(Private) AST-2 Snowshoe
This is a Private AST-2 for Snowshoers course conducted over 4 days. The foundation of avalanche safety is terrain, and our unique format gets you exploring the terrain in multiple alpine locations including the North Shore Mountains, Duffey Lake region, Sea to Sky locations, and the Coquihalla area. Taught by Professional Members of the Canadian Avalanche Association and industry experts, our AST-2 for Snowshoers is designed for people seeking adventures that require travel in Challenging or Complex Terrain.
AST-2 Private rate: $525. + GST per person, (based on group size of 6)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
- 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
Avalanche Safety Equipment rentals
$50. (optional, Avi gear can be supplied by student)
CWMS Rentals Include: Transceiver, G3 Shovel and G3 Probe for all days of the course
Dates for the Snowshoe AST-2 Private course in 2023 are conducted over 4 days:
- Feb 19
- Feb 25
- Feb 26
- Mar 4
This Custom Canada West AST-2 Avalanche Skills course is for backcountry snowshoe travelers 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 developing and implementing a system for assessing and evaluating potential avalanche slopes in the backcountry in regard 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 user would be able to apply as the basis for making their decisions regarding travel in avalanche terrain.
The instruction is split between Virtual classroom Theory sessions, in-person class sessions, and practical Field sessions, which are held at a variety of locations to experience different snowpacks and conditions.
Before the course, you will receive instructions for the specific meeting points for the field days of your course, as these locations will be decided based on current conditions.
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.
All Instructors on our AST-2 Avalanche courses are Professional Members of the CAA (Canadian Avalanche Association) and hold 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.
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 the time of registration as they are often booked out by the time the course runs.
Proper backcountry snowshoes and poles are required for all field sessions.