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.
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.
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.
Clothing – Dress appropriately for the conditions
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.
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.
Learn about training courses at the academy:
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
**On all multi day trips pre-arranged add-ons are non-refundable (food, accommodation, etc).
1-2 Day Courses
3+ Day Courses
**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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