Camp Highlights

  • Advanced avalanche training for backcountry skiers and climbers 
  • Custom learning materials developed by our Lead Winter Guide
  • Led by highly experienced avalanche specialist Doug Latimer
  • ACC Clubhouse accommodation available for a small additional fee

Dates & price

    4 course dates

    •  Dec 12-15, 2019
    •  Jan 9-12, 2020
    •  Jan 30 - Feb 2, 2020
    •  Feb 20 - 23, 2020
    • $450 per person

Hone your Avalanche Safety Skills with an Industry Expert

Our AST2 course is essential training for the intermediate backcountry skier or ice climber who wants to start exploring complex avalanche terrain responsibly and independently. This is the most advanced avalanche skills certification available to Canadian recreationalists and participants can expect to be up front, breaking trail and fully involved in the day-to-day selection of routes and objectives. Our guides will be there to support and coach you along the way while introducing you to more advanced stability tests, snowpack analysis and snow science. 

Similar to our AST1 and Managing Avalanche Terrain courses, we'll be covering the standard curriculum (as outlined by Avalanche Canada) but with the expertise and experience offered by our Lead Ski Guide - Doug Latimer. With decades of experience teaching avalanche courses and working in avalanche terrain as an ACMG guide, Doug is the perfect man to head up our AST program. What's more he recently produced his own avalanche e-book, which is included with your course fee and enhances the classroom learning experience.

Taking your course with the ACC will see you enjoying a classroom day in the ACC Clubhouse's beautiful Heritage room with field days in nearby Kananaskis or Banff National Park - the perfect learning environments. For those coming from further afield we also have on-site, award-winning accommodation available for a modest additional fee. 

Camp Objectives

The AST 2 course builds on the foundations taught in our AST1 and Managing Avalanche Terrain courses. It aims to provide a more advanced decision-making framework for travelling in avalanche terrain. The Avalanche Canada curriculum is built around the following key areas:
  • Progressive planning and travel techniques required to travel safely through various types of terrain
  • Key techniques for using the Danger Rating on a local scale
  • Key techniques for applying the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) technical model to develop personal, local terrain ratings
  • Proficient companion rescue

  • Field days will have a heavy focus on getting students into the lead and making decisions on the move (in real avalanche terrain where possible). Your guides will introduce a variety of new snow stability tests, as well as a more advanced set of snowpack analysis skills and their application. All our students receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.
    Day by Day Adventure Itinerary 

    Day 1

    Participants meet at 8:30am in the Heritage Room at the ACC’s Canmore Clubhouse. Curriculum topics which will be covered this day include:

    • Review of the basic principles of avalanche phenomena
    • Terrain photo study – how to recognize avalanche terrain & choosing routes
    • Accessing public avalanche forecasts – where to find them; their strengths and limitations
    • Snowpack metamorphism – what actually drives change in the snowpack
    • Snowpack layering, crystal shapes, temperature gradients
    • Emergency response review
    • Trip planning considerations
    • Equipment choice, use, and maintenance
    • Identifying hazards
    • Route plans
    • Emergency contacts
    • Timings & turnaround times
    • Introduce the principles of companion rescue with multiple burials
    • Review of our “Guide’s Pack” & discussion about appropriate gear selection for avalanche terrain
    • Discussion and route planning for the objective for Day 2.
    Our classroom day is limited to 16 people to make for the best possible learning experience!

    Day 2, 3 and 4

    Meeting times, locations and objectives will vary each day but you can guarantee you will be out in the field with your instructor(s), typically either in Kananaskis Country or the Icefields Parkway, making real-life observations and gaining hands-on experience. Curriculum topics which will be covered over these days include:

    • Review of transceiver checks – range and transmit function checks
    • How to use avalanche & weather forecasts in your decision making
    • Use of the AVALUATOR as a travel tool
    • Hazard identification and mitigation
    • Identifying areas of increased hazard
    • Good travel habits
    • Group management & decision making
    • Snowpack observations & snow stability analysis
    • Review the procedure for a compression test
    • Introduce new snow stability tests and discuss when to use them
    • Extended Column Tests
    • Propagation saw tests
    • Deep Tap Tests
    • Companion Rescue – dealing with multiple burial situations
    Our field day will see a maximum participant-to-guide ratio of 8:1 to make for the best possible learning experience!

    Evening Sessions

    Each evening of the field days, the group will reconvene in the ACC Clubhouse Heritage Room after the opportunity to grab some dinner and a shower - usually around 6.30pm. We will review how the day went, including our observations and how our snow pack analysis compared with the avalanche forecast. We will also preview the avalanche forecast for the following field day. These evening sessions are not mandatory but are highly recommended to get the most out of your AST 2 experience!
    Is this Camp For Me?
    Intermediate

    To receive the AST2 certificate, participants must first have taken the AST1 course. Participants should also have a good amount of backcountry skiing experience, possess intermediate to advanced ski technique and good all round fitness as days will typically be longer and more physical than on the AST 1 course.

    Food, Accommodation and Guiding

    Food

    Food is not provided as part of the course. Bring along a packed lunch and some snacks for each day.

    Accommodation

    As this course is offered out of the ACC Clubhouse in Canmore, we welcome all participants to stay with us at our on-site hostel. Located on a high bench overlooking the Three Sisters, Ha Ling and Mount Rundle, this is the most convenient and relaxing place to stay while completing your course. You can reserve your room for the three nights between your course dates upon registration. Or if you also need additional nights please call our reservations team on 403 678 3200 ext. 300.

    For full details on the Canmore Clubhouse accommodation click here.

    Guiding
    Our Lead Ski Guide Doug Latimer oversees all AST programs. Doug has almost 20 years of experience in teaching AST and other winter instructional courses, as well as in developing course materials and ski guiding. We are extremely excited to have him on board for a second season after rave reviews in 2018/19.

    We want to provide the best possible learning experience and give you maximum opportunity to ask questions. So for your field days (2,3 and 4) we bring in an extra guide/instructor where necessary to keep participant-to-guide ratios below a maximum of 8:1.
    • Thoroughly enjoyed it and was so impressed with Doug's leadership and direction! Especially blown away by the e-book with embedded videos he used to instruct the course.
    • Doug is a great guide with LOTS of experienced based knowledge. Even if the course was only a conversation about the framework of thinking he has developed over the years of being in the mountains it would have been worth it.
    - 2018/19 AST Course Participants -

    Popular ast2 locations

    more information

      Email us
       403 678 3200 ext. 213

      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, guides and porters
    • Dedicated resources - full-time office staff, ACMG guides 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

    Cancellation policy and travel Insurance

    Please be sure to review our cancellation policy before registering for ACC Adventures:
     
    Cancellation Policy
    We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips

    Travel Insurance


    Included WITH YOUR CAMP FEE

    •  4 days of instruction from ACMG certified ski guides 
    • Audio-visual avalanche e-book created by Doug Latimer
    • Avalanche Canada course materials
    • Official Avalanche Canada course certificate
    • Classroom space at the ACC Clubhouse

    Participants Must Provide

    • Transportation to and from field locations
    • Accommodation is available at the ACC Clubhouse for an additional $30 per night
    • Meals and lunches
    • Personal gear (see gear list)

    Your Guides

    Doug Latimer

    Doug has 20 years of guiding experience behind him as an ACMG ski guide and an ACMG apprentice rock guide. As well as his private guiding he has spent a number of years working for the UoC where he taught a range of instructional programs in avalanche training, crevasse rescue and backcountry ski and ski mountaineering. He also somehow finds time to run a multimedia production company! In 2019, we are excited to announce Doug will be joining us as our on-staff winter guide; the perfect guy to take care of our Intro To, avalanche safety and other ski courses. 


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