Advanced Backcountry Clinic
A “fast-track” clinic specifically designed to take one’s introductory skills to the next level!
The one-day clinic allows participants adequate time to develop autonomous leadership through learning and implementing critical strategies and techniques in order to foster and engrain a structured process suitable to leading a group while managing complex terrain and a complicated snowpack.
What is a clinic?
A clinic is not a course, it is building and refining skills so that they are applied in an efficient and effective manner, which then leads to a strong structured foundation for a safe, rewarding trip and rapid future progression.
A “fast-track” clinic specifically designed to take intermediate skills to the next level.
This one-day clinic allows participants adequate time to develop autonomous leadership through learning and implementing critical strategies and techniques in order to foster and engrain a structured process suitable to leading a group while managing complex terrain and a complicated snowpack.
The goal is skiing the best slopes, the best snow, and to target quality runs. All this in a safe and efficient manner through an established advanced process. A major focus is achieving this with a hazard rating that is Moderate/Considerable. In other words when the snowpack is most variable.
The course is entirely participant led under the coaching and mentorship of an advanced expert certified guide.
Venue: Ideal terrain sought out for this clinic is big alpine slopes, glaciated terrain and steep open trees. MSAA is fortunate to have access to a plethora of world class ski terrain.
- AST 1
- Minimum advanced backcountry ski/splitboard skills
- AST 2 is highly recommended and/or a good base of experience (2+ seasons) touring
Lift Ticket: If you do NOT currently possess a valid Whistler Blackcomb lift ticket (Seasons Pass, Spirit Pass, Edge Card, Epic Pass, etc.), you may buy a Lift Ticket through our office at checkout.**All Courses subject to a minimum number of participants. 48 hour notice will be given if the minimum number has not been reached.
This Clinic will be held in Whislter exploring the diverse terrain beyond the resort. Meet at Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre for 8:30am sharp!
Homework & Pre-Trip Planning:
Participants are provided the next day’s locations and asked to construct a pre-trip plan utilizing the MSAA Trip Planner, Avalanche Forecast, Weather and other recommended resources with a maximum exercise target time of 60 minutes to finalize the plan. Students are asked to summarize current relevant historical snowpack, identifying layers of concern and avalanche problems. As well as their inherent characteristics, location, trigger, mitigation, investigation plan, etc.
Morning Meeting & Day Plan:
Participants meet, discuss snowpack, the day’s avalanche hazard, conditions and weather. Discuss the trip plan and days objectives. Meeting target time of 60 minutes. The day is organized as a mission, with the participants fulfilling the clinics objectives.
If you require rentals we have teamed up with local rental companies to provide discounted rentals. Visit our rental page HERE for more information!
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
- Backpack-25-35 Litres
- Lift Pass
- Alpine touring skis/splitboard, skins, bindings, and boots
- Avalanche Safety Kit (transceiver, shovel, probe)
- Ski Crampons
- Mountaineering Axe
- First aid kit with blister kit
- Rite in the Rain notebook and pencil
- Map, compass, GPS (optional)
- Lunch, snacks, and water
Clinic Topics Covered:
- Advanced Pre-trip planning including historical snowpack, layer of concern, triggers, weather, conditions and the target of the best snow, slopes and quality outing possible given the conditions preferably in complex terrain.
- Flow: The clinic strives to maintain smooth flow throughout the day, continuously moving forward with a “learn as we go” approach
- Uphill: The goal is safe, effective and efficient track setting towards chosen objective while gathering snowpack and conditions information.
- Creative & Effective Terrain Selection: The art of using the terrain to ones advantage to yield either the highest quantity of quality skiing, to ski a specific high quality objective or slope entrance and/or a mixture of the two.
- Downhill: Investigating/confirming isolated hazards and mitigation, ski cutting, indicator runs, leadership decision making in final terrain selection, strategic technical downhill hazard mitigation, regrouping, terrain type use/avoidance (supported/unsupported/convex/shallow,anchored, etc. )
- Human Factors, Pace, Implementing and Changing Trip Plan
- Special clinic objective: Contending with Complex Terrain & *Considerable Hazard Rating.
- Advanced Track Setting Skills: Efficient up-track, ideal terrain use, best spots to initiate turn, corners/kickturns, etc.
- Snowpack investigation: Hasty tests (hand sheers/ski cut/pole density, etc.), Advanced tests (Extended Column/Saw Propagation, etc.).
Click HERE for the full curriculum
The important details:
Season: Nov – Apr
Duration: 1 Day (8:30am – 4:30pm)
Max Ratio: 6 Clients to 1 Guide
Prerequisites: Very Good Fitness & AST 1 (AST 2 Asset)
Price: $199/per person | $749/private (up to 8ppl)
Book a Private Course and have a guide to yourself:
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