Trip Dates

Jan 4-7, 2018
More dates AST 2 page

Price

$445 per person + 5% GST *hut/lodge/Revelstoke or Golden town based custom course $635 plus additional group hut/accommodation helicopter or lift costs

Group Size

Maximum of 6 to 8 participants per instructor (hut trip may have smaller numbers, terrain dependent)

Skill Level

Beginner to Intermediate Backcountry Skills / Intermediate to Advanced Ski Skills

Related Trips

Intro to Backcountry Ski Touring
AST 1
Nelson Classics
Companion Rescue Skills

Avalanche Skills Level 2

Are you looking for the highest recreational avalanche training?  Are you interested in boosting your skills before seeking further Industry Training Programs? The AST level 2 will deepen your knowledge, broaden your experience and skills for better decision making in avalanche terrain.

This 3 & 1/2 day program is the next logical step after completing the AST 1. Similar topics will be covered with more depth and emphasis on adapting personal exposure based on changing conditions & field observations.

This course provide the highest level of recreational avalanche training. It is also a stepping stone for further CAA industry training programs. For more info and photos, here is a link to an AST 2 course review done by Backcountry Skiing Canada during the 2014 winter.

For students who have not taken avalanche training in awhile, consider doing the recently developed Companion Rescue course. This program is a one day field program which gives you opportunity to review and renew your skills, get information about new avalanche equipment as well as discover updated probing, shoveling and group rescue techniques. 

Itinerary

  • Day 1: We will meet for a 4 hour classroom session during the evening. We will discuss and watch videos on topics like: avalanche hazard recognition,  terminology & mechanics, mountain weather, snow pack structure & basic terrain evaluation. We will also sign a waiver and do a gear check.
  • Day 2, 3 & 4: Back country ski days with a 2 hour classroom session on each the 2nd and 3rd evening. We will generally meet at 8:00am and drive to a ski touring destinations to be established in the West Kootenay backcountry. We will spend 8hrs outside each day. We will focus on learning and practicing skills, including: avalanche hazard recognition, terminology & mechanics, mountain weather, snow pack structure, basic terrain evaluation, terrain evaluation, mountain hazard assessment, safe route finding techniques, snow pack analysis, snow testing techniques, transceiver searches and rescue fundamentals.
  • Students will receive a CAA certificate and personal feedback before course end

Prerequisites

Successful completion of Avalanche Skills Level 1 (please have dated certificate*). 

Ensure you have most recent (2010) version of Avaluator™ Trip Planner.

Pre-read Staying Alive by Bruce Tremper

Intermediate skiing or ‘boarding ability (touring equipment or Split board required).

Guests are responsible to self evaluate their skills as groups need to be matched together based on prior experience and ability.  Please contact us to discuss your background and what kind of course would suit you best.

Equipment

Weather

Kootenay weather can vary drastically.  In winter you expect temperatures to be from -15C to –5C in the day while in spring daily temperatures could rise well above zero.  Visibility may be poor or whiteout conditions when snowing heavily or clear on bluebird days.  Ensure you are dressed for all variations as temperatures, wind, precipitation can change within the day. 

Location

Contact your guide by phone or email the week before for meeting location.  Field days will occur in the Selkirks Mtns, local backcountry near Nelson.

Services Included

  • Pre-trip planning support
  • Fully certified ACMG/IFMGA ski guide service
  • AST 2 class note handouts & certificate upon course completion
  • Group safety equipment (communication device, rescue kit, first aid supplies, GPS, maps)

Not included in price:

  • Lunch, snacks
  • GST 5% tax
  • Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper. ensure you purchase/borrow and read resource advance
  • optional field book: Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain
  • 2010 Avaluator™ Trip Planner (received in AST 1) contact CAC for replacement card
  • Personal ski touring boots, skis, skins or splitboard
  • personal avalanche safety equipment *SMG rentals available $25/day for complete set or beacon ($15), shovel ($5) & probe ($5)
  • Transportation to touring location
  • lift fee if applicable, one way Whitewater fee is $21, Red Mtn $25
  • hut based program: does not include 2 nights hotel, wilderness pass, food & meals
  • Trip cancellation, adventure travel insurance, medical insurance

FAQ

Where can I rent Ski touring and safety equipment?

Here are a few outdoor stores in Nelson that supply good service and quality outdoor equipment and gear rental, please ensure you rent gear well in advance.

Rivers Oceans and Mountains 354-2056 www.roamshop.com
Valhalla Pure Outfitters 354-1006 www.shop.vpo.ca
Gericks   354-4622 www.gericks.com

Digital vs Analog Transceiver?

What kind of transceiver can I use?  If you are interested in touring in the back country with friends or take one of our courses, it is very important to get a modern “triple antenna digital beacon”.  The analog beacons are functional however, they are limiting and a thing of the past. We ask participants to ensure that they have a digital transceiver for the course.

For recreational skiers and boarders, we suggest the following beacons: Mammut-Baryvox “Element”, Ortovox “Zoom”, Peeps “DSP tour” or hte Tracker “2”. For people that moving towards working in the ski industry a more professional “more advanced” beacons is recommended, such as Mammut-Baryvox “Pulse”, Ortovox “3+“ or Peeps “regular DSP”. 

Skis, Telemark or Split Boards?

Which should you use? If you are a downhill skier then you should use Alpine Touring gear. Only if you are already an advanced Telemark skier or Snowboarder should you bring Telemark or Split Board gear. All types of gear can be rented in Nelson prior to your day trip.  There are three types of backcountry systems you can use:

Alpine Touring skis are essentially downhill skis with a special touring binding which allows the heel to lift whilst going uphill or across the flats and then ‘locks down’ to become a regular downhill safety binding. We recommend this system to anyone with a background of downhill skiing who is not already an advanced telemark skier. 

Telemark skis. These should only be used for this program if you are at least an advanced-intermediate telemark skier with some backcountry experience. This system is more difficult and less forgiving than the others.

Snowboarding with a Split Board is the most effective way to snowboard in the back country. We recommend this system to advanced snowboarder over snowshoeing.