Avalanche Skills Training Level 1- AST 1 (Feb 7-9) **FULL**


It’s critical to be able to understand avalanche phenomena, recognize the terrain where avalanches occur, and find routes that minimize risk in order to fully enjoy our wonderful back country! Whether you are snowshoeing, skiing and boarding, or mountaineering, understanding what is happening in the snow pack is critical to staying alive in avalanche terrain.

Based on the most advanced knowledge available, this course will provide you with entry-level decision-making skills essential for back country travel and safety.  It will be suitable for people with basic back country skills and minimal experience.

The curriculum for this course is based on the requirements set out by the Canadian Avalanche Center (CAC).  By the end of the weekend you will understand the basics of avalanche formation and release in susceptible terrain, know how to plan and carry out a safe back country trip using appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain, and how to carry out a companion rescue.  In addition, you will learn where to find and how to use a variety of avalanche safety resources.

The course will be comprised of one evening classroom session, to be held at Mt Waddingtons Outdoors, as well as two full days in the field. Locations will vary within the Coquihalla Summit Recreation area, depending on weather and forecasts.

Prerequisites: No previous avalanche experience is required. In order to enable your learning experience, you must participate in this course on skis, splitboard or snowshoes.

Instructor to student ratio: 1:8, min 6. 

To register please contact info@mtwaddingtons.com or (604) 846-1984 


Location: Tentatively Coquihalla Summit Rec Area Cost: $329.00


Day 1-  Classroom Session at Mt Waddingtons (Chilliwack)
6:00 pm
Arrive at 600 for 3 hours of classroom theory prior to venturing into the field. We will discuss route finding techniques, snow forecasting and analyzing techniques, transceiver use and a variety of other topics which will all be covered in the field as well. 
Day 2 – (TBD)
8:00 am 
We will spend some time reviewing and familiarizing you with the necessary gear required for safe back country travel.  We will spend the day going over the following topics:
1. safe route finding
2. transceiver use/ single person burial search
3. forecasting
4. terrain choice
5. snow forecasting
We will have lunch in the field, so bring food with you as we will not be returning to the parking area mid day. We will aim to be back at the vehicles around 4pm.
Day 3 –(TBD)
8:00 am 
We will meet at the discussed meeting location as a group and begin the day in the field. Once again please have a lunch packed as we will not be returning to the vehicles throughout the day. On this day we will focus on the following:
1. transceiver use- multiple burial search
2. Snow analysis (digging a pit etc)


The following items are mandatory equipment for the course (note that snowshoes, poles and avalanche equipment available for rental MWO):

  • Skis, splitboard, or snowshoes (with poles)
  • Beacon/Transceiver
  • Shovel
  • Probe 

Personal mandatory kit

  • Winter back country clothing 
  • Winter appropriate day pack (30 liters or more)
  • Headlamp
  • Winter gloves and liners 
  • Head wear
  • Sunglasses/goggles
  • Hydration system

Not sure what to bring? Give us a call or stop by the store and we can hook you up with some great gear before your trip!