Avalanche Skills Training 1 - Vancouver
Per Person: $269
Private (up to 6 People): $1399
Industry leading Avalanche Skills Training course that introduces the fundamentals critical to safe backcountry travel in avalanche terrain.
Duration: 2 Days
Prerequisites: Strong Intermediate Ski/Board Level
Well regarded as the areas leading avalanche skills educator, MSAA provides an exceptional Level 1 Avalanche Skills Training Course. Student’s can expect a concise and effective course that will definitely establish the requisite foundation and develop the critical skills necessary for safe backcountry travel in avalanche terrain. This course meets and surpasses the requirements set forth by Avalanche Canada.
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.
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.
- 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
*The price of the tour does not include a gondola ticket. Gondola tickets are available for purchase through our office.
**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 at a pre-arranged location in Vancouver.
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.
A shuttle service from Escape Route to Elfin Lakes is provided by Shred 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.
If you require rentals or need to purchase equipment, 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!
Day 1: (Classroom Day)
Day 2: (Field Day): 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
- Lift Pass (If you do not have a season pass or Epic Pass or Edge Card, you can purchase a backcountry ticket from MSAA for $59)
- Backpack-25-35 Litres
- Alpine touring skis/splitboard, skins, bindings, and boots
- Avalanche Safety Kit (transceiver, shovel, probe)
- 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
- 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