AST-1 Classic (Seymour)
Avalanche Skills Training is essential if you ski or snowboard in the backcountry beyond the ski areas! Our Classic AST-1 is conducted over two full days of avalanche safety instruction, combining engaging classroom sessions held at our classroom in North Vancouver, along with practical field-based learning in a backcountry environment. This combo allows us to deliver a solid Avalanche Safety Training course, with our AST-1 exceeding the minimum requirements set by the CAA for AST-1 courses.
- Avalanche Skills Training 1 (AST-1): $245. + GST
Included in all Canada West Mountain School AST-1 courses:
- 2 days AST-1 course instruction
- AST-1 Certificate
- Avalanche Manual "Backcountry Avalanche Awareness"
- Avaluator V.2 Manual and decision making card
- 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
$30. (optional, Avi gear can be supplied by student)
CWMS Rentals Include: Transceiver, G3 Shovel and G3 Probe for both days of course
NOTE on weather and snow conditions:
If the snow conditions on Mount Seymour are not suitable for delivering the field session, the practical portion on Day-2 of the course will be held on Whistler/Blackcomb. In this event a Lift Pass will be required for backcountry access behind Whistler/Blackcomb. This pass is not required if you already have a ski pass for Whistler/Blackcomb.
CANCELLATIONS and TRANSFERS
Please click here for our Cancellation and Transfer Policy
The Canada West Mountain School AST-1 Seymour course focuses on teaching practical methods of understanding, recognizing and avoiding avalanche hazards, including terrain evaluation, snowpack structure, weather, safe route finding, decision making and avalanche rescue techniques.
Our format includes 7 hours of theory and 10 hours of practical fieldwork, spread over 2 days. Manuals are included in the course and form an integral part of the learning. Our AST-1 course content and materials have been developed over the past 30 years and are based on the nationally-recognized AST-1 curriculum developed by Avalanche Canada.Theory topics include:
- avalanche hazard recognition
- avalanche terminology
- avalanche mechanics
- mountain weather
- snowpack structure
- basic terrain evaluation
- equipment requirements
The initial theory session also will prepare you for the Day-2 field session, so that your time in the field is used most efficiently.
Your Day-2 field training is spent in the backcountry where you will have maximum time to focus on learning and practicing skills, including:
- terrain evaluation
- mountain hazard assessment
- safe route finding techniques
- snowpack analysis
- snow testing techniques
- transceiver searches
- rescue fundamentals
Day-2 is a full day of "hands-on" practical learning in the field working on decision making, terrain, travel and rescue skills, this is where you get an opportunity to "put it all together"!
- IMPORTANT - Due to early-season conditions on the North Shore Mountains, AST-1 Classic Seymour courses will have the Day-2 Field session in the backcountry of Whistler/Blackcomb. Class session locations on Day-1 will remain unchanged. Students are responsible for getting to and from the course areas on each day.
On day-1, the first class session will be held at one of our Classrooms. Most dates the class will be held at either our office/classroom at #240-400 Brooksbank Ave, North Vancouver (1 block up from MEC); or, at the West Vancouver Cricket Club in Hugo Ray Park, 1290 3rd St, West Vancouver.
You will receive email instructions 2-3 days in advance of the course for the specific meeting points for the first day of your course. The first day of the course includes both indoor and outdoor sessions and will finish by 4 pm.Canada West Mountain School main office & classroom
240-400 Brooksbank Ave, North Vancouver (1 block up from MEC)
Classroom location for West Vancouver Cricket Club/Hugo Ray Park
1290 Third Street, West Vancouver
You will receive final meeting and location details for the class in advance, though typically this class will start at 0815 on Day-1 of the course dates, at one of the two locations noted above.
The field session on Day-2 is held in the backcountry behind Mount Seymour. Occasionally, alternate locations may be used such as Whistler/Blackcomb, Diamond Head near Squamish, or the Coquihalla Pass near Hope. The Day-2 field session logistics and details will be discussed during the Day-1 class session.
In the event that snowpack and/or weather conditions are such that we cannot conduct a good quality field session on day 2 of your course on Mt Seymour or any other location, the Day-2 field session will be held at Whistler/Blackcomb in the backcountry. This will require a lift access pass on Whistler/Blackcomb that is $62 + GST and is not included in the course fee. All other aspects of the course will remain unchanged.
The decision to move the day-2 field session may not be made until 1-2 days in advance of the course, in order to asses the most current and updated snowpack and weather conditions.
On day-1, the first session will be held at one of our Classrooms in North Vancouver or West Vancouver unless other arrangements are made at the time of registration. You will receive email instructions a few days in advance of the course for the specific meeting locations and times for the first day of your course.
The Day-1 class session includes both indoor and outdoor sessions and will finish between 4:00 and 5:00 pm.
The Day-2 field session logistics (location, meeting times, gear, etc) will be arranged during the first day, but please plan on a 7:45 am start time and a finish time of 5 pm. Day-2 is usually held on Mt Seymour, though in cases of poor snow conditions, alternate locations may be used (see NOTE below).
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. All classroom and field sessions will start promptly at the times indicated. For the practical field sessions, latecomers will risk missing the course, as once the group has departed there are no options to join them in the field at a later time.
Our format includes 7 hours of theory and 10 hours of practical fieldwork, spread over 2 days of instruction. Manuals are included in the course and form an integral part of the learning. Our AST-1 course content and materials have been developed over the past 30 years and are based on the nationally-recognized AST-1 curriculum developed by Avalanche Canada.IMPORTANT - the specific meeting locations may vary from one course date to another, please ensure you confirm the correct location for your course date! Students are responsible for getting to and from the course areas on each day
You will require an Avalanche Safety kit (avalanche transceiver, 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, bindings and climbing skins are required for the field session on Day-2 only; or, snowboard and snowshoe combo (Seymour AST-1 course only); or, a split-board and climbing skins.
Important note for Day-1 of your course:
During the afternoon field session on Day-1 you will require a transceiver, shovel, probe and a small pack, as well as be prepared for being outdoors in any weather conditions, including footwear and clothing that is appropriate for walking and standing in snow and wet conditions, as you will be outside in any/all conditions for up to 2-3 hours
Ski/snowboard equipment is not required for Day-1.
Review these documents, and bring completed Waiver and Medical Forms to your program:
CWMS Medical Disclosure Form - CWMS MEDICAL form
CWMS Waiver & Assumption of Risk - CWMS Waiver
CWMS Gear List - Canada West Mountain School Avalanche Course Gear List
CWMS Refund & Transfers policies - Refund Policy