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 and deep burials, co-ordinate group rescues, and search without transceivers. Discussion topics also include airbags, new shovelling techniques, and avalanche incident triage. Get your touring buddies together and with a minimum of 3 people and we’ll schedule any date you want.
*All Courses subject to a minimum number of participants.
Done your AST1 and not sure about doing AST2 yet? This Companion Rescue Skills clinic is just the thing to step up your skills and gain confidence. Spend a day with an instructor who will teach you the most up-to-date techniques. This is not just a refresh of the skills you already know. We get deeper into each skill and cover topics that there is no time to get into in AST1.
– advanced transceiver functions
– 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 that you do some online learning at the Avalanche Canada website beforehand.
– Meet your instructor in the morning
– Gear check
– Head up Whistler Blackcomb for a day of great learning
– Debrief at the end of the day
Clothing – Dress appropriately for a full day outside in the alpine.
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, mittens (optional)
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Backpack – 25-35 litres
Alpine touring skis or splitboard, skins, bindings, boots and poles
Avalanche Safety Kit (transceiver, shovel, and probe)
First Aid kit
Waterproof notebook and pencil
Map, compass, Avaluator card.
Hand/foot warmers (optional but nice when we’re standing in the snow)
Lunch, snacks, water and hot beverage in thermos
Rental gear is available at a discount through our partner, Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre.
– Preventative measures
– Prioritization of actions in the event of an avalanche
– Airbag discussion
– Transceiver functions
– Search & rescue techniques
– Searching without a transceiver
– Multiple burial situations
– Deep burial situations
– Organizing a group search
– Post-incident considerations
Meet at the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre.
Access the backcountry via Whistler Blackcomb lifts.
Return at approximately 4pm dependent on daylight hours.
A lift ticket is required and not included in the clinic price. If you do not have a season pass or an Edge Card, we can arrange a backcountry ticket, please add it to your order.
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.
Full payment is required at time of registration. Our preferred method of payment is by Mastercard or VISA. We also accept bank e-transfers and cash.
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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