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Avalanche Skills Training 2 (AST 2) - Hut Based

Join us in one of BC's most premier huts to take your backcountry skills to the next level!

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BOOK NOW Price: $899.00 /per person Book Now

BOOK NOW Price: $899.00 /per person

Book Now

Avalanche Skills Training 2 (AST 2) - Whistler

Join us in one of BC's most premier huts to take your backcountry skills to the next level!

Learn avalanche skills training and the fundamental skills of winter backcountry travel with the industry-leading expert’s Mountain Skills Academy.

We are a proud ‘Contributor’ to Avalanche Canada and an approved Avalanche Skills Training course provider.

Well regarded as Whistler’s leading avalanche skills educator, MSAA provides an exceptional Avalanche Skills Training Level 2 (AST 2) Course.

Our Avalanche Skills Training Level 2 course teaches managing and mitigating avalanche and mountain hazards. Learn how to formulate a logical, concise and dependable safety plan for backcountry skiing or splitboarding. With the AST2 we have two options you can either take the course in one four day block or 2 consecutive weekends in Whistler.

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

Course information...

COURSE INFORMATION

Course design and refinement by IMFGA / ACMG Mountain Guides / CAA Operations Level II Professionals of extensive experience. MSAA, the area's longest established provider (since 1991), proudly maintains 5 Star – Trip Advisor, Hall of Fame status for avalanche courses, is a Founding Member and Sponsor of Avalanche Canada. This in-depth course meets and surpasses the Canadian Avalanche Centre requirements with additional MSAA curriculum.

The AST 2 course consists of one classroom day and 3 days of extensive outdoor field sessions on the mountain focusing on terrain analysis, snowpack assessment and rescue skills.We provide you with the know-how to easily formulate a logical, concise and dependable safety plan for backcountry skiing or riding. You will learn to bring together critical information and resources into one unique integrated plan.

We have designed this as a step by step, regimented approach which is time efficient and highly effective. This greatly facilitates the task and ensures a plan is made and implemented prior to skiing or riding. This plan will form the basis of decision making as to where and how the next day’s skiing will safely take place.

The Avalanche Skills Training Level 2 course is designed for students who have already taken the AST 1 Course or for experienced backcountry skiers & riders looking to broaden their avalanche skills. Our in-depth course meets and surpasses the Canadian Avalanche Centre requirements with additional MSAA curriculum.

Lift Ticket: A lift ticket is required for day 2 of this course. If you already have a Season Pass, Edge Card or Epic Pass you do not require a ticket. Otherwise you can purchase a backcountry ticket for $59.00+tax at checkout.

Course includes:

  • Avalanche Skills Training Level 2 Certificate (upon successful completion)
  • Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain Fieldbook
  • Canadian Avalanche Association Mandatory Student Fee
  • Use of Snow Study Kit with Thermometer, Crystal Screen and Loupe
  • Recommended Reading: Students are encouraged to purchase ‘Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain’ to aid their learning

**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 what you covered in your AST1 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.

COVID-19: Our classroom location allows all students to maintain the required 2m physical distancing guidelines. The establishtment performs it's own cleaning before and after every meeting room use, and our instructors will also wipe down all tables during every break. We also require all students to wear a mask when inside the classroom as an extra precaution.

Day 2-4: Field Days - 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 in the classroom. The days will end at approximately 4:30pm with homework. The end of the course will have a course debrief and discussion of what steps you can take after your AST2.

Location: Depending on group ability and conditons the field days can be hosted in other destinations such as the Duffey or Squamish. This will be a group decision made on either day 1 or 2. If you have purchased lift passes for this course and the field day location changes MSAA will issue a 100% refund.

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
  • 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:

    • Lift Pass (If you do not have a season pass or Epic Pass or Edge Card, you can purchase a backcountry ticket from MSAA for $59)
    • 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 Day):
    • AST1 Review
    • Group Leadership
    • Avalanche Types
    • Terrain Management Techniques
    • The Avalanche Forecast
    • Trip Planning
    • Avalanche Danger Exceptions
    • Companion Rescue Theory
    Day 2 (Field Day):
    • Trailhead Procedures
    • Obtaining Field Observations
    • Advanced Companion Rescue
    • The Bulletin & Avalanche Problems
    • Perform Snowpack Test
    • Situational Awareness & Leadership
    • Recognizing Terrain Transitions
    • Recognizing Avalanche Hazard Areas
    • Safe Travel Techniques & Group Management
    • Snow Stability Test
    • Snowpack & Weather Recording
    • Homework
    • Local Avalanche Bulletin
    • Weather Forecast
    • Mountain Conditions Report
    • Field Findings
    Day 3 (Field Day):
    • Leadership in Avalanche Terrain
    • Independent Safety Decision Making
    • Safe Track Setting
    • Situational Awareness & Leadership
    • Safe Travel Techniques & Group Management
    • Advanced Companion Rescue
    • Homework
    • Local Avalanche Bulletin
    • Weather Forecast
    • Mountain Conditions Report
    • Field Findings
    Day 4 (Field Day):
    • Recap of lessons from previous two days
    • Dealing with Terrain Crux
    • Course Debrief
    • Final Safety Discussion
    • Next Steps: Mountain Navigation, Crevasse Rescue, Ski Mountaineering

    Click HERE for the full curriculum

    The important details:

    Season: Nov – Apr

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

    Location: Whistler & Sea to Sky

    Max Ratio: 6 Clients to 1 Guide

    Prerequisites: Good Fitness, Backcountry Experience & AST 1 

    Price: $899/per person | $3299/private (up to 6ppl)

    Kees and Claire Hut:

    Day 1 held in classroom in Whistler. Days 2 – 4 based out of the Kees & Claire Hut (overnight).

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    Private COURSE:

    Book a Private Course and have a guide to yourself:

    Book Now

    NEXT STEPS

    Advanced Backcountry Clinic

    A “fast-track” clinic specifically designed to take intermediate skills to the next level.

    Crevasse Rescue & Glacier Travel

    For backcountry skiers & splitboarders to learn efficient, effective, light and fast crevasse rescue systems.