AVALANCHE SKILLS TRAINING 1 (AST 1) - SQUAMISH

Industry leading Avalanche Skills Training course that introduces the fundamentals critical to safe backcountry travel.

BOOK NOW Price: $299.00 /per person Book Now

BOOK NOW Price: $299.00 /per person

Book Now

AVALANCHE SKILLS TRAINING 1 (AST 1) - SQUAMISH

Your backcountry education starts with our professional guides and two days of fundamental travel, rescue, and risk management skills. MSAA works closely with Avalanche Canada to develop, refine, and deliver the best and most current avalanche training available.

Book online or contact our office to ask any questions: 1-604-938-9242 or info@mountainskillsacademy.com

COURSE INFORMATION

Learn from MSAA’s experienced guiding team, but closer to home. Avalanche Skills Training in Squamish is an opportunity to explore true Sea to Sky backcountry terrain, but without the added commute to Whistler or resort lift ticket. During the classroom session, our instructors cover the details of weather, snowpack formation, terrain, navigation, trip planning, and safe decision making.

Day two is held in the mountains behind Squamish. Guests can apply the theories from the classroom, how to assess terrain in the field, get their hands into the snowpack, learn to coordinate a fast effective companion rescue, and get the best tips and tricks for efficient mountain travel from our knowledgeable guides.

Course includes:

  • 1.5 - 2hr pre-course using an online interactive learning platform
  • Backcountry avalanche awareness book
  • Avaluator booklet and avaluator slope assessment field card
  • Canadian avalanche association mandatory student fee
  • Companion rescue field card
  • Use of snow study kit with thermometer, crystal screen and loupe
  • Avalanche skills training level 1 certificate (upon successful completion)

Snowboarders: For this course we require that all snowboarders use a splitboard. We do not allow people to use snowshoes for this course.

**All Courses subject to a minimum number of participants. 48 hour notice will be given if the minimum number has not been reached.

Day 1: Classroom portion - 9:00am - 5:00pm

Everyone will sign waivers and the guide will review the AST Pre-Test before starting on the course theory. The day will include a short morning and afternoon break as well as a lunch break. The day will end with a debrief along with homework, some handouts and a resources list.

Day 2: Field Day - 8:30am - 4:30pm

The guide will lead a short briefing (discussing current conditions and weather) and have everyone perform a gear check. From there you will head up the mountain to apply the skills you learned on Day 1. The day will end at approximately 4:30pm with a quick debrief and discussion of what steps you can take after your AST1.

Escape Route Logo

A shuttle service from Garibaldi Highlands Elementary to Elfin Lakes is provided by Approach Angle shuttle for an additional $60 return per person.

We recommend everyone without the appropriate vehicle and snowchains to book the shuttle service. This can be applied at the checkout.

The day will end at approximately 4:30pm with a quick debrief and discussion of what steps you can take after your AST1.

MSAA Loyalty Program: Following the AST-1 Course all students will be added to the MSAA loyalty program. All students will receive a 10% discount on any future course with MSAA. Following the AST-1 Course we reccomend all students take the AST-2 course within the next 1-2 seasons. For more information contact our office.

Rentals/Purchase:

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

Day 1: (Classroom Day)

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

  • Day 2: (Field Day): Dress appropriately for the conditions.

    Clothing:

    • 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

    Equipment:

    • Backpack-25-35 Litres
    • Alpine touring skis/splitboard, skins, bindings, and boots
    • Avalanche Safety Kit (transceiver, shovel, probe)
    • Helmet
    • Poles
    • First Aid Kit with blister kit
    • Rite in the Rain notebook and pencil (optional)
    • Map, compass, GPS (optional)
    • Lunch, snacks, and water
    Day 1 (Classroom):
    • Snowpack: Crystals & Layers
    • Terrain
    • Environmental Factors in Avalanche Formation Terrain
    • Avalanche Hazard Mitigation
    • Avalanche Danger Resources
    • Human Factors
    • Equipment and Companion Rescue Technique Familiarization
    • Pre-Trip Planning & Avalanche Bulletin/Avaluator
    • Decision Making Competence
    Day 2 (Outdoor):
    • Trailhead Procedures
    • Companion Rescue
    • Avalanche Terrain Travel
    • Snowpack and/or Avalanche Observations
    • Snowpack Tests
    • Avalanche Terrain Descent

    Click HERE for the full curriculum

    The important details:

    Season: Dec – Apr

    Duration: 2 Days (8:30am – 4:30pm)

    Location: Squamish

    Max Ratio: 8 Clients to 1 Guide

    Prerequisites: Average Fitness & Intermediate Skier

    Price: $299/per person | $1499/private (up to 6ppl + 2 additional cost)

    BOOK COURSE:

    We run classroom-based & online courses all season long!

    Book Now

    Request Alternative Dates:

    Have a date in mind that is not available to book? Request an alternative date and if we have more than 3 participants interested we will open the date. 

    NEXT STEPS

    Foundation Backcountry Clinic

    A “fast-track” clinic specifically designed to take one’s introductory skills to the next level!

    Avalanche Skills Training 2

    Our Avalanche Skills Training Level 2 course teaches managing and mitigating avalanche and mountain hazards.