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Backcountry 101

Backcountry 101

BACKCOUNTRY 101 

Get the 101 on all things backcountry! These courses help give you the foundations, extra knowledge and tips so you can accelerate your backcountry journey. Our backcountry 101 courses are 1 day field day courses, like snow science, splitboarding and ski touring. We also offer online learning opportunities, like digital navigation, and more! Check out the courses below for more information and register today!

Snow Science 101

In order to move safely in the mountains you need to learn how to look at the snow under your feet. In this one-day field course you will learn how to quickly gather relevant snowpack information.

Backcountry Rescue 101

We teach you valuable practical first aid skills and combine them with backcountry rescue skills. This course is a must for anyone looking for practical backcountry rescue skills.

Traditional Navigation 101

Modern GPS technology is highly valuable, but what will you do if technology fails? This is where traditional navigation skills become an essential part of your backcountry/outdoor toolbox.

Splitboarding 101

New to Splitboarding? We have been there too! In this one day course, we will show you the ropes of splitboarding. We understand that everyone starts off somewhere and not everyone has friends who have the patience to teach you how to keep up. 

Ski Touring 101

New to Ski Touring? We've been there too! In this one day course, we will show you the ropes of backcountry ski touring. We understand that everyone starts off somewhere and not everyone has friends who have the patience to teach you how to keep up.



“A surprising characteristic
of corn snow is its abrasive quality”

Snow Science 101


  • 21/22 Dates::

    • Jan. 9, 2022
    • Jan. 23, 2022
  • Course Cost:

    $197 +tax     *Other fees may apply

Courses may be held at either Kootenay Pass or Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry. For courses hosted in the Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry, we may use the ski lifts to access the backcountry. If you are not a seasons pass holder, 1 Ride tickets can be purchased from us on the day of your course.

In order to move safely in the mountains you need to learn how to look at the snow under your feet.

In this one-day field course you will learn how to quickly gather relevant snowpack information. We will show you how to effectively and efficiently use hand shears, burp tests, compression tests, extended column tests and deep tap tests. 

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

Please contact us if you wish to book this as a private trip for you and your friends or family. Custom dates are available.

Fitness & Skill Requirements:







Backcountry Rescue 101


  • Course Dates:

    Spring 2022

  • Course Cost:

    $307 +tax     *Other fees may apply

A major challenge of avalanche rescue is dealing with the issues that arise after the victims are dug up.

Physical trauma, hypothermia, how and where to get help are just some of the challenges you may face. AST courses and traditional companion rescue courses teach you how to find and extract someone from under the snow, however, they rarely go in-depth with teaching you how to deal with injuries and the prospect of spending a night out in the field. 

Kootenay Backcountry Guides has teamed up with Jill Weenink of Mountain Medical Consulting to create a course where we teach you valuable practical first aid skills and combine them with backcountry rescue skills. This course is a must for anyone looking for practical backcountry rescue skills.

In This Course You Will Learn:

  • Communicating To Outside Resources
  • A Simple And Easy To Use Patient Assessment System For Backcountry Injuries
  • Plenty Of Practice Dealing With Common Backcountry Injuries
  • What To Expect and How To Respond After You Retrieve Your Touring Partner From an Avalanche
  • How To Fight Off Hypothermia and Deal With Cold Weather Complications
  • Using Improvised Rescue Systems To Transport Injured People Over The Snow
  • Shelter And Fire Building Strategies

You must have taken the AST-1 course and be double vaccinated to enroll in this course. Learn about our Policy here

Please contact us if you wish to book this as a private trip for you and your friends or family. Custom dates are available.

Fitness & Skill Requirements:



“Modern GPS technology is highly valuable, but what will you do if technology fails?

Traditional Navigation

Traditional Navigation 101


  • 21/22 Dates:

    • Oct. 23, 2021
    • Nov. 13, 2021
  • Course Cost:

    $197 +tax     
    *Other fees may apply

Please note that this course takes place indoors for the first half of the day, then transfers outdoors. All participants must be fully vaccinated as per our Communicable Disease Plan to participate. If you have any questions please contact us

Did you know that each year Search& Rescue groups in BC respond to more than 1,900 incidents involving over 2,100 lost or injured persons? (BCSARA Stats). 

Exploring the backcountry has become increasingly popular over the years as information and access become easily available. Being outside in nature is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the solitude and peace of the backcountry. 

Modern GPS technology is highly valuable, but what will you do if technology fails? GPS satellites go down, mapping software has glitches, phones, and electronic devices break down, batteries freeze and die. This is where traditional navigation skills become an essential part of your backcountry/outdoor toolbox. 

This course is based in Nelson, BC, and is a half-day in-person classroom session followed by a half-day field session. You will learn how to use traditional tools like a map and compass to plan trips and navigate in the backcountry. We meet together indoors to introduce you to concepts, teach you map and compass lessons, and how to use maps to plan a trip. Then we move outdoors to put your new knowledge to work.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn how to read a map (basics to advanced)
  • Where to find good quality maps, both online and offline. 
  • Learn how to read UTM (grid) and Latitude and Longitude positions and when to use them. 
  • Learn how to communicate your position on a map to outside resources in the event of an emergency. 
  • Learn how to find yourself on a map using triangulation
  • Learn how to plan a route using a map and compass (at home)
  • Learn how to use a map and compass to follow your route plan (in the field)
  • Additional tools you can use to support your navigation. (Phone, GPS, Altimeter)

Fitness & Skill Requirements:








Splitboarding 101


  • Course Dates:

    • Dec 18, 2021
  • Course Cost:

    $197 +tax     *Other fees may apply

Courses may be held at either Kootenay Pass or Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry. For courses hosted in the Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry, we may use the ski lifts to access the backcountry. If you are not a seasons pass holder, 1 Ride tickets can be purchased from us on the day of your course.

New to Splitboarding? We have been there too!

In this one day course, we will show you the ropes of splitboarding. We understand that everyone starts off somewhere and not everyone has friends who have the patience to teach you how to keep up.  

 Splitboarding comes with unique challenges that are easily overcome with tips and tricks from our expert guides.  Learn how to transition quickly, manage those sticky skins, split your board with ease and read terrain so you don't end up on flats! We will also show you some low-avalanche-risk terrain to practice your skills in. We are passionate about what we do and are eager to get you hooked.

This is an entry-level course that anyone can participate in!

Please contact us if you wish to book this as a private trip for you and your friends or family. Custom dates are available.

Fitness & Skill Requirements:







Ski Touring 101


  • Course Dates:

    contact us for dates

  • Course Cost:

    $197 +tax     *Other fees may apply

Courses may be held at either Kootenay Pass or Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry. For courses hosted in the Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry, we may use the ski lifts to access the backcountry. If you are not a seasons pass holder, 1 Ride tickets can be purchased from us on the day of your course.

New to Ski Touring? We have been there too!

In this one day course, we will show you the ropes of backcountry ski touring. We understand that everyone starts off somewhere and not everyone has friends who have the patience to teach you how to keep up.  

This course is all about learning in a supportive environment. We will show you how to utilize your gear, put your skins on efficiently, clip into tech bindings, transition quickly, move uphill efficiently, and show you some low avalanche risk terrain to practice your skills in.  We are passionate about what we do and are eager to get you hooked.

This is an entry-level course that anyone can participate in!

Please contact us if you wish to book this as a private trip for you and your friends or family. Custom dates are available.

Fitness & Skill Requirements:

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