: T.H.Jackson Huang
AST programs are an essential first step to safe backcountry use in the winter. Based on curriculum established by the Canadian Avalanche Centre, AST 1 and 2 courses provide a blend of practical field days with indoor theory.

Avalanche Skills Training Level 1


Our Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 course (AST 1) provides an entry-level decision-making framework for recreational skiers and snowboarders in winter backcountry avalanche terrain. This comprehensive 2.5 day program is a blend of practical field days with indoor theory and review based on curriculum as established by the Canadian Avalanche Centre.


Theory and practical topics include:
  • Avalanche phenomena, formation and release
  • Terrain recognition
  • Risk evaluation and reduction
  • Route selection and appropriate travel techniques
  • Factors affecting snowpack structure, change and metamorphism
  • Snowpack testing techniques
  • The steps required to plan and carry out a trip
  • Self rescue fundamentals and equipment usage

Recommended Ability Level - Please note that this course is suitable for intermediate to expert skiers and snowboarders confident in handling varying snow conditions, such as ice, powder, crust and slush.


Schedule:

 November 2014 21-23
 December 2014 5-7,
12-14,
20-22
 January 2015 2-4,
9-11,
16-18,
23-25,
Jan 27-Feb 1
 February 2015 6-8,
13-15,
20-22,
27-Mar 1
 March 2015 6-8,
13-15,
20-22,
27-29
 April 2015 3-5


Meeting times and locations

Day 1: 6:00pm - 9:00pm (theory), The Cabin at Base II
Day 2: 8am - 6pm (field & theory), EBCB patio
Day 3: 8am - 5pm (field & theory & debrief), EBCB patio

Note:
The evening session meets from 6-9pm on the Friday at the "The Cabin" located at 4890 Glacier Drive, Whistler V0N 1B4 (upstairs in the Fireside room) - Park in Lot 6. It is important to bring a note book and pen to the evening indoor session. If you are running late or having trouble finding it please contact us at 604-938-9656. The course provider will inform you of meeting times and places for Saturday and Sunday on Friday evening.

Price

Level 1 $239

Call 1.800.766.0449 to book or visit Snow School Sales.

Supplied to Student

  • Avaluator v2.0 (CAC)
  • Backcountry Avalanche Awareness, 8th Edition, Bruce Jamieson (CAC)

Recommended that student purchase:

  • Backcountry Whistler – John Baldwin (2013-4 ed. preferred)

Equipment and Preparation

This list is intended as a general guideline:
  • Touring skis or split board, with climbing skins.
  • Ski poles with powder baskets (required for both skier or boarders).
  • It is recommended that boarders use collapsible poles
  • Ski boots (ideally touring) or snowboard boots.
  • Back pack (25-35 litre)
  • Avalanche Transceiver
  • Avalanche shovel
  • Avalanche probe
  • Waterproof breathable shell jacket (w/hood) and pants
  • Warm non-cotton under-layers
  • Synthetic or down parka (ideally w/hood)
  • Gloves
  • Sunglasses (even if it is not sunny)
  • Goggles
  • Sunscreen/lip protection
  • Lunch and water (at least 1 litre)
  • Camera
  • Headlamp
  • "Rite in the rain" waterproof notebook and pencil

Avalanche Skills Training Level 2


The "Avalanche Skills Training Level 2 course" is designed for the serious and experienced winter backcountry user. This course expands on the theories and principles established at the AST 1 level course or those who already have a solid understanding of snow avalanche principles. The program incorporates extensive practical field sessions in real avalanche terrain implementing a systematic approach for assessing and evaluating the potential avalanche hazard.


The course focuses on advanced:
  • Pre-trip data collection and interpretation
  • Decision-making
  • Terrain assessment and route finding
  • Ongoing field observations skills
  • Snowpack tests
  • Self rescue techniques

Recommended Ability Level - Please note that this course is suitable for intermediate to expert skiers and snowboarders confident in handling varying snow conditions, such as ice, powder, crust and slush.


Schedule:

January 2015 10-11/16-17
February 2015 7-8/14-15
March 2015 7-8/14-15


Meeting times and locations

Meeting time and place for AST 2 is 8am on the Carleton Lodge Patio.

Price

Level 2 $599

Call 1.800.766.0449 to book or visit Snow School Sales.

Supplied to Student

  • Avaluator v2.0 (CAC)
  • Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain – Bruce Tremper (Armchair Books or CAC)
  • Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain – Pascal Haegli, et all (CAC)

Recommended that student purchase:

  • Backcountry Whistler – John Baldwin (2013-4 ed. preferred)

Equipment and Preparation

This list is intended as a general guideline:
  • Touring skis or split board, with climbing skins.
  • Ski poles with powder baskets (required for both skier or boarders).
  • It is recommended that boarders use collapsible poles
  • Ski boots (ideally touring) or snowboard boots.
  • Back pack (25-35 litre)
  • Avalanche Transceiver
  • Avalanche shovel
  • Avalanche probe
  • Waterproof breathable shell jacket (w/hood) and pants
  • Warm non-cotton under-layers
  • Synthetic or down parka (ideally w/hood)
  • Gloves
  • Sunglasses (even if it is not sunny)
  • Goggles
  • Sunscreen/lip protection
  • Lunch and water (at least 1 litre)
  • Camera
  • Headlamp
  • "Rite in the rain" waterproof notebook and pencil

Note:
It is important to bring a note book and pen to the evening indoor session. If you have your own shovel, probe and transceiver they need to be in good working order. Your transceiver must have fresh batteries and have been maintained to the manufacturers recommendations. If you bring your own touring skis or snowboard and skins check in advance to be sure they are in proper working order. If you are renting equipment be sure to leave ample time to fit and pick up the necessary gear. Remember that when we go out for the day we stay out for the day. Packages of skis, touring bindings, skins, pack, transceiver, probe and shovel are available to rent from Essentially Blackcomb for $63/day plus tax.

All prices quoted in CDN funds and subject to TAX.
Prices subject to change.
 All prices are in Canadian Dollars    More Information »

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