AST-2 (4-day course)

Skier on an AST-2 course
Avalanche test pitAvalanche-6Avalanche-7Avalanche Test Pit in WhistlerPantheons-3

If you prefer your own trail rather than following tracks, this is the Avalanche Skills course for you. Taught exclusively by Professional Members of the Canadian Avalanche Association and industry experts, our AST-2 is designed for skiers and boarders seeking adventures that require travel in Challenging or Complex Terrain. On our AST-2 you will visit 4 completely different backcountry locations, including Whistler, Blackcomb, Seymour and the Duffey Lake region.

Register Today

$595.00

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Canada West Mountain School is an Authorized AST Provider

Dates:
Conducted over 4 days of instruction. For the same AST-2 course conducted over 2 separate weekends, please go to AST-2 (Weekend). Both formats cover the same content and utilize the same course locations.
Ratio:
1:6
Pre Requisites:
Intermediate or stronger skiing or snowboarding experience. Touring equipment or snowshoes/snowboard combo required. Previous avalanche training (AST-1 or equivalent) required.
Options:
Avi Kit (4-day)
$40.00
Lift Access (2-day)
$116.00
Element beacon
$425.00 $375.00
Categories: ,
  • Avalanche Skills Training 2 (AST-2): $595. + GST
    Included in all Canada West Mountain School AST-2 courses:
    4 days of AST-2 course instruction by Professional Members of the CAA
    AST-2 Certificate at completion of course
    Avalanche Manual "Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain"
    CAA Rite in the Rain Field Book "Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain"
    Course student handouts and reference materials
    Use of Snow Science kit (thermometer, screen, loupe, etc)
    Ongoing free consultation services from Canada West Mountain School
    50% off future Avalanche Refresher courses with Canada West Mountain School

    Avalanche Safety Equipment rentals
    $40. (optional, Avi gear can be supplied by student)
    CWMS Rentals Include: Transceiver, G3 Shovel and G3 Probe for both days of course

    Backcountry lift access fee
    $58. x 2 - for each day of Lift Access required on Whistler or Blackcomb(not applicable for students with existing lift passes). Backcountry lift access for two field-days on Whistler/Blackcomb is required for all students and is not included in course fee
    PLEASE NOTE: a third day of lift access may be required based on snow and weather conditions affecting other backcountry locations.

  • Dates for AST-2 Advanced avalanche skills course
    December 2-5, 2016 - Day-1 theory session in N Vancouver
    December 16-19, 2016 - Day-1 theory session in N Vancouver
    January 6-9, 2017 - Day-1 theory session in N Vancouver
    February 17-20, 2017 - Day-1 theory session in N Vancouver
    March 11-14, 2017 - Day-1 theory session in N Vancouver

    Please note that the first day of the AST-2 Advanced Avalanche course includes a theory session. Class theory sessions are held in different locations, please confirm the course location in advance.

  • The Canada West AST-2 Avalanche Skills course is for skiers and boarders who often find themselves seeking out adventures that require travel in Challenging or Complex Terrain. This course is designed to enable students with a solid understanding of Avalanche Safety principles to build on their existing knowledge.

    The primary focus will be on a developing and implementing a system for assessing and evaluating potential avalanche slopes in the backcountry in regards to the hazard that they present. This is not meant to be a forecasting course, nor a course that dwells on the scientific collection and recording of snowpack and weather observations. Rather, the course will emphasize the practical collection and analysis of relevant data that an average backcountry skier would be able to use as the basis for making their decisions regarding travel in avalanche terrain.

    The instruction is split between classroom Theory sessions and practical Field sessions, which are held at a variety of locations to experience different snowpack's and conditions.
  • The first morning class session will start at 08:15, in our Classroom located at #240-400 Brooksbank Ave, North Vancouver (1 block up from MEC), unless other arrangements are made at the time of registration. For the Vancouver-based courses, the Day-1 afternoon field sessions are typically held in the backcountry behind Mount Seymour, though this is weather-dependent.

    Whistler-based AST-2 courses will start at the Whistler Village Inn and Suites.

    At these class session you will also receive instructions for the specific meeting points for the remaining field days of your course, as these locations will be decided based on current conditions.

    Students are reminded to plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to the course sessions, to allow for traffic delays, poor road conditions, parking, etc. The field sessions will start promptly at the times indicated - latecomers will risk missing the field sessions as once the group has departed there are no options to join them in the field at a later time.

    Canada West Mountain School main office & classroom
    240-400 Brooksbank Ave, North Vancouver (1 block up from MEC)

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  • All Instructors on our AST-2 Avalanche courses are Professional Members of the CAA (Canadian Avalanche Association) and hold Level II Professional Certification with the CAA. Additionally, Canada West Mountain School staff are dedicated educators who are experienced in teaching these skills and conducting well run, professional courses.

    All CWMS staff also attend regular Industry training and have advanced 1st aid training, and many of the Instructors in our Avalanche Training program are also professional Guides certified through the ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides).

    Visit Guides and Instructors Page for complete details and background on each of our Guide Team.

  • This course is designed to enable students with a solid understanding of Avalanche Safety basic principles to build on their existing knowledge.

    The primary focus will be on a developing and implementing a system for assessing and evaluating potential avalanche slopes in the backcountry in regards to the hazard that they present. This is not meant to be a forecasting course, nor a course that dwells on the scientific collection and recording of snowpack and weather observations. Rather, the course will emphasize the practical collection and analysis of relevant data that an average backcountry skier would be able to use as the basis for making their decisions regarding travel in avalanche terrain.

    One 5 hour classroom theory session is held on the first day of the course.The afternoon of Day-1 is a short practical field session. The following 3 days are held at held at a variety of locations to experience different snowpack's and conditions. Each field session will be preceded with a 1 hour morning theory session and a 1 hour afternoon follow up class session.

    Learning outcomes for the Canada West Mountain School AST-2 program:
    • - Develop a systematic approach towards evaluating snow stability and hazard which includes collection of weather, snowpack and terrain information.
    • - Be able to recognize safe terrain and routes in avalanche terrain, and know methods of avoiding hazardous regions.
    • - Understand snow avalanche mechanics, including: correlation of weather to snowpack, layering, effects of temperatures, principles of slab failure, leading causes of instabilities and forces involved in avalanches.
    • - Learn methods of observing, collecting and recording information in the field through activities such as: hasty-pits; observations of avalanche activity, wind loading, snow distribution and depth; snow testing; weather observations; and, terrain assessment.
    • - To know how and when to perform a variety of shear tests, such as: pole test, compression test, burp, ski cutting, Rutschblock; and, to know how to relate each test to the overall "picture".
    • - To be able to perform self-rescue procedures and protocols, including multiple transceiver searches.

  • Here is a link to the Gear List - Canada West Mountain School Avalanche Course Gear List

    You will require an Avalanche Safety kit (avalanche transceiver (beacon), collapsible avalanche shovel, and a probe). In addition, everyone needs to be fully prepared for a day out in winter conditions. Canada West Mountain School has Avalanche Safety Kits available for rent, please book this at time of registration as they are often booked out by the time the course runs.

    Proper backcountry touring skis and climbing skins are required for all field sessions; or, snowboard and snowshoe combo; or, a split-board and climbing skins.

  • Questions about Avalanche Skills Training 2 (AST-2) course

    Do I need to bring special gear?

    What happens if the weather is not good?

    Where are the AST-2 courses conducted?

    How long are the days?