Ski Super Course: Whistler & Squamish BC
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Whistler / Squamish

Ski Super Course

Backcountry Skiing Courses Western Canada

Summary

  • Cost:
  • $1015

Location: Whistler/Blackcomb   Duration: 6 Days   Fitness: Very Good   Ability: Introductory   Prerequisites: AST1  

This ultimate backcountry ski course incorporates the following Whistler Alpine Guides modules for a fully comprehensive skill set: Intro to Backcountry Skiing, Winter Crevasse Rescue and Glacier Travel, Ski Mountaineering.

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The following dates are available for this course.

We will post up more public dates if there is demand, so please let us know what dates work better for you.

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Course Information

This ultimate backcountry ski course incorporates the following Whistler Alpine Guides modules for a fully comprehensive skill set:

  • Intro to Backcountry Skiing
  • Winter Crevasse Rescue and Glacier Travel
  • Ski Mountaineering

Based out of Whistler, we are part of the Coast Mountain Range with a variety of backcountry destinations, varied snowpacks and expansive mountain terrain to teach this course.

This comprehensive course is designed to provide backcountry skiers & riders with a full complement of skills necessary to undertake every facet of the sport. Core skills are backcountry ski technique, route selection, track setting, glacier travel, rescue systems, ski mountaineering, glacier skiing, tree skiing and avalanche hazard mitigation.

Sign up for our Ski Super Course and receive unrivalled instruction at a discounted rate!

Day 1 – Intro to Backcountry Skiing

  • 08:00 Meet at Whistler Alpine Guides office.
  • Morning Meeting: Sign waivers, introductions, course goals, safety discussion and gear check.
  • 17:30 Evening Meeting: debrief the day. Trip plan for day 2.

Day 2 – Intro to Backcountry Skiing

  • 07:00 Meet at Whistler Alpine Guides office.
  • Morning Meeting: Review current weather and conditions, plan day, equipment check.
  • 16:30 Evening Meeting: debrief the day.

Day 3 – Winter Crevasse Rescue and Glacier Travel

  • 08:00 Meet at Whistler Alpine Guides office.
  • Morning Meeting: Review current weather and conditions, gear check.
  • 16:30 Evening Meeting: debrief the day.

Day 4 – Winter Crevasse Rescue and Glacier Travel

  • 07:00 Meet at Whistler Alpine Guides office.
  • Morning Meeting: Review current weather and conditions, gear check.
  • 16:30 Evening Meeting: debrief the day.

Day 5 – Ski Mountaineering Skills Day

  • 08:00 Meet at Whistler Alpine Guides office.
  • Morning Meeting: Review current weather and conditions, gear check.
  • 16:30 Evening Meeting: debrief the day, learn how to do a ski mountaineering route plan and discuss the next day’s weather, avalanche forecasts and mountain conditions.

Day 6 – Ski Mountaineering Skills Day

  • 07:00 Meet at Whistler Alpine Guides office.
  • Morning Meeting: Review current weather conditions, gear check.
  • 16:30 Evening Meeting: Debrief the day, next steps and course closure.

 

We are happy to help source any rental gear you require for your trip.

Clothing

  • Insulated top and bottom under layers and socks
  • Mid layer fleece top
  • Weatherproof shell jacket and pants
  • Warm hat, optional balaclava or neck tube
  • 2 pairs of gloves, optional mittens
  • Goggles, sunglasses and sunscreen

Equipment

  • Touring skis / splitboard
  • Ski / snowboard boots
  • Skins
  • Poles
  • Ski Crampons
  • Avalanche Safety Kit (probe, transceiver, shovel)
  • Mountaineering Axe
  • Harness
  • 3 locking carabiners
  • 4 non-locking carabiners
  • 2 x 5m 7mm prussik
  • 1 auto-block device (ATC Guide)
  • 1 double length sling
  • 1 x 22cm ice screw
  • 0.5m personal prussik
  • 50-meter ski touring rope
  • Minimal alpine rock rack; 2-3 cams, 3-4 stoppers- 4 shoulder length draws
  • Rite in the Rain notebook and mechanical pencil
  • First aid kit with blister kit
  • Glop stopper
  • Ski scraper
  • Map, compass, GPS, laptop computer (all optional)

If you wish to purchase an Avalanche Safety Kit we can arrange this through our partnership with Backcountry Access for $340 with the purchase of your course.

Day 1 – Intro to Backcountry Skiing

  • Lesson 1: Using the weather and avalanche forecast, ATES scale and local guidebook for trip planning.
  • Lesson 2: Backcountry skiing/snowboarding equipment
  • Lesson 3: Companion Rescue review and practice
  • Lesson 4: Route planning, up-track setting and situational awareness in class 1 (simple) and 2 (challenging) terrain.
  • Lesson 5: Avalanche awareness, snowpack tests.
  • Lesson 6: Downhill run plan, hazard evaluation, terrain consideration, downhill powder technique.

Day 2 – Intro to Backcountry Skiing

  • Lesson 7: Situational awareness, route finding, track setting refinement in class 2 (challenging) or class 3 (complex) terrain. Review: Avalanche observation, snowpack tests, weather and snowpack recording.
  • Lesson 8: Downhill technique refinement
  • Lesson 9: Emergency ResponseThroughout the day ongoing feedback, problem-solving and mentoring from your guide.

Day 3 – Winter Crevasse Rescue and Glacier Travel

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Glacier Kit
  • Lesson 2: Equalized anchor, knots and rappelling
  • Lesson 3: Ascending the rope – prussic, ratchet, reverse
  • Lesson 4: Situational awareness, review hazards
  • Lesson 5: Glacier travel rope handling & crevasse rescue
  • Lesson 6: Dividing the rope
  • Lesson 7: The prussik
  • Lesson 8: Arresting the fall, holding the victim and anchor building
  • Lesson 9: Backing up anchor and approaching the lip
  • Lesson 10: Canadian drop loop system demo
  • Lesson 11: Incorporating a ratchet
  • Lesson 12: First raise method, z-pulley raising system, adding advantage.
  • Lesson 13: Reversing the raise & lowering
  • Lesson 14: Crevasse Rescue Scenario
  • Lesson 15: Problem-solving specific scenario

Day 4 – Winter Crevasse Rescue and Glacier Travel

  • Lesson 16: Rope up point strategy (map & altimeter) & white out plan
  • Lesson 17: Glacier formation, physiology, terminology and travel including rope handling and taking coils
  • Lesson 18: Safe glacier travel route finding & track setting – crevasse avoidance, serac hazard mitigation, dealing with avalanche terrain, crevasse bridge integrity and evaluation
  • Lesson 19: Traveling in echelon & belaying across crevasse bridges
  • Lesson 20: Downhill glacier skiing safety strategy

Day 5 – Ski Mountaineering Skills Day

  • Lesson 1: “Snow and ice school” – introduction to ski mountaineering equipment, ski crampons and boot crampons, ice axe.
  • Lesson 2: Ascending/descending and moving in steeper firmer/crusted/icy slopes.
  • Lesson 3: Belaying and rappelling, anchors.
  • Lesson 4: Roped vs. unroped terrain – belaying, rope management, short roping, boot packing, stowing the skis on pack, ridge walking.

Day 6 – Ski Mountaineering Skills Day

  • Lesson 5: Ski mountaineering objective: situational awareness, route finding and track setting in Class 3 (complex) terrain.
  • Lesson 6: Glacier travel & alpine hazard evaluation.
  • Lesson 7: Ski mountaineering ascent and descent technique and strategy.
  • Lesson 8: “Survival skiing” technique

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Important Information

We strongly recommend you purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance upon booking and Emergency Evacuation insurance.

Emergency Evacuation and Medical

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 National Health.

We strongly recommend international visitors purchase this insurance. Emergency evacuation insurance is also 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.

Our recommended insurance provider is Tugo.Com who can be reached via the following:

All course prices are quoted in Canadian Dollars and are exclusive of a 5% Federal GST. Prices are subject to change.

Full payment is required at time of registration. Our preferred method of payment is by Mastercard or VISA through our online payment portal. We also accept Credit Card payment over the phone, bank transfer 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 and WFR courses.

Adventures Cancellation Policy

Half Day and Full Day Programs

  • Within 24 hours: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, no reschedule.
  • Outside of 24 hours: $25 rescheduling fee per booking or full refund.
Multi Day Programs
  • 2 Day Programs: Within 10 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 10 days: $25 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.
  • 3+ Day Programs: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule or full refund.
  • Customized Trips: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**On all multi day trips pre arranged add-ons are non-refundable (food, accommodation, etc).

Courses Cancellation Policy

1-2 Day Courses

  • Within 10 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 10 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

3+ Day Courses

  • Within 30 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**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 18 for our courses based in Alberta and 19 for those based in BC) and custodial groups (youths affiliated with an institution where the parents/legal guardian are not present on the trip) may register for certain trips and courses with a letter of consent from parents or legal guardian as well as must sign a waiver and have their parents 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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