During the 2-day Whistler Avalanche Skills Training course participants will spend majority of their time in the Whistler backcountry exercising and reinforcing their skills. Evening theory sessions will explore the basics of trip planning, understanding Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) ratings and utilizing tools such as the Avaluator 2.0 to assist with the critical decision-making process in the backcountry. Learning how to effectively interpret resources such as local avalanche bulletins ensures participants are adequately prepared for trips before they even set foot on snow. Course participants will learn how to identify critical weak layers in the snowpack as well as the basic influences of mountain weather conditions such as wind and solar heating. The Avalanche Skills Training course emphasizes applied field skills, in particularly the safe travel techniques required to safely navigate hazardous terrain.
Conveniently located in Whistler with the easily accessible backcountry adjacent to Whistler Blackcomb, this course serves as a stepping stone for all professional and recreational courses endorsed by Avalanche Canada and the Canadian Avalanche Association.
By the end of the Whistler Avalanche Skills Training 1 course, participants will be required to:
- Understand the basics of how avalanches occur
- Identify avalanche terrain
- Be familiar with the steps required to plan and safely execute a trip
- Evaluate avalanche danger ratings through resources such as bulletins
- Identify travel techniques and how to apply them in different types of terrain
- Carry out a companion rescue using a transceiver, probe and shovel
- Use the Avaluator 2.0 to assist with decision-making in the field
After completing the Whistler Avalanche Course AST 1, participants are encouraged to find a suitable mentor for backcountry travel in order to safely gain experience as they hone their skills and techniques. If it has been a few years since you took your first avalanche course then we recommend retaking the AST 1, taking a Companion Rescue Skills course or taking the next step in avalanche safety by enrolling in our 4-day Whistler Avalanche Skills Training 2 course.
At Powder Guides we believe in training people to become responsible backcountry travellers. By letting us guide you through your first steps beyond the boundary, we hope you can enjoy a lifetime of riding powder in the mountains, safely.