AST-2 (Powell River)

Our popular AST-2 course over 2 weekends held in Powell River, BC, allows you to track changes in the snowpack over an 8-day period. The foundation of avalanche safety is terrain, and our unique format gets you exploring terrain in a variety of backcountry locations.

Taught by Canadian Avalanche Association Professional Member Jen McGuinness, this AST-2 is designed for skiers and boarders seeking adventures that require travel in Challenging or Complex Terrain.

Register Today

$615.00

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Canada West Mountain School is an Authorized AST Provider

Dates:
AST-2 for Skiers/Boarders
Conducted over 2 separate Weekends: Mar 9-10 & Mar 16-17

Ratio:
1:6
Pre Requisites:
Strong intermediate or higher skiing or snowboarding experience. Ski Touring or Splitboard equipment w/climbing skins required. Previous avalanche training (AST-1 or equivalent) required. Minimum age of 16 years.
Options:
Avi Kit (4-day)
$40.00
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  • Avalanche Skills Training 2 (AST-2): $615. + GST
    Included in 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

  • AST-2 for Skiers/Boarders
    March 9-10 and March 16-17, Field sessions
    Classroom location and date: TBD
    Field Locations: E Branch (2 days), Freda, Gnarnia (1 day each).

    All AST-2 PLUS courses are held based on current weather and snow conditions. Itineraries and locations for each field day may vary due to changing snow conditions, weather, or avalanche danger levels.

  • The Canada West AST-2 Avalanche Skills course is for skiers and boarders who seek 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 Powell River AST-2 course is taught by Jen McGuinness. A local Powell River resident, Jen is a Professional Member of the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) and has been teaching AST courses for Canada West Mountain school for over 10 seasons. 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.

  • 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?