Women's Advanced Backcountry Skills Clinic - Whistler
A “fast-track” clinic specifically designed to take intermediate skills to the next level.
The Advanced Backcountry Skills Clinic is designed help refine your technique and further develop your backcountry decision making skills. Effective track-setting and terrain management, snowpack assessment and testing, uphill & downhill risk management technique.
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.
This course is developed around skiers and splitboarders who have been out in the backcountry a number of times and are looking to refine their movement skills, sharpen their risk assessment abilities, and overall, make themselves greater assets to their touring partners. Ideally, you have already completed your AST1 course or have comparable touring experience.
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.
It is important that you to have intermediate to advanced ski or splitboarding skills in various conditions and are in good physical shape. It’s advantageous to have your own backcountry equipment and be well-versed in its function.
Lift Ticket: If you do NOT currently possess a valid Whistler Blackcomb lift ticket (Seasons Pass, Spirit Pass, Edge Card, Epic Pass, etc.), you may buy a Lift Ticket through our office at checkout.**All Courses subject to a minimum number of participants. 48 hour notice will be given if the minimum number has not been reached.
This Clinic will be held in Whislter exploring the diverse terrain beyond the resort. Meet at Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre for 8:30am sharp!
Homework & Pre-Trip Planning:
Participants are provided the next 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.
If you require rentals we have teamed up with local rental companies to provide discounted rentals. Visit our rental page HERE for more information!
- 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
- 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
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, 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: Finding suitable terrain with considerable hazard ratings
- 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.).
The important details:
Season: Nov – Apr
Duration: 1 Day (8:30am – 4:30pm)
Max Ratio: 6 Clients to 1 Guide
Prerequisites: Average Fitness & Intermediate Skier
Price: $199/per person | $749/private (up to 6ppl)
Book a Private Course and have a guide to yourself:
Avalanche skills training 2
Well regarded as Whistler’s leading avalanche skills educator, MSAA provides an exceptional Avalanche Skills Training Level 2 (AST 2) Course.
Travel and camp across 13 glaciers all above 2,000 metres. Spectacular scenery and excellent skiing!