AST Level 2 Avalanche Course in Squamish

Squamish | British Columbia
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to upgrade your skills in Squamish

  • Trip Highlight

    Squamish is known for broad terrain and steeps and alpine bowls

  • Trip Highlight

    Build on the foundations of your AST 1 Course in ideal avalanche terrain

  • Trip Highlight

    Acquire theoretical knowledge in a classroom setting and put it to use in the field

With something in store for every adventurer, Squamish is one of the most versatile and welcoming destinations in Canada. The easily-accessible terrain and plenty of peaks, deep powder and pristine slopes , you’ll feel motivated to grab your skis and spitboards and go out for a day of fun and adrenaline. However, the beautiful nature around you can become risky in a blink of an eye. To minimize danger and mitigate avalanche hazards, update and upgrade your avalanche awareness and safety skills. Builds on the knowledge and skills learned in the AST 1 by exploring more advanced topics and snowpack tests. Learning about different possible scenarios, predicting and understanding the phenomena, and using theoretical knowledge in the Squamish’s marvelous backcountry will allow you to become a more confident skier. 

Season

December through February

Nearest city

Vancouver, BC, is just under an hour away

Duration

4 days

Skill level

Intermediate

Itineraries

Book this adventure

AST Level 2 Avalanche Course

4 days

Ready for your next step in your avalanche skills development? This 4-day hands-on course will help you develop the skills needed to make those all-important go or no-go calls on your next backcountry adventure. Join your certified and highly experienced guides and learn all about the avalanche phenomena, recognize the terrain where avalanches occur and find routes that minimize risk.

Prerequisites: Participants must have the ability to travel in avalanche terrain. An AIARE 1 Course (strongly recommended) or equivalent Level 1 training is required. A winter of practical experience after the Level 1 course is highly recommended before taking the AST Level 2 course.

Trip Highlights

Learning outcomes

Level 2 Avalanche Course

This is a hands-on avalanche awareness training course featuring extensive practical field experience augmented with a self-directed online theory module. Most of the classroom material will be covered online followed by 4 days in the field. The exact location of the field days will be based on current conditions and weather but you can expect 1 or 2 days off of Whistler-Blackcomb. The curriculum is designed to give a solid grounding in the essentials and is based on the requirements set out by Avalanche Canada.

Learn how to:

  • Build a solid knowledge base to safely expand your backcountry horizons
  • Understand avalanche phenomena
  • Recognize the terrain where avalanches occur 
  • Find routes that minimize risk

Day 0: Online Learning

  • Zoom Call to review AST 2 Classroom material & plan for next day

Day 1: Mixed Field & Classroom Day

  • 8:00am: Morning classroom session
  • 11:30am: Head into the field for companion rescue training
  • 4:00pm: Back at meeting location for pm debrief

Days 2 to 4: Field Days

  • 8:00am: Morning classroom session
  • 9:30am: Head out the door for a day of ski touring & learning
  • 4:00pm: Back at meeting location for pm debrief
Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Squamish

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Squamish, BC, please refer to the Explore Squamish and the Government of British Columbia.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

  • An experienced, certified guide with extensive knowledge of the area
  • A classroom day and 4 full days in the field
  • Extra day in the field for the AST 1+ course

What’s not included:

  • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
  • Accommodation
  • Food and snacks
  • Lift tickets
  • Shuttle services

How fit do I need to be?

In order to get the most of this adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for full days. You will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blue or black level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

Prerequisites: Participants must have the ability to travel in avalanche terrain. An AIARE 1 Course (strongly recommended) or equivalent Level 1 training is required. A winter of practical experience after the Level 1 course is highly recommended before taking the AST Level 2 course.

What equipment do I need to bring?

For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

  • Alpine touring skis or splitboard with skins and bindings (can be rented)
  • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
  • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
    • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
    • Lightweight snow shovel
    • Avalanche probe

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

  • Field Book & Avaluator (provided)
  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses or ski goggles
  • Gloves
  • A warm hat/toque and balaclava
  • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
  • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
  • Down or synthetic insulated jacket or vest
  • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
  • Mid layer fleece top
  • One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
  • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
  • Water bottle and 1L of water
  • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
  • Food you can eat on-the-go
  • First-aid kit with blister kit
  • Toilet paper (or WAG bag)
  • Sunscreen
  • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 35-40L backpack)
  • Pen, paper/notebook, face mask (for Classroom Day)
  • Laptop (for Classroom Day) — optional
  • Map, compass, GPS — optional
  • Camera — optional

Can I rent equipment?

All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

Rental locations are in Squamish and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and pricing:

  • For this group course, the max client to guide ratio is 8:1.
  • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

Min. age requirements:

  • If you are older than 19, you’re good to go.
  • Guests under the age of 19 must have a parent or legal guardian sign the waiver on their behalf.

If anyone under the age of 19 wants to join your group, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Squamish, most people fly into Vancouver International Airport, about 1.5 hours away from Squamish. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. If you’ve opted for the in-person course, you’ll head to the guiding company’s classroom location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

For the field days, you’ll need snow chains to get to the location.

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