Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5
NOTE: Public courses and guiding were suspended for 2022 due to continuing issues related to COVID. We are hoping to return to a more normal schedule in 2024.
This letter will serve to introduce you to the Avalanche Skills Training Course - Level 1. The course is taught by Rescue Dynamics following the Avalanche Canada AST curriculum. The date and location for the courses for this winter are TBA. The cost of the course is $225.00 plus GST. Copies of the book Backcountry Avalanche Awareness and the NEW Avaluator 2 are included. We provide free rental of avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe and snow study equipment.
Some courses are followed by the Avalanche Canada's new Companion Rescue Skills Course. The CRS course focuses on developing your skills in avalanche search and rescue with a full day of focused training on this vital skill set. The CRS course alone is $150 plus GST but can be bundled with AST1 for $320.00. Email us for further details
To be confirmed on the course you must first complete the personal information form, then read, understand and sign both the ACMG waiver and the Avalanche Canada waiver, which you then mail or email in. You will then be billed for the course fee. If you have not paid, your spot is NOT yet confirmed. We reserve the right to cancel the course in the event of severe weather or low enrollment. Should this happen, your course fees will be refunded. See our website for complete cancellation policies and procedures.
This two day course introduces you to avalanche phenomenon. We will look at the winter snowpack, avalanche terrain, safety measures and rescue procedures. The first day will be mostly classroom with some outdoor work and the second day will be a field trip. Instruction for the courses takes place in and around Jasper or near Canmore depending upon the course in which you enroll.
On the second day we go into the mountains of Jasper or Banff Park with exact location depending on weather and conditions. We will provide instruction and all the snow study equipment. If you own your own avalanche beacon, shovel, probe, snow saw or snow study kit, I would encourage you to bring them so that you will become familiar with your own equipment. Otherwise we provide these items so please DO NOT waste money renting gear you don't need.
We DO NOT provide skis, skins, boots, poles or clothing. You will require cross country touring or alpine touring equipment including warm boots and clothing. Telemark gear is fine, but lightweight track skis or skating skis will NOT be adequate. We recommend skis with a minimum 90 to 100mm width at the tip. If you are on snowshoes / snowboard please contact us in advance so we can make allowances in our route planning. Boarders may want to rent a split - board for ease of travel in a mixed group. If you are not sure about gear, give us a call.
These courses are not recommended for beginner or novice skiers. You should have reasonable experience skiing off track in ungroomed variable snow conditions with a pack on your back.
On some courses, you can combine this avalanche course with "Introduction to Backcountry Touring and Ski Techniques" plus "Introduction to Ski Touring and Winter Glacier Travel" back to back to make the week long "Complete Introduction to Winter Ski Touring".
During the second day of the AST Level 1 course we will be doing stability tests and snow observations which will have us outside and stationary in the cold. Many people get cold feet standing in the cold in cross country ski boots - be prepared! Bring a down jacket and warm-up pants. Be sure your clothing can handle the changes in mountain environment, including cold, wind, snow and bright sun. Spare gloves / mitts are a must.
The course will proceed in all but the most severe weather. The course equipment list may help you to prepare for the course. You are responsible for your own meals, accommodation and transportation for the entire course. Be sure to prepare a bag lunch and bring water or other drinks for each day of the course, as we do not return to the vehicles for lunch on the second day. A good thermos is handy.
Meeting time and place for the Canmore courses is 8:00 am (location TBA). Meeting time and place for the Jasper courses is 8:00 am (location TBA). Be completely ready for an indoor class at that time, but bring warm clothes for an outdoor session later in the afternoon. Persons unfamiliar with these locations can check our website for maps to be posted prior to each course (or call for directions).
The second day will either be near Lake Louise or Bow Summit for the Canmore / Banff courses. The second day will either be near Parker's Ridge, Hilda Ridge or Marmot Basin for the Jasper courses. Locations will depend upon conditions and weather and will be determined by the end of the classroom sessions on the first day.
You must have a valid Park Vehicle Group Pass or Personal Pass to attend this course, as we are traveling in National Park areas. Be sure to purchase one when you first enter the Park if you do not already have one.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT WAIVERS: Our insurer requires that we have a two part process for using and administering waivers. If you sign up by mail or email you must included a signed and witnessed waiver as part of your application for all courses. Once we receive your waiver and application you will be billed for the associated fees. You will also be required to sign a second full colour paper copy of the waiver in the presence of one of our staff members. There are no exceptions.
For courses that offer a certificate of completion throgh Avalanche Canada (i.e. AST1 / AST2), you will also have to follow the same waiver procedure for the Avalanche Canada Waiver as well.
If you have any further questions, feel free to call or email.
Cyril Shokoples IFMGA
Chief Instructor / Mountain Guide
CAA Avalanche Professional
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Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5