Canada West Mountain School is committed to the safety of our participants, staff and the public. We have been running our Summer 2020 programs without interruption and are looking forward to the Winter 2020-21 season while keeping the same degree of safety during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with some important modifications. Following is a summary of the Canada West Mountain School Covid-19 Protocols for all our 2020 and 2021 programs:
- All programs will follow existing Federal, Provincial, Municipal or regional health guidance.
- Instructors, Guides and Staff on all CWMS programs are trained in current industry best practices for protecting the health and safety of everyone on our programs, as well as to continue to limit the spread of Covid-19.
- There is a screening discussion each morning before every program to ensure that everyone is free of Covid-19 symptoms. Anyone exhibiting symptoms (at any time during the program) will be required to remove themselves from the program.
- Appropriate personal hygiene (hand-washing, etc) is encouraged and facilitated by provision of hand sanitizer on all programs.
- Only activities that can be conducted while maintaining recommended physical distancing of 2 meters are offered. Some modifications we have incorporated into our programs:
- All programs are run with a maximum group size of 8 people with 1 Guide/Instructor. Many programs are run with smaller groups as well.
- Training sites and locations are chosen to facilitate ease of keeping participants separated, both at the training sites and while walking to/from.
- Some activities have been modified to eliminate the need for any close physical contact. However, standard safety protocols have not been sacrificed or compromised -we ensure that safety levels are maintained at the same time as physical distancing.
- In the event of any situation or incident that may require breaking physical distance guidelines, all CWMS Guides/Instructors will have a “Covid Kit” including a full set of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) consisting of masks and gloves for every person in the group. This PPE will be available on request by any participant at any time who requests it as well.
- Every participant, Instructor and Guide are required to complete a pre-trip screening questionnaire to identify and disclose any existing or prior Covid-19 symptoms; current or prior contact with Covid-19 positive persons; and, recent travel history outside of their home region.
- Anyone (participants or CWMS staff) who has Covid-19 symptoms, or has been in direct contact with another person who has tested positive for Covid-19 is asked to postpone their participation. If anyone is refused participation for these reasons a full refund will be offered. Staff will be replaced with equally qualified replacement.
- Class lectures and theory sessions are held through our Canada West Mountain School Virtual Classroom. This includes all AST-1 and AST-2 theory sessions.
- Online training through our Virtual Classroom will be the first priority for all non-field theory instruction. However, some courses may be offered with optional in-person theory sessions. In this event, we utilize classrooms with ample ventilation and maintain strict protocols to ensure small group sizes, physical distancing, wearing of masks and proper hygiene. Canada West Mountain School follows BC Public Health Guidelines where applicable regarding our indoor classroom instruction.
- Programs requiring overnight camping have protocols in place to ensure that no shared cooking, tenting or other activities that may compromise safe distancing are required. People are welcome to share with others that they have already been sharing social contact with, prior to the program.
- Personal safety equipment that is supplied or rented by CWMS (avalanche transceivers, climbing harnesses, helmets, etc.) is disinfected, sealed and stored for a minimum of 72 hours (3 days) prior to use.
- Ride sharing is not encouraged, everyone will be responsible for arranging their own individual transport to/from the designated program area.
Please contact us directly with any questions or concerns you have, we want to hear from everyone. We are adapting to this new era and are confident we will be able to safely navigate these times while still getting out and enjoying all of the backcountry skiing, hiking trails, mountains and climbing areas that British Columbia has to offer. At the same time, we want to ensure that we do everything we can to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and keep people healthy.