Testimonials from our AST Alumni
"Just finished my Splitboard AST 2 with Jeremy and Tyler and am really stoked on the experience. I had done an AST2 4 Winters ago, so I was unsure if I made the right call by doing it again, and I definitely did. The online course was a great refresher and learned lots from that. Super stoked on the field days. I feel like I got so much, from using a data-gathering mindset to trip planning to critically evaluating terrain. It was an awesome experience and invaluable to my decision making in the backcountry. Thanks guys!"
"I organized a private AST 2 course and it was taught by Judson. It was a great 4-day field course with an online precourse that we completed in our own time in the weeks prior. Judson was an awesome teacher and I learned far more than I expected regarding critical decision-making skills, snowpack study, avalanche terrain discernment, trip planning, online mapping, as well as group dynamics. Doing a private course was great as the dynamics are good and you are learning with the people you will be skiing with so you can further build and learn together while implementing what you all learned! I would highly recommend KBG for anyone thinking of furthering their backcountry knowledge."
"If you have the opportunity to go out with KBG's, I'd highly recommend jumping on your chance. It is money well spent! I took a 4 day + online AST2 class this weekend with Judson and Dan. They are both professionals. Judson's online learning was well done and felt like just the right amount. Enough to digest, but not so much to overwhelm. All the route finding, planning, and navigation skills using gps tools was particularly valuable. The 4 fields days were split between the two guides. They each had their own style of teaching, which enriched the experience to get the chance to learn from each of them. We were never late, days were scheduled perfectly, but also had lots of input from our group to accommodate our preferences. Oh, and we had a lot of fun and managed some good skiing too!! For sure a bonus, given the objective of the class was learning."
Are you ready to take your learning to the next level?
No more following your friends and being unsure of yourself. This 4-day course is designed to give you the foundation needed for a lifetime of safety in the backcountry. You will need to complete your online pre-learning course, comprised of a series of lectures, videos, discussions, and quizzes that review and expand on the lessons learned in the AST-1. We follow this with FOUR full field days in classic backcountry locations throughout the Kootenays.
The AST-2 course is for students who are looking to get professional-level decision-making tools and processes so they can find the best snow and increase their safety.
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.
The KBG Method: Online pre-learning combined with FOUR field days.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fitness & Skill Requirements:
Fitness Skills (Up Hill)
Flying Squirrels have been ski touring at least ten times and are confident they can put in a 6.5 hour day of moving in the mountains. They can ski or splitboard 1000 vertical meters (3000ft) on back to back days and travel for 10km while following a track. They keep in shape and want a typical day of ski touring, hanging with friends and having a good time.
Ski Skills (Downhill)
Flying Squirrels have ridden powder in bounds and out of bounds and have tasted what deep powder can be. Flying Squirrels can ride tree runs but enjoy open bowls more. They are confident on a black diamond runs in bounds; however, cliffs and steep chutes might not be their thing. Flying Squirrels are primarily looking for a good time with their squirrel friends and can join most of our courses and tours.
Dates & Costs:
Courses may be held at either Kootenay Pass or Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry. We may use the ski lifts to access the backcountry for courses hosted in the Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry. If you are not a season pass holder, single-ride tickets must be purchased on the day of your tour.
Four full 8-hours days of field-based instruction with our fun and professional guides.
Decision Making Handbook used to trip-plan and compare field observations
Our 5 Rules to Stay Safe in Avalanche Terrain and gear checklist card.
Self-paced online primer (no mandatory zoom meetings or classroom lectures) PLUS you'll have the material for life
Booking & Cancelation Policy:
- December 28-31, 2023
- January 11-14, 2024 SOLD OUT
- January 25-28, 2024 ONE SPACE LEFT
- February 16-19, 2024
- March 14-17, 2024
Is the date you wanted sold out? Join the waitlist, and if there are any last-minute cancellations we will try to get you in!