AST-1 PLUS (VOC 2018-19)

This is a private AST-1 course for members of the Varsity Outdoors Club. Please review the information below and then click on the Book Now link on the right.

You can pay online with Credit Card by registering online here; or, you can choose to arrange payment by cheque or cash as well. Please contact your VOC Course Organizer or Canada West Mountain School office at 604-878-7007, or by email at info@themountainschool.com.

Register Today

$225.00

Avalanche Canada Logo

Canada West Mountain School is an Authorized AST Provider

Dates:
AST-1 PLUS course for the VOC includes an essential Theory Session held on Tuesday evening prior to the weekend dates. Course dates listed below

Ratio:
1:8
Pre Requisites:

Intermediate skiing or snowboarding experience. No previous avalanche training required. Skiers and Boarders should be comfortable skiing or riding down Blue level runs on Whistler/Blackcomb.

Options:
Avi Kit (2 day)
$30.00
Lift Access (1-day)
$62.00
Category:
  • Preferred rate for Varsity Outdoor Club members only

    AST-1 PLUS Course:
    $225. includes GST
    Includes:
    2.5-days AST-1 course instruction;
    AST-1 Certificate;
    Avalanche Safety Manual;
    Avaluator card and manual;
    course student handouts;
    and, use of Snow Science kit (thermometer, screen, loupe, etc)

    Avalanche Safety Equipment rentals for VOC members on this course
    $30. (optional, gear can be supplied by student)
    Includes: Transceiver, G3 Shovel and G3 Probe for both days of course

    Backcountry lift access fee
    $62. including tax (not required for students with existing lift passes)
    Backcountry lift access for Whistler/Blackcomb Mountains is required for all students on the 2nd Field Day and is not included in course fee. Lift Access is not required for Seymour date (day-1)

    NOTE on weather and snow conditions:
    If the snow conditions on Mount Seymour are not suitable for delivering a quality course, the course will be held for both days on Whistler/Blackcomb. In this event 2 days of lift access are required.

  • All course dates include an essential evening Theory Session held on the Tuesday Evening in advance of the field sessions

    AST-1 PLUS Course dates:
    December 11 - Evening session starting at 6 pm.
    December 15 - Field session on Seymour, 8-5 (Whistler if snow conditions on Seymour are poor)
    December 16 - Field session on Whistler, 8-5

    January 8 - Evening session starting at 6 pm.
    January 12 - Field session on Seymour, 8-5 (Whistler if snow conditions on Seymour are poor)
    January 13 - Field session on Whistler, 8-5

    February 19 - Evening session starting at 6 pm.
    February 23 - Field session on Seymour, 8-5 (Whistler if snow conditions on Seymour are poor)
    February 24 - Field session on Whistler, 8-5

    March 5 - Evening session starting at 6 pm.
    March 9 - Field session on Seymour, 8-5 (Whistler if snow conditions on Seymour are poor)
    March 10 - Field session on Whistler, 8-5

  • The 2.5 day AST-1 PLUS Avalanche Skills course was pioneered by Canada West Mountain School in the 1980's and still proves to be the best combination of class theory and practical field training possible! This is our most comprehensive and popular AST-1 course. Our combination of using highly experienced CAA trained Instructors, two different geographical regions for field training and increased emphasis on technical snowpack and terrain observation skills ensures that you will be getting the best possible training available. The first classroom evening session is an engaging session of interactive learning, group sessions and multi-media presentations. Both of the field sessions emphasize "hands-on" practical learning in the field working on snowpack, terrain, travel and rescue skills. With 2 days of field training, ample time is available to practice core skills.
  • The first evening session will start at 6 PM, in a classroom to be determined at UBC. Contact the Trip Organizer for exact locations, or contact Canada west closer to the date of your course.

    At this class session you will also receive instructions for the specific meeting points for the first field day of your course.

    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.

    The Day-1 field sessions are typically held in the backcountry behind Mount Seymour. On Day-2, you will be accessing the backcountry adjacent to Whistler or Blackcomb mountains for the final portion of the course.

    If weather or snowpack conditions are not suitable to conduct the course on one of these areas, occasionally alternate locations may be used such as Diamond Head near Squamish, or the Coquihalla Pass near Hope. If weather or snowpack on Seymour is not suitable for Day-1, then both field days of the course will alternate between Whistler and Blackcomb.

  • All Instructors on our Avalanche courses are Active or Professional Members of the CAA (Canadian Avalanche Association) and hold Level I or 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.

  • IMPORTANT - All VOC AST-1 PLUS courses have essential evening sessions starting at 6 pm on the Tuesday evening prior to the weekend field dates!

    The evening class sessions all start at 6 PM, in a classroom at UBC. Specific room location will be determined.

    At this class session you will also receive instructions for the specific meeting points for the first field day of your course.

    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.

    This course focuses on teaching practical methods of understanding, recognizing and avoiding avalanche hazards, including terrain evaluation, snowpack structure, weather, safe route finding and avalanche rescue techniques.

    Our 2.5 day format includes 7 hours of theory and 12 hours of practical fieldwork. 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 field sessions so that your time in the field is used most efficiently.

    Your field days are 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

    The final wrap up sessions are an important aspect of Canada West Mountain School programs, as this allows students an opportunity to "put all the pieces together" in a classroom session after the field sessions have finished.

    At the end of your course, you are encouraged to discuss with your instructor the content that has been covered, and to have the instructor assess your level of knowledge - we would prefer that you know your abilities now, rather than find out the hard way, later!

  • 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 the field sessions on Day-1 and on Day-2; or, snowboard and snowshoe combo; or, a split-board and climbing skins.

  • Questions about Avalanche Skills Training 1 PLUS (AST-1+) course

    Do I need to bring special gear?

    What happens if the weather is not good?

    Where are the AST-1 courses conducted?

    How long are the days?