AST Level 1 Whistler



This AST Level 1 Whistler course is two full days of introductory Avalanche Skills Training. You may be taking your first steps outside the resort’s boundaries. You may be an experienced mountain rider seeking a more solid foundation. Whatever your current level, this course will teach you everything you need to know – so you can enjoy the backcountry safely and self-assured.


At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand the basics of avalanche formation and release.
  • Identify avalanche terrain.
  • Know the steps required to plan and carry out a trip.
  • Use the Avaluator™ as a decision-making tool in areas where trips are rated using the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) and where Avalanche Danger Ratings and Avalanche Bulletins are available.
  • Find resources for obtaining ATES terrain ratings if their trip is not rated.
  • Find resources for obtaining Avalanche Danger Ratings and Avalanche Bulletins if these are not available.
  • Use appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain.
  • Carry out a companion rescue.
  • Understand the limits of their training.

Who for

Those new to backcountry skiing or with limited experience.  Skiing or riding ability is necessary.

what’s Included

Course material, 2 days instruction

what’s Not included

Gear rental (if necessary we can provide this service for an extra fee), lift ticket (backcountry passes available for $62), Transportation


Whistler 2016/2017 dates

2 days

November 26,27

December 3, 4



December 17,18

January 4,5 (mid week)

January 14,15

February 4,5

Book now


$240 + 5% GST

* Please note that if applicable a backcountry pass will need to be purchased for the portions of the course taken place in the Whistler Backcountry.  Tickets are available for $59+GST


Day : Meeting at the Whistler Museum near the village square.

8:00 – 11:00 Classroom (Whistler Museum)
– Trip planning : using the Avaluator trip planner, establishing your personal avalanche risk comfort zone, route planning
– Weather and pre-trip tools: Public avalanche bulletins, Weather forecast tools, Go over the weekend’s plan/logistics and ensure everyone has the required gear.
12:00 – 16:00 Field (Whistler Blackcomb Backcountry)
We will spend the whole day in the backcountry planning to return to the village around 16:00.

Topics to cover: Trailhead procedures, avalanche terrain features, avalanche types and sizes, common trigger points, slope evaluation factors, route finding, travel in avalanche terrain, layers in the snowpack, Companion rescue.

Please be prepared for a full day outside, with lunch, water and enough clothing to keep you happy as we will end up standing around for parts of the day talking.

Day 2: Field ( 8:30 – 1700 )  Whistler/Blackcomb backcountry ski tour.   Our second day is focused more on traveling and terrain so it will feel more like a normal day of backcountry skiing, so be prepared for a full, physical day.

The objective of this day will be to ski a couple runs where we can openly talk about what we have learned in the past day and about the decision-making along the way.

We will also aim to have an organized rescue practice at the end of the day depending on available time.