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 18-21, 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 18 - 21 $1850 / person

Backcountry Lodge Based - read more

January 2 - 5 $595 / person

January 16 - 19 $595 / person

February 6 - 9 $595 / person

February 20 - 23 $595 / person

March 5 - 8 $595 / person

March 19 - 22 $595 / person


W/B Backcountry Pass

$69 / Day

Whistler Accomodation

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 ($69/day for at least 2 days if you don't already have a Season's Pass, Epic Pass, or Edge Card. Can be purchased through us.)
  • 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

Making a booking

Greater than 14 days from start date

  • 20% deposit is required to secure your guides and or trip. Remaining trip cost is due 14 days

Less than 14 days from start date

  • Trip cost must be paid in full

*Subject to change based on particular trip

Forms of payment

Credit card: Visa, Mastercard

Email transfer:

Cheque: Only accepted 30 days prior to trip commencement


Greater than 30 days from start date

  • Deposit will be refunded in full

30 to 14 days prior to trip commencement

  • Deposit amount will be forfeited

Less than 14 days

  • Full trip amount will be forfeited

*Subject to change based on particular trip

*All cancellations must be received in writing

Cancellations by Altus Mountain Guides

Upon confirming your booking we guarantee the trip departure. If we cancel a trip for any reason prior to the start date a full refund will be provided. If we are forced to cancel a trip for any reason after the trip start date, a full refund for the unused portion of the trip will be provided.

Trip cancellation insurance

Upon confirmation of your trip Altus Mountain Guides enters into financial obligation and cannot refund payment or release you from your contractual obligation except for condition stated below in “Cancellations” Therefore in an effort to avoid unnecessary cancellation penalties, cancellation insurance is strongly recommended in the event you can not participate or if your trip is interrupted “for any reason”. This is available from most travel companies. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding our policy or obtaining insurance.

Cancellation insurance

  • Tugo

Medical/Evacuation Insurance

All participants must have personal internationally accepted medical insurance for all activities pertaining to your trip that also includes emergency rescue and evacuation. With your insurance please ensure you will be covered for “roped travel” if booking a technical trip.

*The required insurance depends on location


  • Insurance is free in entire country


  • Private insurance is recommended


  • Mountain climbing rescue is free

Switzerland, Italy, Austria

  • Privates or alpine club insurance is required.

*Europe: We recommend the following: Austrian alpine club membership, REGA

Additional fees

Longer & more involved routes may have additional premiums, driving, accommodation,& food costs are trip dependent.

Please contact us for details and a full quote.

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.