AST Level 2

In order to safely expand your backcountry horizons, your growing confidence needs to be matched with a deeper understanding of how and why avalanches happen as well as developing more efficient backcountry travel and rescue skills.

Our intensive 4 days AST 2 course is designed to meet the needs of experienced skiers and split boarders, looking to build upon the essential skills necessary for safe backcountry travel.   The course focuses on developing the techniques for assessing and evaluating potential avalanche slopes in the backcountry and managing hazards that they present. This is not meant to be an avalanche forecasting course, nor is it a course that dwells on the scientific collection and recording of snowpack and weather observations.  Rather, we will emphasize the practical collection and analysis of relevant data that can inform your decisions making in avalanche terrain.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand snow avalanche mechanics, including correlation of weather to snowpack, layering, effects of temperatures, principles of slab failure, leading causes of instabilities and forces involved in avalanches.
  • To know how and when to perform a variety of snowpack tests, such as: pole test, compression test, burp, ski cutting, Rutschblocks; and how to interpret their results.
  • Develop a systematic approach towards evaluating snow stability and hazard which includes the collection of weather, snowpack and terrain information.
  • Be able to recognize appropriate terrain and routes for the conditions, and be able to apply effective travel techniques to manage avalanche hazard.
  •  To improve your company rescue techniques, including multiple transceiver searches.

This course follows a training syllabus developed by Avalanche Canada and a certificate of completion will be issued at the end of the course.

Practical Information
This is a 2-day field-based course. Please note that due to Government-mandated restrictions the classroom portion of the course will be webinar-based and may be completed any time prior to the start of the course.
Skill Level
Participants must have completed a minimum AST 1 introductory level avalanche course before registering. We recommend at least one year of experience with backcountry touring. Must be comfortable travelling on skis or split-board.
Upon registration, we will send you a complete equipment list. There should not be any surprises on the equipment list. We will be using standard ski touring and avalanche safety equipment.

You will be required to provide a modern 3 antenna digital avalanche transceiver, an avalanche shovel, and an avalanche probe.

Please contact us if you have any questions prior to booking.

Group Size
Maximum 1:6 Instructor to participant ratio. We require a minimum group size of 4 for the course to run.
There are two basic types of insurance that most participants need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance.

Emergency Medical Expenses Insurance:

It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident during your trip. Obtain extra coverage if necessary. Costs such as air or ground transportation, long-term care and other services are not covered.

Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:

We recognize that our guests’ schedules may change for many reasons; business, family, flight delays, injuries and other unplanned events. For these eventualities, the Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance is a great way to protect your investment.

For all your travel insurance requirements we recommend the Simpson Group. This agency offers a wide range of travel insurance options including Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical and Personal Effect Loss for Canadian Travelers. We highly recommend purchasing this insurance. For more information and to purchase a plan, visit the Simpson Group’s website.

Risk Management
The course takes place in a backcountry winter environment. Conditions can be harsh and you need to be adequately dressed to enhance your comfort and learning. During the field day, we will be on the periphery of avalanche terrain however, we do limit our exposure to avalanches so that we can operate in the program area no matter what the avalanche danger is for that given day. All our guides/instructors have advanced first aid certification and carry first aid kits as well as emergency communication. The course is designed to provide a good platform for learning and is not meant to be overly physically challenging or to put you at risk. Our focus is on instruction so we find appropriate avalanche study areas close to the road to maximize your avalanche education.
Terms and Conditions
Students must be 18 years of age or older, prior to enrolling in the course.