AST Courses

Avalanche Safety Training (AST)

Whistler

In Whistler, Canada we are surrounded by some of the most amazing, jaw dropping, scenic mountain ranges in North America. We’re privileged to have some of the world’s finest opportunities for winter backcountry exploration, but with this right to explore comes a responsibility—to yourself, your friends and your family to get avalanche training.

During your time on the YES program your skiing and snowboarding strengths will grow and this might entice you to venture futher out. We want to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the dangers that lurk in the mountains so you can stay safe.

AST 1

AST ADVANCED

AST Level 1 Course

Included in 4, 7 and 11 week Instructor Programs

YES strongly recommend Avalanche awareness (AST Courses) as an absolute necessity for anyone skiing, boarding and travelling in the mountains during the winter. Weather, terrain, snow pack and other mountain factors are constantly changing and its important to understand the safety and precautions you need to take if venturing out of bounds.

This is a course for those just branching out from downhill skiing and wishing to acquire appropriate entry level safety skills, proper instruction in uphill skinning techniques, assessing mountain environments and of course, the fun of powder snow skiing.

Learning outcome: AST Level 1 certificate and developed understanding of winter hazards with increased confidence in decision making in avalanche terrain.

Here‘s What’s Included:

GENERAL

  • LOCATION: Whistler Blackcomb Backcountry
  • DURATION: 2.5 days
  • DIFFICULTY: Moderate to challenging
  • TERRAIN: Simple to challenging
  • TOTAL DISTANCE: approx. 8-11 km. per day
  • ELEVATION GAIN: approx. 650m + per day
  • EQUIPMENT RENTAL: touring skis or split board, shovel, probe etc

COURSE OBJECTIVES

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand the basics of avalanche formation and release
  • Identify avalanche terrain
  • Plan and carry out a trip
  • Use the Avaluator™ as a decision-making tool
  • Understand the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES)
  • Understand Avalanche Danger Ratings and Avalanche Bulletins
  • Evaluate snowpack stability
  • Understand mountain weather forecasts
  • Make a risk management plan
  • Use appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain
  • Carry out a companion rescue

AST Advanced Course

Included in 11 week Instructor Programs

The natural path for AST 1 certified skiers and boarders looking for a course to build a solid foundation for safe mountain knowledge is to take the AST Advanced. The course tak’s it one step higher with an emphasis on snow profile interpretation and recording, terrain rating, route selection and advanced companion rescue. Note that this is not the full AST Level 2 as that requires more classroom time and our guests have shown a strong preference for more on-snow experience.

As part of the YES AST Advanced course you will experience the back country like you never have before! You will spend on evening under the stars camped outside in snow caves. This is a true Whistler experience you will never forget.

Our AST courses are operated in partnership by the professional team at Coast mountain guides – http://www.coastmountainguides.com

Here‘s What’s Included:

GENERAL

  • LOCATION: Whistler Blackcomb Backcountry
  • DURATION: 4.5 days
  • DIFFICULTY: Moderate to challenging
  • TERRAIN: Simple to challenging
  • TOTAL DISTANCE: approx. 8-11 km. per day
  • ELEVATION GAIN: approx. 650m + per day
  • EQUIPMENT RENTAL: touring skis or split board, shovel, probe etc
  • OVERNIGHT: One night spent camping in the backcountry

COURSE OBJECTIVES

At the end of the course, students should:

  • Be able to use the Avaluator2.0 as a filtering tool to determine when additional planning and travel techniques are required to travel safely
  • Be familiar with Avalanche Danger Ratings verification techniques for personal use on a local scale
  • Be familiar with the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) technical model as a means to develop personal, local terrain ratings
  • Be able to use routefinding to take advantage of nuances in terrain to manage personal risk
  • Be able to use travel techniques in avalanche terrain appropriate to the avalanche conditions
  • Be able to proficiently carry out a companion rescue
  • Understand the limits of their training

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