Advanced Backcountry Clinic

Per Person: $325

Private (up to 6 People): $1499

A “fast-track” clinic specifically designed to take intermediate skills to the next level.

Location: Sea to Sky

Duration: 2 Day

Ability: Advanced

Fitness: Very Good

Prerequisites: AST 1 

The two-day clinic allows participants adequate time to develop autonomous leadership through learning and implementing critical strategies and techniques in order to foster and engrain a structured process suitable to leading a group while managing complex terrain and a complicated snowpack.

What is a clinic?

A clinic is not a course, it is building and refining skills so that they are applied in an efficient and effective manner, which then leads to a strong structured foundation for a safe, rewarding trip and rapid future progression. 

Passholders: Please be aware that you are responsible for making your own reservation to access the lifts on clinic dates.  For more information please visit: Whistler Blackcomb or to make a reservation visit: Epic Pass

Other Ski Clinics: Foundation Backcountry / Expert BackcountryCompanion Rescue

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Book online or contact our office to ask any questions: 1-604-938-9242 or info@mountainskillsacademy.com

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COURSE INFORMATION

A “fast-track” clinic specifically designed to take intermediate skills to the next level.

The two-day clinic allows participants adequate time to develop autonomous leadership through learning and implementing critical strategies and techniques in order to foster and engrain a structured process suitable to leading a group while managing complex terrain and a complicated snowpack.

The goal is skiing the best slopes, the best snow and to target quality runs. All this in a safe and efficient manner through an established advanced process. A major focus is achieving this with a hazard rating that is Moderate/Considerable. In other words when the snowpack is most variable.

The course is entirely participant led under the coaching and mentorship of an advanced expert certified guide.

Venue: Ideal terrain sought out for this clinic is big alpine slopes, glaciated terrain and steep open trees. MSAA is fortunate to have access to a plethora of world class ski terrain.

Lift Ticket: A lift ticket is required for day 1 of this course.

Pre-requisites:
  • AST 1
  • Minimum advanced intermediate backcountry ski/split-board skills
  • AST 2 is an asset and/or a good base of experience (2+ seasons) touring
  • Companion Rescue skills clinic or equivalent refresher

Day 1: will be held in Whislter exploring the diverse terrain beyond the resort. Meet at Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre for 8:15am sharp!

Day 2: will be held in the Duffey Lake Region heading deep into true backcountry terrain. A meeting location will be decided closer to the clinic date.

Homework & Pre-Trip Planning:

Participants are provided the next two day’s locations and asked to construct a pre-trip plan utilizing the MSAA Trip Planner, Avalanche Forecast, Weather and other recommended resources with a maximum exercise target time of 60 minutes to finalize the plan. Students are asked to summarize current relevant historical snowpack, identifying layers of concern and avalanche problems. As well as their inherent characteristics, location, trigger, mitigation, investigation plan, etc.

Morning Meeting & Day Plan:

Participants meet, discuss snowpack, the day’s avalanche hazard, conditions and weather. Discuss the trip plan and days objectives. Meeting target time of 60 minutes. The day is organized as a mission, with the participants fulfilling the clinics objectives.

Rentals/Purchase:

Escape Route Logo

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!



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/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
  • Ski Crampons
  • Mountaineering Axe
  • Harness
  • First aid kit with blister kit
  • Rite in the Rain notebook and pencil
  • Map, compass, GPS (optional)
  • Lunch, snacks, and water
Clinic Topics Covered:
  • Advanced Pre-trip planning including historical snowpack, layer of concern, triggers, weather, conditions and the target of the best snow, slopes and quality outing possible given the conditions preferably in complex terrain.
  • Flow: The clinic strives to maintain smooth flow throughout the day, continuously moving forward with a “learn as we go” approach
  • Uphill: The goal is safe, effective and efficient track setting towards chosen objective while gathering snowpack and conditions information.
  • Creative & Effective Terrain Selection: The art of using the terrain to ones advantage to yield either the highest quantity of quality skiing, to ski a specific high quality objective or slope entrance and/or a mixture of the two.
  • Downhill: Investigating/confirming isolated hazards and mitigation, ski cutting, indicator runs, leadership decision making in final terrain selection, strategic technical downhill hazard mitigation, regrouping, terrain type use/avoidance (supported/unsupported/convex/shallow,anchored, etc. )
  • Human Factors, Pace, Implementing and Changing Trip Plan
  • Special clinic objective: Contending with Complex Terrain & *Considerable Hazard Rating.
*Note: We exercises are structured such that we are able to achieve the Considerable/Isolated hazard irrespective of the clinic day’s actual avalanche forecast danger rating and snow conditions. Inherent additional skills as opportunity arises:
  • Advanced Track Setting Skills: Efficient up-track, ideal terrain use, best spots to initiate turn, corners/kickturns, etc.
  • Snowpack investigation: Hasty tests (hand sheers/ski cut/pole density, etc.), Advanced tests (Extended Column/Saw Propagation, etc.).

Click HERE for the full curriculum