Big Mountain Skiing

Skills to Get Up Big Mountains and Down Steep Faces

Our Big Mountain Skiing course is the most advanced recreation course offered. Modelled on the Ski Guide training program, this course will push your ability and confidence as a backcountry skier.  Participants can expect to leave this course with the ability to make structured and well-educated decisions to be self-sufficient in big mountain terrain.


Participants are required to submit a resume to be accepted into this course. Both Skiers and Splitboarders are welcome.


Course Dates: January 23-27, February 14-18 and March 19-23


The Goods

Length: 5 Days

Location: Whistler, BC.

Prerequisites: AST 1 (or equivalent), alpine ski touring experience and strong ski ability (double black diamond runs).

Highlight Skills: Training on glaciated terrain, accessing steep ski lines and navigation.

Season: Scheduled Dates All Winter

Max. Guest to Guide Ratio: 4:1

Price: $1450


What You Will Learn

Our Big Mountain Skiing course focuses on travelling in alpine terrain and skiing interesting lines safely.  As an advanced-level course, we will also focus on student leads so the guide can offer direct feedback to participants and target learning to the student's skill set.

  • Advanced terrain recognition skills and applying snow pack characteristics to that terrain.
  • Safe mountain travel technique
  • Anchor Building
  • Rappelling/Lowering
  • Safe Cornice control
  • Rope ascension
  • Crevasse rescue 
  • Belaying for steep snow travel on mountain faces or ridges
  • Cliff mitigation
  • Sluff control
  • Steep Skiing tactics
  • Self-preservation tactics in extreme terrain
  • Advanced snowpack characteristic recognition and quick stability assessment checks
  • Whiteout navigation

I want to say a big thank you to the Altus team for enabling my future multi-pitch adventures, I feel really good about how today's course has prepared me for the big leagues 🙂

- Mark T

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

Is This for You

This program is designed for avid ski touring individuals who want to step up their Big Mountain skiing and riding skills by getting into the complex, or even extreme, terrain.

  • Excellent Ski Ability

  • 50 + Days of Ski Touring

  • AST 2 or Equivalent
  • Good Fitness (ability to ski tour back to back 1500m days)

Scheduled Courses 2019 / 2020

January 23 - 27 $1450 / person

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

February 14 - 18 $1450 / person

March 19 - 23 $1450 / person


Warm-Up Session

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Whistler Accommodation

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This Itinerary is an overview of what will be covered. Depending on weather conditions, the venue may change to get the best snow conditions and terrain for the current stability assessment.

Day 1: 

  • Go over the week’s goals and objectives.  
  • Equipment review.   
  • Snowpack and stability discussion 
  • Travel to the backcountry for the day of skiing and terrain recognition discussion.  
  • Evening debrief.

Day 2:  

  • Anchor Building
  • Rappelling
  • Lowering
  • Safe Cornice control
  • Rope ascension
  • Belaying for steep snow travel on mountain faces or ridges
  • Companion rescue test
  • Evening debrief

Day 3: 

  • Steep skiing tactics 
  • Sluff control
  • Lowering into a slope
  • Evening debrief

Day 4:

  • Crevasse rescue (on day 2 if we fly directly to Haberl Hut)
  • Rope skills reinforcement
  • Evening debrief

Day 5: 

  • Complex Glacier travel day
  • Complex ski decent
  • Evening debrief
What's Included
  • 5 Full Days of Instruction with ACMG Guide
  • All Technical Equipment (harness, crevasse rescue and group gear)
What's Not Included
  • Avalanche Rescue Equipment
  • Whistler Blackcomb Backcountry Lift Ticket ($59/Day)
  • Lunch
  • Transportation
  • Helicopter Flight (if applicable)
Gear List

Avalanche Gear

  • Avalanche beacon
  • Probe
  • Shovel


  • Backcountry skis or split-board (skis, skins, poles)
  • General mountaineering axe (steel) I will have a couple on hand as well
  • Harness
  • 30-litre backpack or large enough to carry personal and some group gear 
  • Rope - We will provide but feel free to bring whatever rope you would be using personally, so you can practice with it.

Crevasse rescue kit

  • 1 x 1.5m 7mm cord
  • 2 x 5m 7mm cord
  • 2 x should length sling
  • 4 locking carabiners
  • 2 non-looking carabiner
  • Belay device
  • Pulley (optional)
  • Ice screw (16cm min)
  • Ski strap

We have lots of extra gear, so don’t feel you need to bring all the crevasse gear.


  • 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 other types of neck warmer


  • Sunglasses
  • Goggles
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat
  • Ski strap
  • Small personal ski repair kit
  • Personal first aid, medication
  • Camera


Please arrive in the morning with food and drink for the day.

Booking Policy

Please take a moment to read and understand our policies before booking! Booking, payment, cancellation 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.