Avalanche Skills Training 1 (AST 1) - Squamish

Per Person: $269

Private (up to 6 People): $1399

Industry leading Avalanche Skills Training course that introduces the fundamentals critical to safe backcountry travel.

Location: Squamish

Duration: 2 Days 

Prerequisites: Strong Intermediate Ski/Board Level

Fitness Level: Good 

Well regarded as the Sea to Sky’s leading avalanche skills educator, MSAA is now providing Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 (AST 1) Courses in Squamish, BC.

Business as usual just safer.

In accordance with leading subject matter experts & authorities we have compiled and developed a robust, dependable and safe method to provide the outstanding learning experience that MSAA is known for. 

A full day in the classroom with our expert guides promotes discussion between students which is critical to avalanche learning progression. We then travel to true backcountry terrain to establish the requisite foundation and develop the critical skills necessary for safe backcountry travel in avalanche terrain.

Our carefully designed curriculums have been crafted into a number of programs designed to help every level of student reach their full potential. 

Find out more: The Academy

COURSE DETAILS BELOW...

MAKE A BOOKING

HOW TO BOOK:

  • Choose the best date for you using our booking system. Select your preferred start date – please note the day 2 will follow on from day 1.
  • Course Location: This tour is located in the Diamond Head/Elfin Lakes region and you will require a 4×4 with chains to access the parking lot. For those that do not have this we offer a shuttle service for an additional cost (more details at checkout)

Dates coming soon…

Private Tour:

Book a Private Course to work around your plans & location preferences.

How to book: Enter the start date of your course then let us know your prefered schedule under billing information at checkout.

Book Now

Private Tour:

Book a Private Course to work around your plans & location preferences.

How to book: Enter the start date of your course then let us know your prefered schedule under billing information at checkout.

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 course begins with an online digital pre-course video and questionnaire. The theory portion of the course is a full day and held in a comfortable classroom. Here we will provide our carefully crafted curriculum with an engaging interactive multimedia presentation.

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.

The practical portion of the course is held in true backcountry, world class terrain that is easily accessible in a timely manner. This serves to maximize the time our student’s spend to develop their skills as well as provide the best quality terrain for an optimal learning environment.

Snowboarders: For this course we require that all snowboarders use a splitboard. We do not allow people to use snowshoes for this course.

Course includes:

  • Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 Certificate (upon successful completion)
  • Backcountry Avalanche Awareness Book
  • Avaluator Booklet and Avaluator Slope Assessment Field Card
  • Canadian Avalanche Association Mandatory Student Fee
  • Companion Rescue Field Card
  • Use of Snow Study Kit with Thermometer, Crystal Screen and Loupe
  • 30-minute Pre-Course Interactive Lesson and Video

**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: Meet the guide at 8:45am Executive Suites Hotel & Resort Squamish

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.

Everyone will sign waivers and the guide will review the AST Pre-Test 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.

Day 2: Meet at 7:15am at the Escape Route in Squamish.

The guide will lead a short briefing (discussing current conditions and weather) and have everyone perform a gear check.

From there you will take a shuttle up to the Diamond Head/Elfin Lake area to apply the skills you learned on Day 1.

Escape Route Logo A shuttle service from Escape Route Squamish to Elfin Lakes is provided by Approach Angle shuttle for an additional $40.00 return per person.

We recommend everyone without the appropriate vehicle and snowchains to book the shuttle service. This can be applied at the checkout.

The day will end at approximately 4:30pm with a quick debrief and discussion of what steps you can take after your AST1.

Rentals/Purchase:

Escape Route Logo

If you require rentals we have teamed up with the experts at the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre. Follow the link HERE to purchase or rent gear for this course!


All Acccess Adventures Logo

Looking to rent a splitboard or Avi Gear? We have teamed up with All Access Adventures to provide rentals directly to your door! Follow the link HERE to purchase or rent gear for this course!

Day 1: (Classroom Day)

  • Pen (due to COVID-19, we will not be providing pens)
  • Paper/notebook
  • Lunch, snacks & water
  • Face mask
  • 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:

    • 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):
    • 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
    Day 2 (Outdoor):
    • Trailhead Procedures
    • Companion Rescue
    • Avalanche Terrain Travel
    • Snowpack and/or Avalanche Observations
    • Snowpack Tests
    • Avalanche Terrain Descent

    Click HERE for the full curriculum

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