Camp Highlights

  • Choose from our Wapta or Roger Pass editions
  • Experience a night at the Bow or Wheeler Hut
  • Practice trip planning under supervision of an ACMG guide
  • Earn yourself an AvCan Managing Avalanche Terrain certificate 

Dates & price

    3 course dates

    •  Dec 22 - 23 (Wapta)
    •  Jan 19 - 20 (Rogers Pass)
    •  Feb 9 - 10 (Rogers Pass)
    • $325 + Tax / Person

You've Taken an AST 1 and an Introduction to Backcountry Skiing, 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.

New for the 2018/2019 ski season: we're running two versions of this course! Our first edition will see you stay at the Bow Hut on the Wapta Icefield. Our second and third will see you stay at the Wheeler Hut in the heart of Rogers Pass.  Take your pick based on your home location. Or if you've already tried one, we'd definitely recommend the other! The Bow Hut version will let you take a short ski onto the Bow Glacier, and maybe even summit The Onion. The Rogers Pass version will work on your routefinding skills at and below treeline. 

Camp Objectives

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.

The course material for the one-day Managing Avalanche Terrain course is included in the Next Steps Backcountry Skiing course and at the end of the course you'll receive an Avalanche Canada MAT certificate.
Day by Day Adventure Itinerary 
  •  
  • Day 1 
  • Meet at the Rogers Pass Visitor Centre (Rogers Pass edition) or the Bow Lake parking lot (Wapta edition) at 8AM sharp. Guides will go over your gear, discuss the day’s objectives, and review paperwork. You’ll also do a review of avalanche safety gear and a beacon check. You’ll then ski into the Wheeler or Bow hut, drop your overnight gear, and head out for a day of backcountry skiing
  • Evening workshop: Now that you’ve had a chance to see and ski the area, your guide will lead you on a discussion around trip planning. You’ll discuss possible objectives in the area in a workshop-type format. What are the cruxes and hazards? What kind of a trip is it? What kind of terrain management experience and snowpack evaluation would you need to ski it safely in current conditions?
  • Day 2
  • Early morning start (to be determined by your guide); pack up, tuck away your overnight gear, and head out for the day. You can expect as much skiing and coaching as your legs will allow. Guides will encourage participants to step up and break trail, help choose the best line up and down your chosen objective, and apply the safe travel techniques that were discussed on day 1.
Is this Camp For Me?
Beginner - Intermediate

This camp is designed for those who have minimal backcountry experience, but it is not designed for complete beginners. You should have basic familiarity with your gear (5+ days skiing with a group of your peers, have taken the Introduction to Backcountry Skiing program through the ACC, or equivalent). An intermediate level of ski experience at a resort is essential: you must be comfortable on ungroomed blue runs at a mountain resort (Lake Louise blue runs, not prairie ski hill blue runs!).

The AST-1 course is REQUIRED on this course. We offer several dates throughout the season, usually right before this course, if you haven’t taken it yet.

You will spend almost all day outside (up to 8 hours), sometimes stopped for discussion or breaks. Come prepared for cold weather with warm layers: please read the gear list carefully, and make sure you have everything. Fitness is a key component to backcountry travel. It is imperative that you have a basic level of fitness to allow for access and learning.

If you have any questions about your suitability for this course, please contact the office. If you are unable to go on the course, we will try to provide suggestions about options to improve either ski technique, fitness, or recommend a different program for you.

Food, Accommodation and Guiding

Food

To keep the cost of this course as low as possible for participants, food will not be provided as part of the course. So please brink along your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (or favoured alternative), a dinner and some snacks for both days.

Accommodation

The course includes overnight accommodation at the Wheeler hut in the heart of Rogers Pass or the Bow Hut on the edge of the Wapta Icefields. Whichever edition you choose, 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 and Bow huts are the perfect first-time destinations with moderate approaches from the trailhead. Staying at the hut allows you to skip the commute and jump straight on your skis for day 2. 

Guiding

Our dedicated on-staff ACC guide Doug Latimer oversees our avalanche safety and Intro to Backcountry Skiing programs. Doug has almost 20 years of experience in teaching AST and other winter instructional courses, as well as in developing course materials and winter guiding. We are extremely excited to have him on board for our 2018/19 season going forward and believe it will make our courses the best ever in terms of standardization and professionalism. 

  • I've only been backcountry skiing for one season, so felt ready to go beyond my basic AST 1 but not quite ready to spend the time and money on my AST 2 certification. This course was perfect and I now feel confident enough to start making independent decisions and trips in the backcountry!
  • The perfect introduction to Rogers Pass as well an opportunity to develop key skills.
  • Staying at the Wheeler Hut for a night really made the camp for me! Now I look forward to exploring many more ACC huts in the future.
  • The guide did an excellent job ensuring each participant in the group got the chance to break trail and have an input to the plan for the second day.
- Past NExt steps Course Participants-

Adventure Map

Contact Us

  Email
   403 678 3200 ext. 109

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

  • 2 days professional instruction by ACMG certified ski guides 
  • One night stay at either the Wheeler or Bow Hut
  • Official Avalanche Canada MAT certificate
  • Guide books and maps available for participant involvement in trip planning

Participants Must Provide

  • Transportation to and from the meeting area
  • 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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