AST 2 - Avalanche Skills Training

Unlock the Backcountry

The AST Level 2 is a course that takes you to bigger mountains, further places and wilder terrain.  So if you’re looking to take it a few steps further -literally- then this is the course for you.  Experience four and a half days of hands-on Avalanche Skills Training in the backcountry.  Immersed in challenging and complex terrain to push and expand your backcountry knowledge, the AST 2 course builds upon participants' backcountry experiences by focusing on observational tools and experiential decision making.

We offer intimate group sizes taught by professional ACMG Ski Guides who are committed to teaching the skills required to be safe and have a blast, while elevating your backcountry adventures.

Course Dates: December 12-15, December 16-20 (Backcountry Lodge Based), January 2-5, January 16-19, February 6-9, February 20-23, March 5-8, March 19-22

The Goods

Length: 4.5 Days**

Locations: Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton, BC.

Prerequisites: AST 1 (or equivalent), ski touring experience and advanced ski or riding ability.

Highlight Skills: Advanced snow assessment, student leads, avalanche forecasting and experiential decision-making process.

Season: Scheduled Courses All Winter

Max. Guest to Guide Ratio: 6:1

Price: $595

**2 hour evening classroom session before 4 full days on the mountain


Day 0.5
19:00 to 21:00 Classroom Session
Whistler (Squamish or Vancouver classroom session based on participants' demand) 

Day 1
8:00 to 9:00 Classroom Session
9:00 to 16:00 Field Session
Whistler Backcountry

Day 2
8:00 to 9:00 Classroom Session
9:00 to 16:00 Field Session
Whistler Backcountry


Day 3

8:00 to 9:00 Classroom Session
9:00 to 16:00 Field Session
Duffy Lake Area

Day 4

8:00 to 9:00 Classroom Session
9:00 to 16:00 Field Session
TBD, Based on Conditions

Is This for You

This course is the next step in your Avalanche Skills Training.  Participants must have completed an AST 1 (or equivalent) or have permission from instructors based on your past backcountry experience.  It is also recommended participants have a minimum of 20 days touring experience and can regularly ski tour 1000m days of uphill travel.


  • Advanced Ski or Boarding Ability (black diamond runs) 
  • Familiarity with Ski Touring or Split Board Equipment
  • Moderate Fitness - Can Ski Tour Uphill 1000 - 1500m
  • AST 1 or Equivalent
  • 20 Days Ski Touring Experience


What You Will Learn

Participants of the AST 2 course shift from rule-based decision making to experiential decision making. We focus on tools that will leverage your past experiences with observational tools in the field to make safe decisions in avalanche terrain. The AST 2 course covers advanced snow assessment, decision-making process, group management and advanced travel techniques.

Avalanche Skills Training

  • Use the Avaluator™ as a filtering tool to determine when additional planning and travel techniques are required to travel safely.
  • Be familiar with Avalanche Danger Rating verification techniques for personal use on a local scale.
  • Be familiar with the ATES technical model as a means to develop personal, local terrain ratings.

Ski Touring Training

  • Use route finding to take advantage of nuances in terrain to manage personal risk.
  • Use travel techniques in avalanche terrain appropriate to the avalanche conditions.
  • Proficiently carry out a companion rescue.Understand the limits of their training

I contacted five companies about setting up a custom mountaineering trip and Altus immediately got back to me with all sorts of helpful, informative details. They were much easier and better to work with than all the other companies.

- Michele G

I felt safe and secure, and I learned a ton. Great objective, great weather, great food, and great company - it doesn't get any better than this! Can't wait to get back out there with the Altus guides - don't leave home without 'em!

- Nigel B

Scheduled Courses 2019/2020

December 12 - 15 $595 / person

All prices are in CAD and subject to 5% sales tax.

December 12 - 15 $880 / person

December 16 - 20 $1850 / person

Backcountry Lodge Based - Learn more

December 19 - 22 $595 / person

Ski and Split friendly!

January 2 - 5 $595 / person

January 13 - 16 $880 / person

Based out of Spearhead Hut

January 16 - 19 $595 / person

February 3 - 6 $880 / person

Based out of Spearhead Hut

February 6 - 9 $595 / person

February 20 - 23 $595 / person

March 5 - 8 $595 / person

March 19 - 22 $595 / person


W/B Backcountry Pass
Gear Rentals

Contact Us


Day 0.5
19:00 to 21:00 Classroom session
Vancouver or Whistler

Day 1
8:00 to 9:00 Classroom session
9:00 to 16:00 Field session
Whistler Backcountry**

Day 2
8:00 to 9:00 Classroom session
9:00 to 16:00 Field session
Whistler Backcountry**

Day 3
8:00 to 9:00 Classroom session
9:00 to 16:00 Field session
Duffy Lake area

Day 4
8:00 to 9:00 Classroom session
9:00 to 16:00 Field session
TBD, based on conditions**

**Whistler Blackcomb Backcountry Passes required for Whistler Field Sessions ($69/day)

What's Included
  • Course Material (Decision Making Hand Book)
  • 4.5 Days Instruction from CAA Members and ACMG Guide
What's Not Included
  • Avalanche Rescue Equipment 
  • Whistler Blackcomb Backcountry Lift Ticket 
  • Lunch
  • Transportation
Gear List

Avalanche Safety Gear

  • Avalanche Transceiver
  • Shovel: Collapsible aluminum shovel.
  • Probe: Normal length probe somewhere from 220cm to 320cm. 


  • Ski touring skis: bindings, skins, poles or split board+skins
  • Ski touring/snowboard boots
  • Snow saw (optional)
  • Suitable day pack 30 - 40L


  • Waterproof/breathable jacket and pants
  • Lightweight breathable jacket and pants (for uphill skinning/climbing)
  • Insulated jacket (synthetic insulated jacket is strongly recommended)
  • Lightweight gloves for climbing/skinning
  • Warm gloves
  • Warm hats
  • Balaclava or another type of neck warmer
  • Base layers


  • Sunglasses
  • Goggles
  • Sun screen
  • Sun hat
  • ski strap
  • small personal ski repair kit
  • personal first aid, medication
  • Camera
Booking Policy

Please take a moment to read and understand our policies before booking! Booking, payment, cancelation and weather policies, as well as FAQ may be found here.

Still Have Questions or Concerns?

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns or requests on how we can make this the best trip ever!!!

About Ross Berg

Ross has guided, climbed and skied in the European Alps for the last several seasons. When he's at home he can be found working as a heli ski guide in winters and climbing alpine rock routes in summer.