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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).

  • What To Expect:
    • Pre-trip planning and information.
    • Support with working through the online material.
    • Pre-course information packages, gear lists and preparation material.
    • Professional Guides, who are passionate about teaching and giving you all the skills you need.
    • An unforgettable backcountry experience.
  • Lodge Access:

    We will have a short 4km skin into the lodge. Pack light, pack tight, pack right - we will give you tips/advice. A snowmobile will provide transport for group meals and limited gear.

  • Self Catered:

    Students on this course will be responsible for their lunches, working with a partner to make one breakfast and one dinner for the group, and preparing meals for up to 10 people. The lodge has a full kitchen. A PDF with the kitchen layout will be given to you when you sign up.   We will assign you a partner for the week, and you will make the group meals with them (if you sign up with a friend or partner, it is possible to group you). We will assign your meal partner well ahead of the course so you can get together and plan your meals. We will let you know of any dietary restrictions of the other participants. 

    Worried about food quality or have severe dietary issues? Please reach out to us. We have run this course a few times and have had nothing but positive feedback on how the food worked out for all group members. 

    (Catered options available, just ask This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Fitness & Skill Requirements:

Dates & Costs:

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