Passion to Leadership
Already have basic avalanche knowledge, but want to know more?
Looking to level up your backcountry skills? Already have basic avalanche knowledge, but want to know more? Our Passion to Leadership program is focussed on expanding your skill base, enabling further backcountry exploration and creating self-sufficient outdoor leaders.
This fast paced program runs over 6 full days. Pair it with the Leadership program to become a fully independent outdoor expert and leader, ready to take the next step to becoming an ACMG guide.
The Passion to Leadership program is focused on enhancing your skiing abilities, learning advanced technical skills and building a strong leadership foundation. This program is suitable for those who already have basic avalanche knowledge and backcountry experience, and are looking to increase their understanding, travel more complex terrain, and become self-sufficient leaders.
The Passion to Leadership program is comprised of:
- Advanced Courses and Workshops: Learn advanced skills for students serious about their craft.
- 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 at least one backcountry tour or trip.
- Structured Practice: These sessions aim to continue developing students’ skills and performance to the highest level. This will be something the guide will recommend students completing in their personal time.
- Performance Clinics: Refine personal skills. Guides will give personalized tips and constructive feedback to enhance students’ technique and performance.
- Expedition: To fully develop the skills you have learnt throughout this program we recommend each student joins an additional expedition. During this the guide will give you a leadership role within the group and this will then be evaluated at the end of the tour. *This is not included within the price of the program but Academy members will be given an exculsive discounted rate.
Recommendations: We highly recommend taking an AST 2 course prior to this program,and at least 1 year of backcountry experience. If you join this program, we offer a special 20% discount for Academy members on our AST 2 course. This can be purchased at checkout!
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. **cannot be applied to First Aid Courses or Luxury Tours.
- Tour/Course Filler: All Academy Members will be added to a list which allows them to access last minute trip filler discounts up to 50% OFF! **discount is only valid for the winter season (November - April)
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: Mountain Navigation Classroom Day. Meet guide at 9am at the classroom location.
Day 2: Mountain Navigation Field Day Meet the guide at 9am at the outdoor location.
Day 3: Crevasse Rescue Skills Meet the guide at 8:15am at the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre.
Day 4: Glacier Travel skills Meet the guide at 8:15am at the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre.
Day 5: Advanced Backcountry Clinic Meet the guide at 8:15am at the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre.
We recommend that all student purchase the required equipment below before starting this program. We have teamed up with the experts at the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre. Follow the link HERE to purchase or rent gear for this program!
- Laptop or tablet
- Rite in the Rain notebook (style #311)
- Pencil (mechnical preferred)
- Baseplate compass with sighting mirror and graduation markings (suggested models:Silva Ranger CL, Suunto MCA-D Cm IN, Brunston O.S.S.)
- GPS (optional)
- Clothing and footwear appropriate for the weather
- Food and drink for the day
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)
- Sunglasses, sunscreen
- Goggles & Helmet
- Blister kit/First Aid
- Avalanche safety kit (Probe Shovel, Tranceiver)
- Mountaineering/Ice Axe
- Crevasse rescue kit:
- Locking Carabiners x 4
- Non-locking Carabiners x 4
- Sewn Sling 1 x 120cm
- Cordalette’s: 2 x 5m (7mm) for ropes 9mm and up (5mm for ropes 8mm and less, i.e. Petzl Rad Line) if using skinny ropes or Rad line, add 2 locking carabiners, stamped as opposed to round aluminum stock best.
- Cordalette 1 x 1.5m (7mm)
- Ratchet: 1 x Auto-Block Device or Ratcheting pulley (Petzl Reverso, BD ATC Guide, Petzl Micro-traxion (best)). If using micro-traxion, add 1 munter/pearshaped locking carabiner, stamped as opposed to round aluminum stock best.
- 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 products below we can swap it out for another product of the same value.
- Mountain Navigation
- Winter Crevasse Rescue & Glacier Travel
- Advanced Backcountry Clinic
- Expedition: To fully develop the skills you have learnt throughout this program we recommend each student joins an addtional trip. During this trip the guide will give you a leadership role within the group and this will then be evaluated at the end of the trip. *This is not included within the price of the program but Academy members will be given an exculsive discounted rate.
The important details:
Season: Dec – Apr
Duration: 6 Days
Max Ratio: Course depending
Prerequisites: AST1 within the past 2 years
Price: $700/per person
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.
Challenge yourself with a Spearhead Traverse ski tour in the backcountry of Whistler! Travel and camp across 13 glaciers all above 2,000 metres.
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.