|Courses: Winter: Avalanche Skills Training: Whistler|
Avalanche Course Whistler (AST-1) 2012/2013
Our Avalanche Skills Training Course (AST-1) offered in Whistler has been fine tuned to deliver the highest quality Avalanche Safety training.
We send course materials out when you register, allowing time to pre-read essential manuals in advance; our theory sessions are integrated into the field-training, ensuring the most effective use of time; and, we have developed our content to meet the specific needs of Whistler-based skiers.
A full day practical field session is held in the backcountry behind Whistler or Blackcomb mountains. This session covers practical methods of understanding, recognizing and avoiding avalanche hazards. Terrain evaluation, snowpack structure, weather observations, safe route finding and avalanche rescue techniques are all covered.Course includes use of all avalanche safety equipment
December 1-2, 2012
January 5-6, 2013
February 9-10, 2013
February 16-17, 2013
February 23-24, 2013 March 2-3, 2013
March 9-10, 2013
March 16-17, 2013
March 23-24, 2013
Mid week dates (Whistler)
$210 + HST - includes Avalanche safety gear.
($10. discount if you supply your own transceiver, probe & shovel. This must be claimed at time of registration).
*See NOTE below regarding lift access fees*
* Backcountry lift access fee:
Backcountry lift access for one field-day on Whistler/Blackcomb is required for all students and is not included in the course fee. This cost is an additional $48. + HST (not applicable for students with existing lift passes)
Included in course fee:
- Instruction by professional Avalanche Safety educators
- Avalanche Safety Course manual
- Avaluator avalanche safety booklet
- CWMS & CAA-developed course materials, updated 2008/09
- Industry recognized AST-1 Certificate of Completion
- Use of Barryvox "Pulse" digital transceiver **
- Use of G3 probe **
- Use of G3 Avi-tech shovel **
- Use of Snow Science kit (thermometer, screen, loupe, etc)
- Use of G3 "Bonesaw" snowsaw
* The backcountry lift-access fee for Whistler/Blackcomb will be collected at time of registration so that your instructor can pre-arrange all lift tickets in order to speed up the field day and avoid unnecessary delays during your course.
Intermediate skiing or snowboarding ability. Touring equipment required (or snowshoes for snowboarders). Limited snowshoe and Touring Ski rental packages are available.
Practical field training on Day-2 is held in the backcountry of the Whistler/Blackcomb ski areas. Specific locations, meetings places and times will be arranged during the Day-1 class sessions.
All instructors on our Avalanche safety programs are trained Avalanche technicians who are Active Members of the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA), as well as certified through the CAA. Additionally, Canada West Mountain School holds regular training sessions for our instructors to ensure that they are up-to-date with the most current research and information available. All staff have Advanced 1st Aid training, and many of our Instructors are professional Guides certified by the ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides).
The first day will fully prepare you for the full-day field session in the alpine so that your time in the field is used most efficiently.
Day-2 is spent in the alpine backcountry regions adjacent to the Blackcomb and/or Whistler ski areas where you will have maximum time to focus on learning and practicing skills, including:
All our AST-1 courses meet, or exceed, the minimum standard set by the Canadian Avalanche Association that requires AST Level 1 courses to have a minimum of 7 hours of classroom instruction plus one full day in the field.
Equipment list: Avalanche Safety Weekend - Whistler
To download a printer friendly .PDF file of the equipment list, click here. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required.
Minimum required gear for a comfortable day trip in the winter:
On Day-1 you do not require skis, snowboards or snowshoes, but will require footwear and clothing that is appropriate for walking and standing in snow and wet conditions.
Please go over this list before the course to ensure that you are properly prepared. Contact our office if you have any questions, and we can suggest places for you to purchase or rent equipment if needed. Keep in mind that you will be spending all of your time outdoors in the snow in widely varying conditions conditions (+5 to -20), and that the weather can vary from one extreme to the other. It is recommended that you also have a set of spare street clothes for the end of the course after you have left the mountains.
If you require rental gear, please ensure that you arrange this with a rental agency well in advance of your course date!
Here are a few stores in the region that supply good service and quality outdoor equipment. If you need to
purchase or rent equipment, please contact the store well in advance of the course to ensure that what you require is available!
Excess Backcountry - Whistler
Logistics and transportation
It is critical that all participants are "ready to go" at the designated meeting spot on time to avoid undue delays - the course will start at the time stated each day. The Course instructors emergency contact number will be given to you in advance of the course in case of unforeseen delays (road closures, etc).
Be aware that proper winter tires are required for travel north of Squamish during all winter months. The RCMP routinely check vehicles and will turn you back if you do not have appropriate winter tires on your vehicle. Courses missed for this reason are not eligible for refunds or rescheduling.
Check out these other programs that complement the skills learned in our Avalanche Safety courses. As well, feel free to contact our office to discuss other course options.
Avalanche Safety Weekend (Vancouver)
Custom Avalanche training
Private Ski guiding
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