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Private AST 1 – Whistler

AST1-avalance-course

Summary

 Winter
  • Cost:
  • For up to 6 people: $1399

Location: Whistler/Blackcomb/Sea to Sky Gondola   Duration: 2 Days   Fitness: Average   Ability: Introductory   Prerequisites: Strong Intermediate Skiing/Boarding Level  

Get your friends together for take a private avalanche skills training AST 1 course. You will learns skills critical for travelling safely in the backcountry. The curriculum includes avalanche rescue skills, trip planning, equipment use, hazard assessment, and terrain selection. The first day is a classroom theory day and the second day is practicing your new skills together in the backcountry of Whistler. We can offer this course on any day by request, just give us a call.

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The following dates are available for this course.

If you would like different dates, or to book a private course, please contact us.

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Course Information

This private AST1 course ensures all your touring buddies have the avalanche skills to rescue each other on your adventures. Avalanche Skills Training Course Level 1 is designed by IMFGA/ACMG certified Mountain Guides and CAA Operations Level II professionals. This AST1 course is intended for skiers and snowboarders who venture into the backcountry to learn about hazards and how to manage them. All participants should have at least strong intermediate or blue level skiing or snowboarding skills in various conditions and be in reasonable physical condition. Private courses have a maximum of 6 students with one instructor.

Course includes:

  • Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 Certificate (upon successful completion)
  • Backcountry Avalanche Awareness Book
  • Avaluator Booklet and Avaluator Slope Assessment Field Card
  • Companion Rescue Field Card
  • Use of Snow Study Kit with Thermometer, Crystal Screen and Loupe

Course does NOT include:

  • Lift ticket for day 2. If you do not have a pass, you can buy tickets from MSAA or online from Whistler Blackcomb.

Day 1 – Meet at the arranged classroom location.

Day 2 – Meet at the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre (#7 – 4433 Sundial Place, Whistler)
Head up the mountain to apply the skills you learned on Day 1.
We will end the day with a short debrief meeting to discuss what we saw and learned and the next steps in your backcountry education.

Classroom (Day 1) Equipment:

  • Lunch, snacks, and water
  • Pen, pencil, paper, laptop or tablet (optional), and smartphone

Outdoor (Day 2) Equipment:

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/tuque and balaclava
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen

Gear

  • Lift Pass (available from MSAA) (not needed if you have a season pass or day passes)
  • Backpack-25-35 litres
  • Alpine touring skis/splitboard, skins, bindings, and boots (can be rented from Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre)
  • Avalanche Safety Kit (transceiver, shovel, probe) (can be rented from Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre)
  • Helmet
  • Poles
  • First Aid Kit with blister kit
  • Rite in the Rain notebook and pencil (optional)
  • Map, compass, GPS (optional)
  • Lunch, snacks, and water

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

Outdoor

  • Trailhead Procedures
  • Companion Rescue
  • Avalanche Terrain Travel
  • Snowpack and/or Avalanche Observations
  • Snowpack Tests
  • Avalanche Terrain Descent

Transportation: Ensure you have reliable transportation to and from meeting locations.

Lift Tickets: Lift tickets are not included but can be purchased through MSAA.

Accommodation: Not included in course price.

Food: For field day, pack plenty of fluids, high energy food, and snacks. A thermos with a hot drink is also a great idea.

 

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Important Information

We strongly recommend you purchase insurance for Trip Cancellation, Emergency Evacuation and Adventure Sports Coverage (some backcountry adventures are excluded from coverage).

Emergency Evacuation and Medical Insurance

This coverage provides you with emergency air rescue if required and full medical. Parks Canada provides free evacuation within the Parks and if you are a Canadian resident your medical will be covered by your provincial health plan (except ambulance/air ambulance transport). We strongly recommend international visitors purchase this insurance.

Emergency evacuation insurance is compulsory for all our hut trips, as these typically take place outside of Parks Canada’s jurisdiction.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

To prepare for unforeseen circumstances we strongly recommend purchasing Trip Cancellation Insurance at the time of booking your trip. Trip Cancellation insurance covers many scenarios to reimburse you for cancelled trips outside of your control.

Our recommended insurance provider is Tugo.Com who can be reached via the following:

All prices are quoted in Canadian dollars and are exclusive of a 5% tax (GST). Prices are subject to change. Guide gratuities are not included in fees.

Full payment is required at time of registration. Our preferred method of payment is by Mastercard or VISA. We also accept bank e-transfers and cash.

Mountain Skills Academy takes mountain safety very seriously, however there is no way to completely mitigate risk in alpine environments. Prior to undertaking any of our courses or trips we require you to sign a waiver.

Mountain conditions are extremely unpredictable and can change at short notice. Our guides endeavor to undertake the routes and/or peaks that our clients desire, however our decisions will be impacted by conditions. Unfortunately we are not able to offer refunds if conditions are not suitable to undertake a particular route on the day you have booked. We will however make every effort to take you out for the best day possible given the conditions.

Applicable to all tours and courses*: If conditions force us to cancel a course or trip we will do all we can to accommodate you at another date. If this isn’t possible we will offer a full refund. We reserve the right to decline rescheduling dates based on availability.  *Does not apply to first aid courses.

Late Arrival Policy

Guests arriving more than 15 minutes late for an activity forfeit 100% of the tour price. Tours leave promptly; it is recommended to arrive 15 minutes early to sort out gear and sign waivers.

Adventures Cancellation Policy

Half Day and Full Day Tours

  • With less than 48 hours of the tour start time:  Cancellation will result in a 100% forfeit of tour price, no rescheduling.
  • With more than 48 hours notice:  We will reschedule or refund with no penalty.
Multi Day Programs
  • 2 Day Programs: Within 10 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 10 days: $25 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.
  • 3+ Day Programs: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule or full refund.
  • Customized Trips: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**On all multi day trips pre-arranged add-ons are non-refundable (food, accommodation, etc).

Courses Cancellation Policy

1-2 Day Courses

  • Within 10 days of the course date: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 10 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

3+ Day Courses

  • Within 30 days of the course date: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**If you are able to find someone else to take your place on a course, please let us know as we are more than happy to transfer bookings.

Minors (under the age of 19) and custodial groups (youths affiliated with an institution where a parent or legal guardian is not present on the trip) may register for certain trips and courses with a letter of consent from parents or legal guardian as well, they must sign a waiver and have a parent or legal guardian sign a waiver. Further, we abide by the Parks Canada Custodial Group winter backcountry policy as outlined here.


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