Backcountry Progression

The next step

The Backcountry Progression course is designed to bridge the gap between the traditional recreational offerings and the highly technical professional-level courses.

We have created the most advanced avalanche skills training course available that meets that objective. In turn, professional candidates can feel confident taking that next step. This course caters to our most advanced clients, is based on industry training standards in preparation for operational level courses.

We offer intimate group sizes with more hands-on learning and feedback by ACMG Ski and Snowboard Guides, who are committed to their mountain craft and can offer mentorship while you are focus on learning to operate as a professional and travel safely in a backcountry setting.

The Goods

Length: 7 days

Locations: Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton BC

Meeting point: Whistler BC

Prerequisites: Application process requiring an AST 2 (or equivalent), 3 full seasons of ski touring experience, advanced/expert ski or snowboarding ability.

Highlight Skills: Search techniques required in the Operation Level 1 standard for buried transceivers, professional-level products for weather, snowpack data collection and sharing, AM/PM style guide meetings.

Season: Limited courses, must apply with resume.

Max Guide to Guest Ratio: 6:1 guest to guide

Price: Starting at $1800



(TBD based on current conditions, subject to change)

Day 1 8:00am-16:00pm field day

Blackcomb Backcountry

Day 2 8:00am-16:00pm field day

Whistler Backcountry

Day 3 8:00am-16:00pm field day

Callaghan Backcountry

Day 4 8:00am-16:00pm field day

Duffy lake Area

Day 5 8:00am-16:00pm field day

Duffy Lake Area

Day 6 8:00am-16:00pm field day

Blackcomb Backcountry

Day 7 8:00am-16:00pm

Whistler Backcountry

Is this for you

This course is what will prepare you for the next step into applying and being accepted into a professional-level course. We provide access to professional weather products and data. You will become familiar with the operational guidelines and recording standards that are used internationally. Participants must have completed an AST Level 2 or equivalent, have 3 years of ski touring or splitboarding experience, regularly travel uphill 1200-1500m a day, possess an expert level of skiing or snowboarding on any surface condition.

Apply now

What you will learn

Participants of the Backcountry Progression course will shift from rule-based and experiential decision-making to a more formalized approach. We will focus on tools that will leverage your interpretation and execution of standardized snowpack tests, route-finding skills, terrain assessment in avalanche terrain. The Backcountry Progression course covers more advanced risk assessment processes, hazard management, you can practice decision-making in a supervised environment with a certified ACMG guide, group management skills and advanced travel techniques.

Avalanche Skills Training

  • Introduction of the Conceptual Hazard Model, it’s definitions 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

  • Route finding and navigation skills to move safely and collect data and perform standardized snowpack tests.
  • Use travel techniques in avalanche terrain appropriate to the avalanche conditions to meet the daily objectives and goals.
  • Proficiently to carry out a companion rescue, act as rescue leader 4 transceivers probed and dug up in under 8 minutes with a close proximity burial.

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 - 2022

January 20 - 26 $1800 / person

February 16 - 22 $1800 / person



$45 / course


$59 / day

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.