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Whistler Avalanche Courses
Avalanche Skills Training Level 1

Avalanche awareness is a necessity for anyone skiing, boarding and traveling in the mountains during the winter. Whistler avalanche courses are 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 riding powder.

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

  • Understanding the basics of avalanche formation and release
  • Identifying avalanche terrain
  • Planning and carrying out a trip
  • Using the Avaluator™ as a decision-making tool
  • Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES)
  • Avalanche Danger Ratings and Avalanche Bulletins
  • Evaluating snowpack stability
  • Mountain weather forecasting
  • Risk management plan
  • Using appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain
  • Carrying out a companion rescue

Location: Whistler Blackcomb Backcountry
Duration: 2.5 days
Distance: 8-11 km / day
Terrain: Simple to Challenging
Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
Elevation Gain: 650m+ / day
Ratio: 8:1
Prerequisites: Strong intermediate skier/boarder comfortable on black runs and variable snow conditions. Good fitness level. No previous Backcountry experience required.

Itinerary for Whistler Avalanche Courses

The course schedule is as follows:

Day 1: 6:30pm – 9:30pm (theory)
Day 2: 8am – 5pm (field & theory)
Day 3: 8am – 5pm (field & debrief)

Includes: Avaluator, online resources, and completion certificate.

Gear

Backcountry Safety Gear Supplied (inc. Backpack)
Gear Rentals via Excess Backcountry

I’ve taken a few courses with G and have kept coming back because of his knowledge and flexibility. He taught our AST1 course at a backcountry hut. He even customized our AST2 course with extra field days and evening classroom days to maximize time in the mountains.

Ally Gandy / Vancouver, BC