AST Refresher 2021

Our unique 1-day Avalanche Safety Refresher is designed to keep you current with all aspects of staying safe while travelling in Avalanche prone regions. Each Avalanche awareness refresher session covers a variety of topics – terrain evaluation, mountain weather, snowpack observations, and the latest search techniques. Great for everyone who has taken an AST-1 course in the past.

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Avalanche Canada Authorised Provider

Canada West Mountain School is an Authorized AST Provider

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2021 dates below
1-day field sessions available on Mount Seymour. Private Custom courses also available, please contact Canada West directly.
1:10 (Minimum 3)
Pre Requisites:
Intermediate skiing or snowboarding experience; or, experience snowshoeing. Touring skis, split-board, or snowshoes are required. Previous avalanche training required (AST-1 or similar).
Avi Kit (1-day)
  • Avalanche Refresher Course: $155. + GST
    Included in Canada West Mountain School Avalanche Refresher course:
    • 1 day of Avalanche instruction by our Avalanche Instructors
    • Use of snow science kit supplied by CWMS
    • Access to our Avi Gear rentals delivered to you on the course if needed

    Did you take your AST-1 with Canada West Mountain School during the 2020/21 season? If so, this Refresher is a FREE bonus day for you! Just book and pay as usual, and submit proof of payment for your AST-1 course from the 2020/21 season and you will receive a 100% refund after completing your AST Refresher.

    Avalanche Safety Equipment:
    Transceiver, Shovel, and Probe are required for each person. Rentals are available through Canada West for $20. Rentals must be booked at the time of Registration, add "Avi Kit" when registering. The Canada West Avi Kit rentals will be supplied directly to you at your course - there are no hassles with going to another shop to pick them up or drop them off before the course!

    Please click here for our Refund Policy

  • The Canada West Mountain School AST Refreshers are held in the backcountry of Mount Seymour. Dates are listed below.

    • Saturday, Feb 27, 2021
    • Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
    • Friday, Mar 5, 2021
    • Saturday, Mar 6, 2021
    • Thursday, Mar 11, 2021
    • Friday, Mar 12, 2021
    • Saturday, Mar 13, 2021
    • Sunday, Mar 14, 2021
    • Thursday, Mar 18, 2021
    • Friday, Mar 19, 2021
    • Saturday, Mar 20, 2021
    • Sunday, Mar 21, 2021
  • These are excellent refresher sessions for keeping up with new techniques, research and safety tips. Our one-day Avalanche Safety Refreshers emphasize development of specific skills to enhance your backcountry avalanche awareness and safety. Each Avalanche awareness refresher session covers a variety of topics - terrain evaluation, mountain weather, snowpack observations and the latest search techniques.

    If you have not taken any avalanche safety training before please review our AST-1 courses at our Avalanche Skills Training Course page.

  • The Avalanche Refresher is held in the backcountry of Mount Seymour Provincial Park.

    Refresher Courses held on Weekend dates will meet at the Parkgate Community Centre. Due to severe parking restrictions and increased demand in Mount Seymour Provincial Park, access to Mt Seymour on Weekends is via the Mount Seymour Shuttle as we cannot guarantee that parking on the upper mountain will be available. The AST refresher group will ride up on the earliest morning Shuttle departing at 7:05 am. The shuttle departs from Parkgate Community Centre and costs $10 for a return trip (alternately, the same shuttle can be boarded at the Rupert Skytrain Station in East Vancouver at 6:40 am for $15). Shuttle fees are not included

    All Midweek refresher courses will meet at the Upper P5 Parking lot on Mt Seymour, as the parking restrictions are (currently) not in affect on midweek dates.

    Meeting times will be determined 1-2 days in advance of the specific course date and will be sent out by email.

    Here is the link to book the Mt Seymour Shuttle Bus

    Google Map link - Parkgate Park Meeting also embedded below. Parking is available in Parkgate Park (see Google Map link), this is about a 5-10 minute walk to the Shuttle Bus pickup location. Free street parking is also available in all areas around the Community Centre. IMPORTANT NOTE: no public parking is allowed in the Community Centre parking lots or the Parkgate Shopping Mall Parking lots.

  • 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.

  • Plan on starting your course at 0700 at the pre-arranged meeting location and finishing around 4 pm, though specific course timing may vary and will be finalized 1-2 days in advance of your course dates by email.

    The day will be structured to cover a combination of practical skill upgrades such as Rescue techniques, snow test procedures, track setting skills, terrain assessment, hazard evaluation, and group management tactics.

    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!

  • 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, or "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 the time of registration as they are often booked out by the time the course runs. Canada West Mountain School Avalanche Gear rentals are supplied at your course, no hassles with going to another shop to pick them up or drop them off!

    Proper backcountry touring skis and climbing skins are required for the field sessions; or, a split-board and climbing skins; or, snowshoes and appropriate winter boots.

    Everyone needs to be prepared to spend a full day out in winter alpine conditions. The course will proceed in almost all weather conditions; it is up to each participant to ensure they are properly equipped for the conditions. If in doubt about your gear, please contact us directly to discuss your concerns.

  • Questions about Avalanche Skills Refresher course

    Do I need to bring special gear?

    What happens if the weather is not good?

    Where are the Refresher courses conducted?

    How long are the days?