So you’ve taken your AST-1, you’ve taken an Introduction to Backcountry Skiing course, but now what?
This course is designed to bridge the gap for a beginner backcountry skier between what you learn on an introductory AST or Intro to Backcountry Skiing course, and what you need to go out with your peers in the backcountry. You can expect two days of great skiing and learning, focusing on hands-on examples of how to use terrain to maximize safety and fun. If you’ve taken your Introduction to Backcountry Skiing course through us, you’ll have a chance to experience a different area and a different snowpack. You’ll spend two days skiing with and being coached by ACMG-certified guides, stay at a hut overnight, and receive the Managing Avalanche Terrain certificate from Avalanche Canada.
The course includes overnight accommodation at the Wheeler hut in the heart of Rogers Pass. As soon as you step out your door in the morning, you’ll have access to world-class ski terrain. A variety of objectives are available to challenge your group. If you’ve never stayed at a hut before, the Wheeler hut is the perfect first-time destination. Just a short 2km ski from the highway, the hut is located at the head of the Asulkan Valley. Staying at the hut allows you to skip the commute and jump straight on your skis for day 2.
The AST-1 course is a mandatory prerequesite: without it, you can’t receive the certificate for the Managing Avalanche Terrain course. The course material for the one-day Managing Avalanche Terrain course is included in the Next Steps Backcountry Skiing course. Now that you’ve learned to recognize avalanche terrain in your AST-1, and learned or seen modeled the basics of safe travel technique, you’ll get a chance to put that knowledge into practice. Your guides will discuss how to select appropriate terrain based on the forecast and on your group’s experience level; how to travel safely through, under, and around various micro-features in the terrain; group travel techniques to avoid exposing your entire group and to move efficiently through danger spots; and tips and tricks that build good habits for safe travel. You’ll get used to estimating slope angle, evaluating aspect, and continually watching for changing conditions as your day progresses.