Review, refresh, and build upon your avalanche safety knowledge. Practice your companion rescue skills and advance beyond the scope of AST1 by learning how to deal with multiple burials, close-proximity multiple burials, deep burials, co-ordinate group rescues, and search without transceivers. Discussion topics also include airbags, new shovelling techniques, and avalanche incident triage.
This Companion Rescue Skills Clinic is presented by THE WOMEN’S BACKCOUNTRY SERIES in partnership with MSAA, The Escape Route, and Hunter Gather.
Just the thing to step up your skills and gain confidence in the backcountry. The program is designed to give ladies a chance to advance their skills in a safe & supportive learning environment. Spend the day with a guide who will teach you the most up-to-date Search and Rescue techniques to make you a more valuable member of your touring party. We go beyond the basic rescue skills you already know and cover topics that your AST1 did not.
– advanced transceiver functions & alternative search strategies
– new rescue digging techniques
– searching without a transceiver
– deep burial searches
– multiple burial searches
– organizing and leading a search
– preventative measures
– discussion of avalanche airbags
It is not mandatory to have taken Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 (AST1) before taking this course but it is highly recommended.
8:15am – Meet at the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre for a gear check and trip planning.
8:30am – Use the lifts to gain quick access to the backcountry.
4pm (approximately) – Ski back to the village and end the day with a debrief at HUNTER GATHER (and a free beer or cider!)
Clothing – Dress appropriately for the conditions
* Rentals: MSAA clients receive a discounted rental rate at Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre. Advance reservations are required to ensure there is gear available.
• Preventative measures
• Prioritization of actions in the event of an avalanche
• Transceiver functions & limitations
• Advanced search techniques
• Multiple burial situations
• Deep burial situations
• Searching without a transceiver
• Newest shovelling/excavation protocols
• Avalanche airbag discussion
• Post-incident considerations
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 the 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.
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
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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