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Avalanche Formation and Release


In this video, our lead guide, Judson, gives you a taste of what you will learn in our AST 2 program. In this lesson, we use a catastrophic avalanche video to demonstrate how avalanches are formed and how they release. Are you looking to increase your confidence in the backcountry?  Our courses are the best way to maximize your fun and safety ...

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Join Judson On The Lodge-Based AST-2 Course

kylegorenko_MtBrennanKBG-10-web AST 2 Students Summit Mount Brennan

Hello everyone, This is Judson, and I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be leading both Lodge-Based AST-2 courses for KBG this year. Among all the courses we offer, this one holds a special place in my heart. The unique connection I build with students during five days in a lodge is truly unparalleled. Being in a lodge allows extra time to connect a...

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7 Ways Surface Hoar Contributes to Avalanches

Surface Hoar

I often refer to surface hoar as the enemy of backcountry skiers. Most avalanche deaths in the Columbia Mountains are caused by surface hoar. "Know thy enemy" is a saying to apply to surface hoar. This article helps you understand this beautiful but deadly crystal.   Surface hoar refers to a type of frost crystal that forms on the surface of s...

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Advanced Backcountry Navigation: My favorite backcountry navigation apps, and a shout out to the Old School

MAT Students using modern GPS to confirm location in the backcountry MAT Students using modern GPS to confirm location in the backcountry

One of the greatest backcountry advancements occurred when the smartphone was equipped with GPS capabilities. This invention allowed backcountry users to place themselves on a map that was stored on their phones. Now many apps are competing with one another for backcountry navigation supremacy. I do not view any single app as "the one and only", ra...

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Kootenay Backcountry Guides Is Hiring: Administrative Assistant

Photo: Tom Wilson

Are you an organized, adventure-loving individual with stellar administrative skills? KBG is hiring an Administrative Assistant to join our team. Reporting to the KBG owner, you'll focus on Customer Service, Communications, SM Management, and IT.  Key Qualifiers: Organizational SkillsTimely Customer ServiceProfessional and Friendly Communicati...

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This Is The Reason You Should Always Remember Your Map and Compass

Morning Meeting

In an era of dazzling technological advances, it's become all too easy to fall into the digital navigation trap. You know the scenario: you're gearing up for an epic backcountry skiing adventure, and your trusty smartphone, equipped with a fancy GPS app, is your designated guide. After all, why bother with archaic tools like maps and compasses when...

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7 Human Biases in the Backcountry and How to Avoid Them

Multiple Remotes

We all share common traits as backcountry skiers: a passion for powder, the thrill of adventure, and the challenges of navigating unpredictable terrain. But there's something else we all share—our humanity. Human biases are an inherent part of our decision-making process, and while some biases can serve us well, others can lead us astray. In the ba...

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10 Essential Steps to Prepare for Ski Touring Season

Heading Up Heading Up

As the leaves change and temperatures drop, the anticipation of ski touring season and winter adventures grows. To make the most of your time on the slopes and in the backcountry, it's crucial to prepare ahead of time. From fine-tuning your fitness to embracing cutting-edge backcountry tech, this guide outlines ten essential steps to ensure you're ...

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Accelerate Your Backcountry Skills With The Scientific Method

Take Notes [Photo: Tom Wilson Media] Take Notes [Photo: Tom Wilson Media]

I have been teaching Avalanche Safety Courses for over a decade. I stumbled upon this process several years ago, which always resonates with students. Why not use the scientific method to supercharge our learning? One of the most excellent tools humans have ever discovered can be applied to backcountry skiing! This isn't a way to make backcountry s...

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Introducing the "Backcountry Insights Blog": Your Autumn Reading Companion

Larches in Monica Meadows Larches in Monica Meadows

Ah, fall – the season of crisp mountain air and recent rainfall. It's a time when my thoughts inevitably turn to winter. I can imagine you, too, are deep in dreams of light, fluffy powder on pristine mountain slopes, eagerly anticipating that first snowfall while staring at your skis or boards. This autumn, I've made the decision to write a series ...

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This Is What A Guided Cycling Tour In The Kootenays Is All About

Kootenay Cycle Adventures Kootenay Lake Highway Kootenay Cycle Adventures Kootenay Lake Highway

Cruising through stunning mountain passes, winding along the shores of pristine lakes, and conquering those epic climbs – the Kootenay region is a playground where road cyclists' dreams come to life. With charming waterfront towns, boutique hotels, and plenty of independent cafes and restaurants, the region is best savoured on two wheels. Discover ...

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Book Early & Save For The 2023/2024 Season!

AST 2 Snow Science AST 2 Students take a close look at snow crystalsPhoto: Tom Wilson Photography

We hope everyone has been enjoying their summer adventures and holidays. With most of BC under a blanket of smoke, we can't help but think of those cooler temps and that Kootenay Coldsmoke blower pow. This newsletter encourages you to cash in on early-season savings, secure a spot on our Lodge-Based AST 2, get on the Wapta Traverse waitlist, claim ...

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Are you ready to embark on an extraordinary adventure that combines the exhilaration of cycling with the awe-inspiring beauty of the Kootenay region?  Look no further! Kootenay Backcountry Guides has partnered with Kootenay Cycling Adventures, and we are thrilled to offer you an unforgettable cycling tour experience that will leave you breathl...

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Collecting Free Info: #2 Talk To People

Collecting Free Info: #2 Talk To People

Welcome to our video series on collecting free information in the backcountry. What is free information? Free information is safe, easily accessible, and timely. #2 Talk To People, Keep Each Other Safe Communicating with others in the parking lots or on the trails can help guide your day and make it safer for everyone. Sharing your plans/routes wit...

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Collecting Free Info #1 Know Before You Go

Collecting Free Info #1 Know Before You Go

Welcome to our video series on collecting free information in the backcountry.  What is free information?  Free information is safe, easily accessible, and timely.  #1 Know Before You Go Exploring the backcountry in the winter is a unique experience, however there are many things to consider before venturing out of bounds. All profes...

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Collecting Free Information in the Backcountry: #1 Know Before You Go (Avalanche Canada)

Collecting Free Information in the Backcountry: #1 Know Before You Go (Avalanche Canada)

Welcome to our video series on collecting free information in the backcountry.  What is free information?  Free information is safe, easily accessible, and timely.  In this 1st video, we explain what free information is. Your backcountry tour begins from the comforts of your home before you step foot on the mountain. This is also the...

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Snowpack Update - Jan 19 2023


STATE OF THE SNOWPACK UPDATE FOR WHITEWATER SKI RESORT Kutetl, Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry Aspect: East Elevation 2140m  FAT & LOW ANGLE That's probably going to be the theme for the season. We are avoiding shallow snowpacks, especially those over rocky/unsupported terrain, where these layers are closer to the surface ...

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Snowpack Update Dec 31 2022

Snowpack Update Dec 31 2022

STATE OF THE SNOWPACK UPDATE FOR WEST ARM PROVINCIAL PARK  Date: Dec 31 2022 Location: Evening Ridge, West Arm Provincial Park Elevation/Aspect: 1950m/West Sorry for the delay in getting this out - one of us has to take some time off - but back to our PSA!  The persistent weak layers continue to be a persistent issue as they can still be ...

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Snowpack Update - Deep Dive Dec 12 2022


STATE OF THE SNOWPACK UPDATE FOR THE WEST KOOTENAYS  Date: December 12, 2022 Where: West Kootenay Boundary Judson dives deep into the snowpack to break down what the current state of our snowpack is and what is happening in the backcountry.  This update covers:  00:00 Intro 00:52 Current Conditions 02:11 Avalanche Bulletin&...

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Latest Snowpack Update - Deep Into The Snowpack


December 1, 2022 Today we break from field observations to give a general overview of the snowpack and avalanche conditions we are seeing. In this video we breakdown: The Avalanche Canada Bulletin in the North and South of the region. Snowpack depths for various locations and elevations.The layers we see in the snowpack and their distributionA deta...

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Lastest Snowpack Update For Nov 30, 2022


STATE OF THE SNOWPACK UPDATE, IT IS DUMPING!! Date: November 30th, 2022 Where: Sliver King Ridge Aspect + Elevation: North/2000m Today we found excellent skiing on low-angle smooth slopes with true Kootenay Cold Smoke coming down. We went for a tour to the top of Silverking Ridge. The snowpack depth was highly variable depending on aspect and eleva...

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Snowpack Update Nov 26, 2022


STATE OF THE SNOWPACK UPDATE FOR WHITEWATER SKI RESORT  Date: November 26, 2022 Where: Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry Aspect + Elevation: South/1800m This is an update to our Nov 24 snowpack update and wanted to highlight some exciting results we noticed. First Day of an AST-1 course. Good news/bad news: the riding was half decent but,...

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Working In The Avalanche Path


Kootenay Backcountry Guides partners with Whitewater Ski Resort's Shoulder Series events to bring you Working In The Avalanche Path. Join us on the evening of Dec. 5th at The Bear & Sturgeon to learn what it is like to have a career in the avalanche path. From Guiding to Avalanche Education, Patrol, and Avalanche Technician Professional Fields....

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Snowpack Update Nov 24, 2022


STATE OF THE SNOWPACK UPDATE FOR WHITEWATER SKI RESORT  Date: November 24, 2022 Where: Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry Aspect + Elevation: NW/1980m GOOD NEWS! The snowpack is building and backcountry skiers have been out skiing powder in areas of smooth ground cover. We are at a normal season average for snowpack depth between 70-100cm at Tr...

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Decision-Making Tools - KBG 5 Rules Card

Kootenay Backcountry Guides - 5 Rules Card Kootenay Backcountry Guides - 5 Rules Card

If you've taken a course with us you know how essential this card is! For those who haven't taken one of our courses, this is our decision-making cheat sheet. The decision-making process starts at home before you even leave the house. It starts with a gear checklist, then lists essential before-leaving-home reminders: Leave a trip planCheck the for...

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We are proud to announce Kootenay Backcountry Guide's partnership with ROAM Shop Nelson to bring you B.A.S.E. DAY! Backcountry Awareness Safety Education Day With summer officially over and the snow line making its way closer to town, we want to help you get stoked for this upcoming season. This FREE public event is all about safety ...

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Traverse Tales

Traverse Tales banner Join us for an evening of epic traverse tales!

Join us for an evening of epic traverse tales! Within our little local community live some everyday legends. Meet Douglas Noblet and Alex Heathcott who share a similar passion for long walks in the mountains. Douglas will share his experience of skiing the entire length of the Canadian Monashee Mountains, and Alex will share his adventure of being ...

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Kootenay Backcountry Guides Join our team of backcountry enablers!

Kootenay Backcountry Guides is hiring ACMG Ski Guides, Aspirant Ski Guides, and CAA professional members to join our team for the 2022-23 winter season. We seek enthusiastic individuals passionate about guiding and sharing their skill sets to enable our guests to access the backcountry confidently.   WHO WE ARE  Since 2016-17, Kooten...

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AST 2 Students, Hummingbird Pass Whitewater AST 2 Students, Hummingbird Pass Whitewater Ski Resort

One of the frequently asked questions we get at KBG is: When will I be ready to take the AST-2?   Ultimately the decision rests in your hands and should be in line with your backcountry goals and experience. In this post, we aim to help your decision by providing you with information that may help.  Students should consider the following ...

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Spring Basecamp April 2022

Basecamp 2022 That moment when the sky clears and the vistas are celebrated.

Between April 6th and 10th, we were fortunate to complete a five day and four-night helicopter access basecamp in the North Monashees with return Kootenay Backcountry Guests.   This was their second winter basecamp with us. Our trip took place in a remote valley in British Columbia that is not often visited. The remote nature and spectacu...

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