We all have questions, we know you have some. Here we try to answer the most common questions you have.
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We have a couple of options for you:
1. Ski Touring / Splitboarding 101
Before you jump right into an AST Level 1 (blue), we recommend starting with our 1 day 101 courses, fitness level, and skill level are green (beginner). Learn how to transition quickly, manage those sticky skins, walking techniques, and we will also show you some low-avalanche risk terrain to practice your skills. No previous experience is required, this is an entry-level course that anyone can participate in
We recommend before jumping into an AST 2, that you enroll in one of our Managing Avalanche Terrain (MAT) courses. This 1-day field-based course designed to expand on the terrain management taught in the AST 1 and to develop advanced winter backcountry travel skills.
Each of these courses takes place at a different popular touring location in the Kootenay Pass or Whitewater Ski Resort backcountry.
You must have taken your AST Level 1, and be at a BLUE ski and fitness level.
All of your guides at Kootenay Backcountry Guides are certified through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (A.C.M.G.) and the Canadian Avalanche Association. We use our experience and the vast array of up to date avalanche and weather information to make our decisions. We carry communication systems with us, plenty of 1st aid and mountain rescue equipment, and we are trained in their use. We make group decisions and we share our decision making process with you. If one person is not comfortable then the group needs to respect that. We have the utmost respect for the mountains, that is why we are here doing what we do!
The answer is no. Kootenay Backcountry Guides are committed to helping everyone enjoy the backcountry. We teach people who are just getting into the backcountry through our Backcountry 101 and Avalanche Skills Training Courses.
We can tailor a trip to any group or individual needs. You should be able to confidently ski on intermediate runs at the ski hill, and not be afraid to tackle the odd black diamond.
The fitter and more skilled you are the further we can go, but we do not put pressure on you to go past where you feel comfortable. However, if you have the skills and want to go shred with a bunch of experts who know where to go to get it on, we can do that as well.
Be sure to review our Skill and Fitness Assessments
Start your day by meeting your guide outside the Railstation Cafe (next to Visitor Centre) and go over our waiver, safety, plan for the day, and final gear check. Depending on the objective this occurs between 7 and 8 am. If you want to put in a massive day, we start earlier.
For tours in the Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry, we head up to the resort and launch from there. Once we arrive on the mountain, we practice our avalanche rescue skills. Then it is off to play in the mountains and having fun!
For groups going to Kootenay Pass we will take a 1hour drive to Kootenay Pass and launch from there.
Fit groups can achieve 2000m or close to 7000 ft of vertical, and more relaxed crews can play until they are tired. Typically we get between two and five runs. We are always monitoring folks energy levels and make our plans accordingly.
We always try to be back at our starting point at least one hour before sunset, which gives us a safety margin. After our final run, we re-group at our cars and end the day with debrief and make plans for the next day.
Unfortunately, we are just trained guides and not chefs. Everyone must provide their own meals. We recommend bringing the following to ensure you are well fueld for the day:
Make sure you are prepared the day before. You will not have time to buy lunch the morning off.
At this time 1 Ride tickets are not included in your fee - we plan to have this incorporated for next season.
1 Ride tickets are available only to Kootenay Backcountry Guides participants and will be billed to the credit card that you registered with.
The following refund policy will apply if Kootenay Backcountry Guides cancels your booking because of reasons related to COVID-19, or if you are prevented from completing your booking because of a reason related to COVID-19 that are outside of your control, including travel issues, closed borders, and local outbreaks. In such case:
Review our Full Policy Here