BOOK NOW Price: $499.00 /per person Book Now

BOOK NOW Price: $499.00 /per person

Book Now


Association of Canadian Mountain Guides Logo

Join one of our Professionally Certified ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) guides and let them share their passion for this sport. 

Visit our Guides Page to find out more about your guide.

Book online or contact our office to ask any questions: 1-604-938-9242 or


The Build the Base program aims to teach and build basic backcountry skills, and is also a great first step to becoming a fully certified ACMG guide. It produces competent and self-sufficient recreational backcountry skiers and splitboarders. The Build the Base program is suitable for all experience levels to learn the basics of backcountry skiing or split boarding.

The Build the Base program is comprised of:

  • Course: Learn personal skills. These will be modeled after MSAA’s Super Courses, which link our most popular courses together to form a comprehensive curriculum.
  • Structured Practice: We highly encourage students to make the most of the 15% discount given to Academy Members, as well as last minute trip fillers. More information below.
  • Clinic: Different to a course, a clinic focusses on building and refining skills so that they are applied in an efficient and effective manner. This leads to a strong structured foundation for a safe, rewarding trip and rapid future progression.
  • Trips: Join one of MSAA's professional guides in the backcountry. To fully develop students’ range of experience, we recommend each Academy student to join a backcountry tour or trip. Academy students will be given lead roles in the group throughout the trip. The guide will then evaluate your skills and feedback this to you at the end of the tour/trip.
If students would like to schedule extra tours/courses or trips not included in this program they will be given a membership card which will unlock deals throughout the season which include:

  • Exclusive Discounts: All Academy Members will receive a 15% discount on any MSAA Course/Tour.**not including First Aid Courses or Luxury Tours
  • Tour/Course Filler: All Academy Members wil be added to a list will allows them to access last minute trip filler discounts up to 50% OFF!
  • **discount is only valid for the winter season (November - April)

This program runs over 4 full days and can be taken over the course of 3 weeks - 3 months. You design the perfect calendar to work around your plans! This is a great first step into the world of backcountry skiing or splitboarding.

At the start of every day the guide will have everyone sign a waiver before discussing the current weather and the day's objectives and perform a gear check. Each day will end at approximately 4:30pm with a debrief of the day and discussion of the next day's objectives.

Day 1: Intro to Backcountry

Day 2: AST1 Classroom Day

Day 3: AST1 Field Day

Day 4: Foundation Backcountry Clinic


If you require rentals we have teamed up with local rental companies to provide discounted rentals. Visit our rental page HERE for more information!

Classroom Day

  • Pen (due to COVID-19, we will not be providing pens)
  • Paper/notebook
  • Lunch, snacks & water
  • Face mask
  • Laptop (optional)

  • Clothing (Dress appropriately for the conditions):

    • Weatherproof shell jacket and pants
    • Down or synthetic insulated jacket
    • Mid layer fleece top
    • Insulating top and bottom under layers and socks
    • Warm hat/toque and balaclava
    • 2 pairs of gloves
    • Sunglasses and sunscreen
    • Touring skis or splitboard and skins
    • Poles (telescopic poles required for splitboarders)
    • Ski / snowboard boots
    • 32L pack
    • Water bottle(s) (Minimum 1L capacity)
    • Multi-tool
    • Sunglasses, sunscreen
    • Goggles & Helmet
    • Blister kit/First Aid
    • Avalanche safety kit (Probe Shovel, Tranceiver)
    Addtional Equipment for overnight trip:
    • Light Sleeping Bag
    • Sleeping Pad
    • 45L pack
    • Headlamp with fresh batteries
    • Personal Care Kit (toilet paper, toothbrush/toothpaste, personal medical drugs)

    Below is the full curriculum for this program. If students would like to add additional products to their curriculum this can be indicated to the MSAA team after booking.

    If for some reason you have already taken one of the courses/clinics below, you can swap it out for another product of the same value.

    Program Schedule:
    • Intro to Backcountry Ski & Splitboarding
    • Avalanche Skills Training 1
    • Foundation Backcountry Clinic
    • Trip: To fully develop the skills you have learnt throughout this program, we recommend each student joins an additional tour/trip. During this tour, the guide will give you a leadership role within the group, and this will then be evaluated at the end of the day. *This is not included within the price of the program, however, Academy members will be given an exclusive discounted rate.

    The important details:

    Season: Dec – Apr

    Duration: 4 Days

    Location: Whistler

    Max Ratio: Course depending

    Prerequisites: Strong Ski/Board Level

    Price: $499/per person

    BOOK Program:

    How to Book: Please read through each course under the Curriculum tab and let us know your preferred dates when booking. If you do not know the best schedule for you an MSAA member will be in contact once you have booked to lend a hand.

    Book Now



    Our Passion to Leadership program is focussed on expanding your skill base, enabling further backcountry exploration and creating self-sufficient outdoor leaders.


    When combined with the Passion to Leadership program, or if you already have a large amount of backcountry experience, this program produces students that are ready to take the next step to becoming an ACMG guide.