Avalanche Skills Training

Avalanche Skills Training & Safety

Instructors Dave Enright, Bill Glude and Jon Conway are professional members of the Canadian Avalanche Association and between them have decades of experience instructing recreational & professional avalanche courses. The Avalanche Skills Training (AST) courses have been developed by the Canadian Avalanche Center and are considered the standard in recreational avalanche training. See below for course details & dates.

If the dates we have scheduled don’t work for you, and you have a group of 6 or more, contact us and we may be able to organise a special Avalanche Skills Training course for you.

AST 1

AST1 - DaveThe two day AST 1 course is developed and authorized by Avalanche Canada. This course is where you’ll learn the fundamentals of traveling in avalanche terrain. An AST 1 course comprises a minimum of seven hours of classroom instruction with one full day in the field, and is suitable for people with basic training and little experience.


2015-2016 Schedule

December 2015: 8-9, 18-19
January 2016: 5-6, 16-17, 25-26
February 2016: 5-6, 17-18, 27-28
March 2016: 7-8

Cost
¥30,000

Location
Hakuba, Tsugaike Shizen-en etc

Includes
Textbook, Evaluator, two full days of instruction (one day indoors & one day in the field), BC insurance, tax.

Bring
Winter clothing for all conditions, warm hat or knit cap, goggles, gloves, skis, or board equipment, snowshoes or skins and climbing system, pack with shovel, probe, extra hat/gloves/vest, water, lunch and of course Avalanche Transceiver. Rentals available at discounted prices for course students – see our rental gear and prices here.

Complete Course Outline
A complete course outline of the AST 1 can be found on the Avalanche Canada website (click here).

Restrictions
16 or older.
Intermediate skier/snowboarder/snowshoer.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the basics of avalanche formation and release.
  • Identify avalanche terrain.
  • Know the steps required to plan and carry out a trip.
  • Use the Avaluator2.0 as a decision-making tool in areas where trips are rated using the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) and where avalanche bulletins are available.
  • Find resources for obtaining ATES terrain ratings if their trip is not rated.
  • Find resources for obtaining avalanche danger ratings and avalanche bulletins if these are not available.
  • Use appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain.
  • Carry out a companion rescue.
  • Understand the limits of their training.
AST 1 + CRS

CRSThe two day AST 1 course, plus a one day CRS (Companion Rescue Skills) course – both developed and authorized by Avalanche Canada. A Companion Rescue Skills course is a must-have for all backcountry recreationists in any sport, because it teaches life-saving search and rescue techniques. The CRS course may be the first step of your avalanche training, or an important refresher for those with previous training. The one-day CRS requires a minimum of seven hours in the field.


2015-2016 Schedule

December 2015: 8-10, 18-20
January 2016: 5-7, 16-18
February 2016: 5-7, 17-19, 27-29

Cost
¥45,000

Location
Hakuba, Tsugaike Shizen-en etc

Includes
Textbook, Evaluator, three full days of instruction (one day indoors & two days in the field), BC insurance, tax.

Bring
Winter clothing for all conditions, warm hat or knit cap, goggles, gloves, skis, or board equipment, snowshoes or skins and climbing system, pack with shovel, probe, extra hat/gloves/vest, water, lunch and of course Avalanche Transceiver. Rentals available at discounted prices for course students – see our rental gear and prices here.

Complete Course Outline
A complete course outline of the CRS can be found on the Avalanche Canada website (click here).

Restrictions
16 or older.
Intermediate skier/snowboarder/snowshoer.

Course Objectives

Along with the Objectives for the AST 1 (see above), the CRS includes the following:

  • Consider and incorporate preventative measures.
  • Prioritize actions if caught in an avalanche.
  • Understand the function of airbags.
  • Understand transceiver functions and practice transceiver skills.
  • Apply search and rescue techniques.
  • Practice searching without a transceiver.
  • Consider multiple burial situations.
  • Organize a group rescue.
  • Identify post-incident considerations.
AST 2

AST2 - BillThe five day AST 2 course is developed and authorized by Avalanche Canada. The AST 2 course is suitable for people with a moderate degree of training and experience and who have taken an AST 1 course. An AST 2 course builds on the foundations of your AST 1, and provides an intermediate decision-making framework for traveling in avalanche terrain. An AST 2 course comprises a minimum of 9.5 hours of classroom instruction with a minimum of three days in the field. The course is suitable for people with a moderate degree of training and experience.


2015-2016 Schedule

January 2016: 25-29
March 2016: 7-11

Cost
¥69,000

Location
Happo-one, Tsugaike Shizen, Hakuba Backcountry

Includes
Textbook, instructor/evaluator, one full day & three evenings of classroom and four days in the field, BC insurance, tax.

Bring
Winter clothing for all conditions, warm hat or knit cap, goggles, gloves, skis, or board equipment, snowshoes or skins and climbing system, pack with shovel, probe, extra hat/gloves/vest, water, lunch and of course Avalanche Transceiver. Rentals available at discounted prices for course students – see our rental gear and prices here.

Complete Course Outline
A complete course outline of the AST 2 can be found on the Avalanche Canada website (click here).

Restrictions
16 or older.
Advanced skier/snowboarder.
AST-1 is NOT a prerequisite for AST-2.

Course Objectives

  • 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.
  • Use routefinding to take advantage of nuances in terrain to manage personal risk.
  • Use travel techniques in avalanche terrain appropriate to the avalanche conditions.
  • Proficiently carry out a companion rescue.
  • Understand the limits of their training.

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RESOURCES

The Canadian Avalanche Center has a great online primer course to help you prepare.

We encourage you to study as much about avalanche safety as possible, here are several articles by Evergreen Director Dave Enright of Evergreen to get you started:

›› Backcountry Safety Preparation 1
›› Backcountry Safety Preparation 2
›› A Step Forward for Avalanche Safety in Japan 1
›› A Step Forward for Avalanche Safety in Japan 2
›› A Tragedy in the Japan Alps

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“I just wanted to write and say thanks. That course has provided me invaluable knowledge that I have been using most days. Cheers for passing on your knowledge and positivity, it means a lot. I’m in Hokkaido at the moment…I’ll see you next winter for the 5 day course and a beer.”

BRONUS (SAPPORO)