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Dates and Prices

*January 20th course is run over two consecutive sessions:  January 20-21 and January 27-28, 2015.

*March 7th course is run over two consecutive weekends: March 7-8 and March 14-15, 2015

Price

$595 CDN includes 4 days of instruction, books and use of safety and snow study equipment. An AST 2 certificate will be issued on successful completion.*

*To be eligible for the AST 2 certificate participants must first have taken the AST 1 course through a CAC recognized provider. Yamnuska offers the AST 1 course on most weekends throughout the winter months. Please contact our office if you have any questions.

Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.

Is it for you?

This program involves three days of backcountry ski touring in steep and variable terrain. You should be an advanced intermediate skier/split boarder with a high level of aerobic fitness. Previous avalanche training is not required, however to receive your AST 2 certificate you must have taken an AST 1 with Yamnuska or another provider in the past.

Avalanche Skills Training 2

Avalanches are the greatest hazard facing the winter backcountry traveller. To fully enjoy the backcountry it's crucial to be able to understand avalanche phenomena, recognize the terrain where avalanches occur and find routes that minimize risk.

If you're a serious backcountry skier or winter mountaineer wishing to build a solid knowledge base to safely expand your backcountry horizons then this is the course for you. It will be a valuable investment in your mountain safety and significantly increase your avalanche knowledge.

This is a hands-on program featuring extensive practical field experience augmented with one day of classroom theory. The curriculum is designed to give a solid grounding in the essentials and is based on the requirements set out by the Canadian Avalanche Center (CAC). Your instructors are guides seasoned in touring, heliskiing and forecasting. This program is suitable for those who have taken the AST 1 program in the past, or for experienced backcountry skiers looking to expand their skills.Canadian Avalanche Centre

For advanced skiers we also offer this four day program in Rogers Pass. This is one of the most exciting backcountry ski locations in Western Canada, and is a great spot to learn how to evaluate avalanche conditions to keep safe in steeper terrain.

Course Agenda

Day 1: (At the Yamnuska Office in Canmore)

9:30 am

  • Introductions, goals and objectives, agenda

Review of AST1 program

  • Avalanche phenomena, formation and characteristics of avalanches
  • Avalanche Terrain Recognition, introduction to the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale
  • Changes in mountain snowpack, snow metamorphism
  • Accessing and utilizing the Avalanche Danger Scale and Public Avalanche Bulletins
  • Using the Avaluator TM

12:00 pm - Lunch Break

1:00 pm

  • Safe travel and trip planning
  • Review of Companion Rescue: A methodical approach
  • Avalanche and back country safety gear
  • Gear check
  •  Transceiver review 
  • Logisitics for the Field Days

4:30 pm - Class Ends

Days Two, Three and Four

Each morning will start with trip planning, accessing and discussing the Public Avalanche Bulletin and weather updating.  You will be using Yamnuska's Daily Avalanche Hazard Evaluation© form to assess the conditions and risk for the day.

Program days will be spent in the backcountry on a tour designed for decision making.  You will be in real avalanche terrain appropriate for the conditions, suited to group ability and the Avalanche Danger forecast for that day.  Days are typically six to seven hours in the field.

Subject matter covered:

  • Proper back country travel preparation in avalanche terrain
  • Use of avalanche 'danger scale' and other information gathered by professionals
  • Use of the Avalauator 2 TM
  • Group management and safety in the backcountry
  • Avalanche terrain recognition
  • Route finding in avalanche terrain
  • Decision making in avalanche terrain
  • Snow profiles and stability tests such as the Compression Test and Rutsch Block
  • Weather, snow pack and avalanche activity observations
  • Snow stability analysis
  • Companion Rescue and group rescue skills including:  avalanche transceiver use, single burials and multiple burials, shovelling and probing techniques

Note:  Agenda may vary with field conditions and group abilities 

NOTE ON RISK: The course takes place in the backcountry in a winter environment. Conditions can be harsh and you need to be adequately dressed to enhance your comfort and learning. During the day we will be travelling through avalanche terrain however, we do limit our exposure to avalanches so that we can operate in the program area no matter what the avalanche danger is for that given day. This can be a physically demanding course. Learning will be greatly enhanced if you are a comfortable rider or skier in all snow conditions. All of our guides/instructors carry first aid kits and emergency communication.

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