Avalanche Skills Training Level 2: Whistler & Squamish
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AST 2 – Whistler

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Summary

 Winter
  • Cost:
  • Per Person: $599
  • Private (up to 6 people): $2999

Location: Whistler  Duration: 4 Days  Fitness: Good  Ability: Intermediate  Prerequisites: AST1 & backcountry experience  

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.

Private AST 2 courses are available on request.

Make a Booking

We have AST2 course dates set every month all season long. Click on your preferred option to check dates.

Book Now – 4 Day Course

Book Now – Split Weekends Course

Course Information

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.

In Avalanche Skills Training Level 2 you will learn to manage and mitigate avalanche and mountain hazards. 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 insures 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.

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

The plan includes:

  • Local bulletins & Forecasters statements
  • Layers of concern
  • Current hazards
  • Weather forecast
  • Conditions reports
  • Field observations
  • Local knowledge
  • Ski route rescources
  • Guidebooks
  • Topo maps
  • Terrain maps and pictures
  • Avaluator™
  • Parks Canada ATES Scale
  • Ranking hazards
  • Scheduled snowpack tests
  • Situational awareness
  • Safe route planning and an initially conservative approach

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. Each field day starts and finishes with a discussion of current conditions.

Students receive a certificate from Avalanche Canada upon successful completion of the course.

Classroom (Day 1) Equipment:

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

Outdoor (Day 2, 3 & 4) 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

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

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

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

Rentals: MSAA clients receive a discounted rental rate at Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre. Advance reservations are required to ensure there is gear available.

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

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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.

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.

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

• For 1-2 day adventures/courses booking must be paid in full.
• For longer adventures/courses a deposit of 50% is required at the time of booking.
• The remaining balance is due 30 days before the start date.
• Bookings made less than 30 days before adventure/course must be paid in full.

Next day bookings are taken up until 5pm the day before any tour or course. *Subject to guide availability

Full Terms & Conditions

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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