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Testimonials from our AST Alumni

  • "I just completed an AST-2 lodge course with KBG. To summarize, I am very satisfied with the whole experience and I highly recommend their services if you wish to take this training. The course begins with online training to be completed before going to the field. The material is really very well put together, dynamic and interesting...The fact of doing it in a lodge context brings a very interesting added value in my opinion, because it allows you to have a lot more exchanges on deferred subjects around ski touring, to meet fantastic people in addition to spending more time in this beautiful region. This course was a success both in terms of learning and backcountry experience since we spent a lot of time in the mountains."

  • "Kootenay Backcountry Guides offers the amazing opportunity to take the AST-2 (second level of avalanche training) in a private lodge in the mountains. The experience was a perfect balance of learning & fun (as was the guiding!) Everybody had the opportunity to ask questions & to be asked questions.They provided an environnement that respected everyone’s abilities and fitness, ensuring a great team spirit and cohesion. The online learning part preceding the class was very well thought of. Be sure to follow their social media to realize how involved/active in the community they are, as well as the array of trainings and opportunities they offer. Thank you again!"

  • "I took the AST2 at a cabin, it was the most useful 4 days of backcountry learning possible. Judson has incredible knowledge & experience and he shares it in a humble, practical way. I'll benefit from taking his course for years to come."

Course Overview:

Welcome to elevated learning! 

Take your backcountry education to the next level with our Lodge-based AST-2. This course takes place in one of the most comfortable and equipped huts in the province, surrounded by the largest peaks in the Kootenays.

Join us on the learning experience of a lifetime! Spend fun-filled days learning core skills and relax in a fully equipped lodge in the evenings. We will spend five days and four nights in a beautiful backcountry lodge surrounded by incredible terrain. We are not talking about any old hut; enjoy hot and cold running water, bedding, even a hot tub to unwind in.

We have an engaging and easy to use online learning platform where you complete the theory components of the course before you arrive at the lodge. This will allow you to fully immerse in the surrounding terrain and field components while at the lodge, greatly enhancing your learning experience. You will be required to complete the online portion before Day-1 of your course date. 

What you will learn:

  • Advanced methods for terrain analysis
  • Companion rescue
  • Route finding
  • Skin track setting
  • Map, and GPS reading
  • Advanced weather forecasting
  • We will show you how to take relevant snowpack observations, including the compression test, and extended column test.

You must have taken the AST-1 course to enroll in this course.

The KBG Method: Online pre-learning combined with FOUR full field days. 

  • Pre-Learning

    We have moved our classrooms to online with no mandatory zoom meetings! We understand that everyone has busy lives and commitments, so we made our online self-paced where you can set your own schedule and take your time to absorb all the information to apply to your field days. All material must be completed before your first field day (about 8-10 hours).

  • Day 1

    Is spent reviewing key lessons from the AST-1, covering advanced companion rescue skills, and introduction to snowpack tests. We will do a short tour to an area where we can run companion rescue scenarios and get snowpack information. We will plan out our backcountry trip for the following day at either Kootenay Pass or the Whitewater Ski Resort backcountry.

  • Day 2

    We will have a short morning meeting covering the weather and avalanche hazards and going over our route plan for the day. We will then head into the backcountry and begin putting all of our built-on skills into practice by having a full day of touring, and assessing terrain, and snowpack.

  • Day 3

    We will have a short morning meeting covering the weather and avalanche hazard and go over our route plan for the day. We will then head into the backcountry and begin to put you into the driver’s seat, making decisions with the aid of our expert guides. We will start to get you to gather your own snowpack information and assess terrain.  At the end of the day we will plan our trip for the next day.

  • Day 4

    We will have a short morning meeting covering the weather and avalanche hazards and go over our route plan for the day. Class members will be more involved in the planning and decision-making on this tour.  The guide will take on more of a support role and assist you in planning and carrying out a backcountry ski tour.


Dates & Costs:

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