Managing Avalanche Terrain
Managing Avalanche Terrain
Expand your avalanche terrain management skills...
The MAT is a one-day, field-based course, designed to expand on the terrain management skills taught in the AST 1 course. It can be added on to an existing AST 1 (creating an AST 1+) or can be a stand-alone course for people who have already taken AST 1. For more details, browse below topics or contact us.
The MAT is a full day based out in the field at a local ski touring venue. We will meet at pre-determine location at 8am and wrap up the day by 4:30pm.
Intermediate backcountry skiing or boarding ability (touring equipment, snow board & snowshoes or split board required). Pre-read Backcountry Avalanche Awareness by Bruce Jamieson
Previous avalanche AST 1 or equivalent required. Students must be intermediate to advanced resort riders. Students 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.
This course is based in Nelson BC. Field days will occur in the Selkirks Mtns, the local backcountry near Nelson. Details will be given to participants before course start. For a list of possible venues click Nelson Classics. Feel free to contact us for more information.
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.
- Pre-trip planning support
- Certified ACMG, IFMGA and/or CAA instructor
- MAT class notes
- Group safety equipment (communication device, rescue kit, first aid supplies, GPS, maps)
Not included in price:
- Lunch, snacks
- GST 5% tax
- Avaluator™ Trip Planner
- Avalanche Skills Training Handbook
- optional field book: Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain
- Personal ski touring boots, skis, skins or splitboard
- personal avalanche safety equipment *SMG rentals available $40/day for complete set or beacon ($25), shovel ($10) & probe ($10)
- Transportation to touring location
- Trip cancellation, adventure travel insurance, medical insurance
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.
What transceiver should I use?
If you are interested in touring in the backcountry with friends or take one of our courses, it is very important to get a modern “triple antenna digital transceiver” with a marking function. 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 “Recon” or the Tracker “3” or “S”. For people that moving towards working in the ski industry a more professional “more advanced” beacons is recommended, such as Mammut-Baryvox “Pulse or S”, Ortovox “3+“ or Peeps “guide”, etc.
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.