Rescue Dynamics
5109 - 17A Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5
phone (780) 461 - 5040


This letter will serve to introduce you to Avalanche Skills Training Course - Level 2 you expressed interest in. The date for the courses are TBA, 2017. The cost of the course for this year are TBA including GST.

In order for you to be confirmed on the course you must prepay the course fee, complete the personal information form and sign the waiver contained with this letter. The waiver must be signed in the presence of Rescue Dynamics staff on the first day of the course. Cheques should be made payable to Rescue Dynamics. This must be done prior to the course beginning. 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 course continues the examination of the avalanche phenomenon which began in your introductory AST or RAC avalanche course (prerequisite). We will once again look at the winter snowpack, avalanche terrain, safety measures and rescue procedures. We also add more advanced concepts in snowpack metamorphism and spent more time discussing mountain weather as well. We will spend a lot of time outdoors in avalanche terrain and learn to observe weather and snowpack data and properly record our observations in the standard way used by the avalanche industry.

The first day is all classroom with the remaining four days spent mostly in the field. There may evening sessions on one or two days. Your course fee includes a mandatory course text. We follow the Canadian Avalanche Association AST Level 2 course guidelines and as such your instructor is an active Professional member of the CAA. A certificate is provided upon successful course completion.

We will provide instruction and all the snow study equipment. If you own your own beacon, shovel, probe or snow study equipment, I would encourage you to bring them so that you will become familiar with your own equipment. We DO NOT provide skis, skins, boots, poles or clothing.

We encourage you to bring the very best equipment possible. Poor and outdated equipment will make this course more difficult, less fun and affect the quality of your learning experience. You will require either good quality telemark or alpine touring (randonee) equipment including warm boots and clothing. Lightweight cross country track skis or skating skis are totally inadequate. We recommend skis with a minimum 90 to 100mm width at the tip. The wider the better for more flotation in difficult backcountry conditions.

If you want to joins us on a snowboard please contact us in advance so we can make allowances in our route planning. Boarders must own, borrow or rent a split - board for ease of travel in a mixed group. If you are not sure about gear, give us a call. You should be able to ski or board "off trail" in control in variable snow with a large day pack on your back.

These courses are NOT recommended for beginner or novice skiers or snowboarders. If you do not have reasonable experience skiing off track in ungroomed variable snow conditions with a pack on your back, we strongly urge you to attend the "Introduction to Backcountry Touring and Ski Techniques" course and spend a few days working on your backcountry ski techniques before you join us. You may also want to look at joining us for "The Complete Introduction to Winter Ski Touring" first, then return for this course later.

You should be familiar with all the concepts introduced in an AST Level 1 Avalanche Course when you show up for the first day. If you want a basic refresher before diving into the AST Level 2 Course, you can combine the "AST Level 1" with "AST Level 2" back to back to make the seven day "Complete Introduction to Avalanche Safety".

During the field trips, we will be doing stability tests, weather and snowpack observations which will have us stationary in the cold. Be sure your clothing can handle the changes in mountain environment, including cold, wind, snow and even bright sun. Spare gloves / mitts are a must. Many people get cold feet standing in the cold in cross country ski boots - be prepared! Overboots to go over your ski boots can be most helpful. The course will proceed in all but the most severe weather. Bad weather is a good time to learn about avalanches!

The enclosed 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. A good lightweight thermos is often handy.

Meeting time and place for the Advanced course is 08:00 AM on the first day, location TBA. Be completely ready for an indoor class at that time, but bring warm clothes for a possible outdoor session later in the afternoon. Persons unfamiliar with this location 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. In certain circumstances we may spend one day at a downhill ski area, in which case you will be required to purchase a ski lift pass (not included in course price). In some cases we will spend a day near Parker's Ridge or Hilda Ridge.

The final two or three days will be spent in the Interior of British Columbia (likely Roger's Pass area) looking at a totally different snowpack from the Rockies. Exact locations for field sites will depend upon conditions and weather and will be determined on a day to day basis.

Course participants may wish to book to stay the first two nights at the ACC Clubhouse in Canmore. It is dormitory style accommodation with modern facilities including showers. ACC Clubhouse bookings are made at (403) 678-3200. For more deluxe rooms in Canmore, the Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge (Motel) offers good rates (1-800-665-6111). As the course date approaches you will be advised of where to book your remaining nights.

You must have a valid Park Vehicle Group Pass or Personal Pass to attend this course, as we are travelling in National Park areas. Be sure to purchase one when you first enter the Park if you do not already have one.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.


Cyril Shokoples IFMGA
Mountain Guide / CAA Professional member

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Rescue Dynamics
5109 - 17A Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5
phone (780) 461 - 5040
Last updated Sunday, October 9, 2016