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The Alpine Club of Canada

Kokanee Cabin AST 2

Avalanche Skills Training 2 (AST 2) in Big Terrain

The Kokanee Cabin is one of the ACC’s most sought-after huts and the location combined with the hut itself offer a clear reason of why. Come join us for an early season week that will set you up with the skills to travel deeper into the mountains and tour with confidence in big terrain.

Taking an AST 2 course is an essential ingredient for the intermediate-advanced backcountry skier or splitboarder who wants to start exploring more complex avalanche terrain safely and independently. Unlike an AST 1, participants can expect to be fully involved in the day-to-day selection of routes and objectives on this course, with the support and feedback of your instructors . You’ll also be introduced to more advanced stability tests and snowpack analysis

The hut itself is quite a bit more luxurious than other backcountry huts, boasting electricity, and lots of room for sleeping. It is comfortable and self-sustaining. It also located in a picturesque location high in the park.

Staging is out of the cute town of Nelson BC right by the water.

This is an instructional course and not a guided ski trip.

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BOOKING INFORMATION

Date:
DECEMBER 2ND – 9TH 2023

Price: $3250 + TAX

Before registering, please review our Waivers and Liability page.

MORE INFORMATION

Please try to register online before calling. If you are having issues please try to have your emergency contact information and course questionnaire filled out before calling.

OR Call: (403)-678-3200 ext 213

Backcountry Skiing Hazards

  • Avalanche
      • Avalanches can occur in the terrain you will be entering. Caused by natural forces, or by people travelling through the terrain  

    What are the risks

      • Anyone caught in a avalanche is at risk of personal injury, death, and or property damage or loss

    Hazard Mitigation

    • Our instructors have experience and training to help you manage this risk
    • Daily risk assessment processes
    • Guest training
  • Terrain
      • Cornices
      • Crevasses
      • Trees, tree wells, and tree stumps
      • Cliffs
      • Creeks
      • Rocks and Boulders
      • Variable and difficult snow conditions
      • Impact or collision with other persons or objects
      • Encounters with domestic or wild animals
      • Loss of balance or control
      • Becoming lost or separated from the group
      • Slips, trips, and falls

    Hazard Mitigation

    • Our instructors have experience and training to help you manage this risk
    • Radios and/or other communication devices
  • Boots and Binding systems
    • Even when set up correctly, a ski binding might not release during every fall or may release unexpectedly. The ski boot/binding system is no guarantee that the skier will not be injured. Non-DIN-certified bindings, such as pin/tech bindings, present a higher risk of pre-release and/or injury as they are not designed to the same safety standards as a DIN-certified alpine binding.
    • Unlike alpine ski boot/binding systems, snowboard and some telemark boot/binding systems are not designed or intended to release and will not release under normal circumstances. Using such a system increases the risk of injury and/or death when caught in an avalanche.
  • Communication, rescue, and medical treatment
      • Communication can be difficult and in the event of an accident rescue and treatment may not be available
      • Adverse weather may also delay the arrival of treatment or transportation out of the field,
      • Alpine weather conditions can be extreme and change rapidly without warning making travel by helicopter, snowmobile, snowcat, dangerous
      • If an injury occurs in challenging terrain movement to an evacuation point may be slow

    Hazard Mitigation

    • Your instructor is trained in both backcountry first-aid and rescue techniques
    • Emergency response plans
    • Satellite communication tools
  • Other
      • Slips trips and falls indoor or outdoor
      • Infectious disease contracted via direct or indirect contact, including but not limited to influenza or Covid-19
      • Equipment failure
      • Negligence of other persons, including other guests
      • Negligence of the instructor Including failure to to take reasonable steps to safeguard or protect you from or warn you of risk, dangers, hazards, oh participating in ACC activities

    Hazard Mitigation

    • Your instructor is trained in both backcountry first-aid and rescue techniques
    • Satellite communication tools

Expanding on the skills that you learned in AST 1 the AST 2 course is designed to teach you to explore more advanced terrain. Field days will have a heavy focus on getting students in the lead and making decisions on the move. Teaching you how to lead and route plan for your own trips. Your instructors will introduce a variety of new snow stability tests, as well as a more advanced set of snowpack analysis skills and their application, not previously introduced in the AST 1 course.

All our students receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course. The AST 1 is a prerequisite certification course you are expected to have before attending AST 2

 

        • Day 1: Meet in Nelson, BC, at the Kootenay Valley Helicopters Hangar at 8am where you will be introduced to your group and your instructors. There you will fly into the Kokanee Glacier Cabin Hut by private helicopter (on a clear day be sure to look at the beautiful peaks of the Southern Selkirks). There will still be plenty of time for a first day of learning once you arrive and unpack. This is a good opportunity to review gear, companion rescue skills briefly before being orientated to the area by your instructors. 
        • Day 2 – 7: There are so many great terrain options for avalanche skills training its hard to say what each day will bring. As your instructors equip you with the skills and opportunity to practice everything you learn!
        • Day 8: Pack up, take some final pictures of the breathtaking views and travel back to Nelson by helicopter 
Intermediate

To receive the AST 2 Certificate, participants must first take the AST 1 Program. This program is open to all ACC members who are at least an intermediate or type II skier and have an interest in learning about avalanche phenomena in more challenging and complex mountain terrain. Participants can expect longer and more physical days than on the AST 1 Course.

Please make sure you review both the ACC and the AST waiver before registering for the course.

Food

Evenings will be spent enjoying great food, socializing in cozy hut surroundings and resetting for the next day’s adventure. Food supplies will be flown in by helicopter (no dehydrated stuff here) and cooked up by our dedicated chef.  All meals are designed to be healthy, sumptuous and plentiful and special dietary needs can be accommodated. Because we want you to be able to focus on the learning not the cooking! 

Accommodation

The Kokanee Glacier Cabin sits on the shores of Kaslo lake in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. The area is a ski touring paradise, and the Kokanee Glacier Cabin is situated to best take advantage of the endless skiing terrain, and to provide you with an unforgettable experience. Kokanee Glacier Cabin offers an exciting backcountry adventure for the whole family. This is easily our most well equipped hut. In addition to all the dishes for cooking and dining that our guests have come to expect, there is electricity. That means there is a coffee maker and kettle.

Located north of Nelson, in southeastern British Columbia’s Selkirk Mountains, beautiful Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park is a year-round recreational paradise. Sitting mostly above 1,800 metres in elevation, the park has three glaciers – Kokanee, Caribou, and Woodbury – which feed over 30 lakes and are the headwaters of many creeks.

Instruction

This course will be provided by trained members of the Canadian Avalanche Association, who have many years of instructional experience and are familiar with the terrain around Kokanee Cabin. To make sure you can get the most out of your course!

 

Gear and Rentals

Don’t have everything on the gear list (found on the right hand side of this webpage)? We recommend heading to Gear Up in Canmore to grab any items your might be missing. To ensure availability of items call ahead to book. ACC members get a 10% discount.

KEITH ROBINE

Keith has been teaching avalanche education for 30+ years. Keith is the co-author of the Avalanche Skills Training Handbook, the textbook for all AST courses. He also wrote updates to both the AST 1 and AST 2 instructor manuals. Keith is a Professional Member of the Canadian Avalanche Association and a Guide with the Canadian Ski Guiding Association. Keith has also published articles on innovative ways to include Human Behaviours in avalanche decision-making. 

Keith has worked his way down the corporate ladder. He started as an Environmental Engineer in San Francisco. Keith is now in the enviable position of avalanche instructor/guide and counsellor/therapist with a private practice based out of Rossland, BC.

We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips:

INCLUDED WITH YOUR CAMP FEE

  • Professional instruction at max 8:1 ratios by certified Canadian Avalanche instructors 
  • Exclusive accommodation at Kokanee Glacier Hut for the week
  • Helicopter transportation to and from the hut
  • All meals, beginning with dinner on Day 1 and ending with lunch on Day 8
  • Services of a dedicated camp chef
  • All group gear (ropes, emergency equipment etc.)

PARTICIPANTS MUST PROVIDE

  • Transportation to/from Nelson BC Carpooling lists will be sent out ahead of the camp
  • Breakfast and lunch on day 1, dinner on day 8
  • Personal gear (see gear list)

ORGANIZING FANTASTIC ACC ADVENTURES FOR OVER 100 YEARS

  • Local Knowledge – based out of Canmore, AB, we know the Rockies region and the best local caterers and instructors
  • Dedicated resources – full-time office staff, and group equipment on-hand to ensure your trip runs smoothly
  • Not-for-profit – any money we make on camps and courses is reinvested into providing services for our members and the mountain community