Winter Progression AST 2 2017

Dates & Price

  • Adventure Dates: February 4 - 10, 2017
  • Adventure Rates: $1420 + tax
  • Information Package: Download Info Pack
The AST 2 course is part of the ACC's annual Powder Program which is sponsored by our partner Smartwool. Smartwool's support allows us to keep costs of our Powder Program camps and courses low as well as provide Smartwool product to all of the program's participants. We thank them for their support.

Head Further into the Backcountry with Canada’s Intermediate Level Recreational Avalanche Training 2

Developing a solid foundation in the backcountry is essential for your survival and enjoyment as a recreationalist or developing leader. Taking steps to learn, hone and develop these skills comes with time, patience and days out in the field.

Receive your AST 2 certificate

Photo by Brad Hurkett - All work and no play

Photo by Brad Hurkett – All work and no play

Head into two different backcountry locations where you will practice and be taught the skills necessary to help progress your confidence and safety in leading yourself, friends and/or future clients for everyone’s enjoyment. Upon completing of this course, you will also receive your AST 2 certificate. Spending time on the Wapta Icefields and Rogers Pass are two highly

traveled destinations where you will get into knowing how these two locations react through various snowpacks, weather and every other facet of change that they see. These skills will help you better understand all the other areas that are open to backcountry travellers. All our students will receive the AST 2 certificate upon successful completion of the course.The AST 1 is a prerequisite certification course you are expected to have before attending AST 2.

Combining classroom and field sessions, participants should expect to be fully involved in the day to day decision making on this course, with the support and feedback of your guides. Our curriculum is based on nationally standardized material from the Avalanche Canada.

There is a much larger emphasis on travel in AST 2 than on the AST 1 course. Please come prepared to move, ski and dig all day long. During the snowpit sessions, it’s a good idea to have more clothing than you think you will need, as it can cool down quickly when you are asked to stop and watch us demonstrate a skill or technique in the pits.

Travel and Learn at the Wapta Icefield and in Rogers Pass

Photo by Mike Dodge - Overhead Hazard?

Photo by Mike Dodge – Terrain Trap?

Spending two nights at Bow Hut on the Wapta Icefields,

you will be taught by a seasoned ACMG guide on the skills of route finding, setting, terrain management and a host of other skills that are necessary for safe and fun travel in the backcountry. Moving out of Bow Hut you will make the short jaunt to Rogers Pass and stay at the Wheeler Hut, where now the tables will be turned.

From the Wheeler Hut, you will now be in charge of the group, making all decisions that will ensure the safety and enjoyment of all. Swapping leads with your crew, you’ll navigate challenging and complex terrain that will test your knowledge from the past four days. With our guides leading from the back, they’ll always have an eye open and be ready for discussion, but don’t rely on them for guidance. This is your test.

The skills required to be a good leader vary from person to person and past skills to new skills. This camp is specifically designed to take you to the next level in leadership so as to enjoy the mountains to their fullest. What are you waiting for?

Note on Risk

Our goal is to show and teach you what is realistic in terms of travel and decision making while in avalanche terrain given the limitations of the weather, conditions and human factors. It’s important to know that we will be actively operating in avalanche terrain and that involves increased risk.

Course Content and Agenda

  • Day 1 – Group participants and guide to meet at the Canadian Alpine Centre at 6 pm (mountain time) to check equipment, talk camp expectations and divide gear for an early start the next day.

    Committing to the jump on a Ruschblock Test

    Committing to the jump on a Ruschblock Test

  • Days 2- Depart Lake Louise Drive to Bow Lake trailhead. Avalanche transceiver practice and ski in to Bow Hut. Evening class on skill development.
  • Day 3 – Brief overview of glacier travel – your guide/instructor will be the leader for these portions of the trip.
  • Day 4 – Ski out from Bow, stop for lunch in Golden, drive to Rogers Pass and short ski into Wheeler hut. Evening planning session.
  • Day 5 – Continue your development and learning with skills and theory taught throughout the day, on   and off skis. Day trip from Wheeler swapping leads with participants. Implementing practices taught throughout the camp.
  • Day 6 – Day trip from Wheeler, swapping leads with participants. Implementing practices taught throughout the camp.
  • Day 7 – Final day. Make it a good one!

*Subject to change

Gear, Food, Lodging


  • ACMG professional guiding throughout the camp
  • CAC Sanctioned course materials
  • Completion certificate at end of course
  • Accommodation at the Lake Louise Hostel, Bow Hut and Wheeler Hutfor  all nights of the camp
  • All meals starting with breakfast on Day 2 and ending with lunch on Day 7
  • All group gear

Participants must provide:

Level of Difficulty

Participants must have moderate backcountry skiing or splitboarding experience. This is not an introductory course, but rather a course to develop existing skills and increase your knowledge, safety and confidence leading yourself and friends in the backcountry. Taking an AST 1 course is a pre-requisite of taking this course, (please show proof of your AST 1 certificate). The AST 2 curriculum is built into this 6.5 day camp. You will receive an AST 2 certificate upon completing this camp. Experience skiing on variable snow conditions with a pack is essential. As well as having a good level of fitness. Expect to carry up to 30-35lb pack on your ski in and out of Bow hut. Expect long days with evening class sessions.

More Powder Program camps and courses - Presented by Smartwool

Winter in Canada’s mountains means powder skiing and the ACC knows the terrain. Whether you’re looking to get skills and get up to speed, or looking for the trip of a lifetime, you’ll find it here. Join us!

Powder Program Adventures

  • Rogers Pass Powder Camp (Jan 28-Feb 1, 2017). An awesome ski camp deep in Rogers Pass, based in the Wheeler and Asulkan Huts. For experienced skiers. 5 days, $1,450.
  • Fairy Meadow Powder Week (April 1-8, 2017). A fly-in, fully-guided week in Selkirk powder paradise. Our most advanced powder camp. 8 days, $2,550.

Powder Program Skills Courses

  • Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 (Dec 10-11, 2016 and Jan 21-22, 2017) Canada’s first step in recreational avalanche training. 2 days, $205.
  • Learn to Backcountry Ski (Jan 13-15, 2017) For beginners: covers everything from avi gear and hazards to track setting and ski technique. 3 days, $550.

Smartwool supports the ACC’s Powder Program and we thank them for their assistance.

AST Level 2 Staff


  • Dave Healey2

    Dave Healey

    Dave was born Burns Lake, B.C., raised in Keremeos, B.C., now resides in the mountains of Revelstoke, B.C.  Dave is obviously in love with B.C., but also likes to explore & appreciate other mountain ranges of the world.
    Dave has worked in the mountains since 1991, starting with the Rockies around Lake Louise, then slowly moving west following the setting sun.  He has been guiding for 10 years now throughout the ranges of B.C. and the North Island of New Zealand.  He also spends the summers guiding Canada’s finest young folk on the glaciers of the Wapta Icefield, and is well acquainted with the Alpine Club hut system there.  In the quiet season, he swings a hammer as a carpenter.
    ‘Mountains are where I discover people.  I like the mountains (they are my first mistress), but the real joy is exploring, discovering & creating memorable adventures with others.  I didn’t come here to escape, but rather to immerse myself in the core values of admirable humanity.’