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Avalanche Skills Training Course AST1 (2/4/2017)

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.For some events a payment may be required. Payment is not made directly to COC - please review event details fully for information about if and how you will be required to make payment.

You are STRONGLY encouraged to read this page in its entirety before signing up. If you'd like to attend, we ask that you abide by our rules and procedures as a time/cost saving process (with an end result of keeping membership free and lower cost events).

The Basics:
Event Type:Ski - Backcountry
Event Location: Canmore and Bow Summit (on the Icefield Parkway).
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Feb 4 2017, Sun, Feb 5 2017  9:15 AM
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Dec 17 2015 11:00:00 PM
Event Duration:2 days (Saturday & Sunday)
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult
Event Coordinator(s): Barbara B.
You must be logged in to get the Event Coordinator contact information.
Member Cost:$220.50/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:6
Maximum No. Guests:0
Minimum Group Size:2
Maximum No. Guests Per Member:0
Number Registered So Far: 3 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

· This is a two-day event with the classroom day (Saturday) taking place in Canmore and the field day (Sunday) tentatively at Bow Summit.
· There will be no organized carpool or accommodation, so you will need to book your own should you not wish to drive from the city each day.
· Certificates will be presented to those who successfully complete the course.
· You must register and pay through Yamnuska Mountain Adventures here (sign up for the February 4-5, 2017 Canmore Classroom) and e-mail confirmation to your coordinator before being added to this event.
· You can participate whether you have alpine touring skis, split board, or snowshoes. You cannot be on 'foot' (i.e., no alpine touring skis OR split board OR snowshoes).
· This course is not exclusive to COC. We are simply signing up as a group, but there may be other participants as well.

Your coordinator took this course a few years ago, so is taking this as a refresher. I will most likely also post some simple (class 1 terrain) ski tours on the COC calendar this winter. Note that for this course participants have the option of participating with alpine touring skis, split boards, or snowshoes. Avalanche Canada is the key source for avalanche information in Canada. Educate yourself before the course - check out videos, online tutorials, and more right here.

Description copied from

Course Agenda:

Day 1: Saturday, February 4, 2017:
Held in the classroom at Yamnuska
#200, 50 Lincoln Park, Canmore

9:15am: Must have arrived in Canmore
   · Group introductions, goals and objectives for the AST 1 Course, backcountry risks, agenda review, waivers
   · Avalanche phenomena and the implications to us
   · Avalanche formation
   · Characteristics of avalanches, triggers and Avalanche Terrain Recognition
   · Introduction to the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES)
   · Mountain snowpack and snow metamorphism
12:00pm: Lunch break
1:00 pm:
   · Assessing and reducing avalanche risk
   · Accessing and utilizing the Avalanche Danger Scale and Public Avalanche Bulletins
   · Using the Avaluator
   · Human factors and decision making
   · Safe travel and trip planning components
   · Companion Rescue
   · Avalanche transceivers
   · Discuss logistics for the Field Day
4:30 – 5:00pm:
Class ends

Day 2: Sunday, February 5, 2017:

We meet at Bow Summit, on Highway 93, 40 km north of Lake Louise (on rare occasions we may head to selected areas of Kananaskis Country or Banff National Park). Your instructor will provide meeting details on the classroom day.

8:30 - 8:45am:
   · Must have arrived at Bow Summit, which is a 1.5 hour drive from Canmore.
   · Meet, issue avalanche training gear and introduce additional field day instructors
   · Weather and public avalanche bulletin discussion
   · Avaluator
   · Field observations (Wind, Precipitation, Temperature)
   · Transceivers and companion rescue practice
   · Managing and reducing risk in avalanche terrain
   · Route selection, track setting and terrain recognition
   · Snow study profile, stability tests and identifying layers of concern
   · Group rescue scenario – response and priorities
   · Debrief
   · Next level avalanche training
   · AST certificate presentation
   · End of course!

Note on Risk:
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.

Note: Agenda may vary with field conditions and group abilities. A short tour of up to two kilometers is integral on the field day but if you’re not a skier, snowshoes are adequate. It is important that you be properly equipped for a full day in the backcountry in winter conditions.

Instructors and Group Size:
Yamnuska AST 1 instructors are ACMG and IFMGA guides and professional members of the Canadian Avalanche Association. Our instructors are certified CAA Level 2 Avalanche Operations and several of our guides are CAA Level 3 Avalanche Operations, the highest certification level in the CAA. They are true practitioners with years and in some cases, decades of experience in the backcountry, practicing what they preach. Yamnuska has been offering Avalanche courses since the late 1970’s. We have been instrumental in the curriculum development of the AST 1 course and are proud of our rich history in training recreationalists in Canada. We are a Founding Supplier sponsor of Avalanche Canada.

On the field day there is a maximum of 8 participants per instructor.

Equipment and Clothing:
Day one of the AST is an indoor session in our classroom, dress casually and comfortably. Yamnuska supplies course manual “Backcountry Avalanche Awareness” by Bruce Jamieson, Companion Rescue Card and Avaluator. Please bring a pen and notebook.

On the field day, Yamnuska will supply an avalanche transceiver, avalanche probe and avalanche shovel. We also supply group snow study kits and snow saws.

Equipment List:

· Skis: ‘Alpine Touring with touring bindings’ or ‘Telemark’. We recommend a short (160 – 185 cm) wide ski designed for powder and ski touring. Please see note under rental information if you are renting ski equipment.
· Split board: with split board skins. Should be a proficient rider and practiced with transitions from touring to riding
· Snowshoes: Minimum 25inch length is recommended

· Ski poles: recommended for all modes of travel
· Climbing skins ‘Stick-on type’ (only required if using skis or split boards)
· Boots: appropriate for your mode of snow travel. Snowshoe boots need to be good warm winter boots, gaiters are recommended on lower cut snowshoe boots
· Day pack: large enough for spare clothes, lunch, shovel and probe. 30 liter minimum size recommended
· Avalanche transceiver with fresh batteries: digital transceiver with a triple antennae. If you have an older type, double antennae, we recommend you upgrade. We will supply if you don't have your own.
· Avalanche shovel: Collapsible metal shovel designed for companion rescue. We will supply if you don't have your own.
· Avalanche probe: We will supply if you don't have your own.
· Sunglasses and/or ski goggles
· Thermos flask and/or water bottle (1 – 2 litres). Hydration packs are not recommended as tubes freeze.
· Sunscreen
· Small Blister and Personal First Aid Kit

Required Items to Bring:
See list in event description above.
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:Note that there is no organized carpool for this event, so please only sign up if you have a way of getting to Canmore. On Saturday we meet at 9:15am in Canmore (#200, 50 Lincoln Park, Canmore). On Sunday we will most likely meet at Bow Summit at 9:00am (to be confirmed on the Saturday).


Winter Safety Considerations
Entered by Barbara on January 26, 2017.
Terrain Classification: Bow Summit is Challenging (Class 2) terrain. Typically COC only allows events in Simple (Class 1) terrain, but does allow more challenging terrain when going with a guide. This course is led by ACMG guides.
Note that COC event coordinators are volunteers and are not trained guides. All participants are responsible for assessing the current road conditions, current weather conditions, current trail conditions and current avalanche conditions for the trip.

- We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines at all times while participating in COC events.
- Details of this event are subject to undergo a change at any point in time, with or without warning.
- Questions about equipment or rentals? Contact the Event Coordinator for suggestions and recommendations.
- Notice any errors or problems in the information on this page? Please notify our Content Editor(s), Wendy W and Lynda H., at
- Support the club by purchasing a Premier Membership: $25 a year

Cost & Payment:
Member Cost:$220.50/Person
Non-Member Cost:$220.50/Person
Cost Includes:Course cost is $210.00 + GST = $220.50 total. This is payable directly to Yamnuska Mountain Adventures.
Make a Payment:Although there is a cost for this event, you do not pay through the COC. Please review the event details carefully for information about how/where to make your payment.
Voluntary Donation:What is this?)
Suggested donation amount for this event is: $2.00/Person.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:
Please review our Cancellation Policy carefully!