Ast1 for Sledders

As low as:

$365.00 / person

(at 8:1 ratio)
  • STRENUOUSNESS
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  • TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY
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Add-ons

Avi Kit rental $30.00

Avalanche kit rental includes transceiver, shovel and probe. If you are bringing your own avi kit, this must include a modern, digital, 3-antenna transceiver, and a solid shovel and probe. If you do not have all three of these things then you must rent a kit from us to take part. Avi Kits once rented are non-refundable.

About


Looking to get out sledding in the backcountry this winter? Avalanche Skills Training 1 (AST1) is an introductory course geared towards recreationalists with little to no experience in avalanche terrain. It’s also suitable for those with some experience who are looking for more formalized training. AST1 is recommended for anyone venturing into avalanche terrain.

Each course provides a theory session and a practical field session. Students are provided with take-home reference materials and tools which provide clear and effective learning progressions, emphasizing important knowledge and skills. 

AST1 for Sledders is delivered in the backcountry surrounding Mount Washington, and features a customized curriculum delivered by a highly qualified, experienced sledder and avalanche forecaster. 

Curriculum

  • Understand the basics of avalanche formation and release
  • Recognize avalanche terrain
  • Develop a pre-trip plan
  • Use the Avaluator decision-making system
  • Interpret avalanche bulletins
  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain (uphill and down)
  • Complete slope scale assessments
  • Enact a companion rescue

Included

  • 2 days of instruction with a certified instructor
  • Certificate of completion
  • Avalanche Skills Training Handbook
  • Avaluator Trip Planner/Slope Assessment Tool
  • Avalanche Canada student fee

Not Included

  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Personal equipment 
  • Avi Kit (transceiver, shovel, probe – available as an add-on)
  • Lift ticket (available as an add on)

Questions? Check out our FAQ page for details about our booking and cancellation policy, and other commonly asked questions.

Locations 


Our standard in-person classroom is in the Comox Valley. 

The field day will be held in a backcountry area accessed from Mount Washington. We will meet at a pull out 11km up the Mount Washington Rd. 

Exact meeting details will be provided in the pre-trip email sent one-week prior to the start of your course.

Note: Whether the theory session is in-person or online will be determined by provincial health recommendations and our level of comfort with current COVID-19 risk.  Please build flexibility into your plans and consider this when looking for accommodation.

Itinerary


Avalanche Canada requires a minimum of 4 hours of classroom time and 7 hours in the field. Our courses exceed all the minimum time requirements set by Avalanche Canada. Anticipate that each day will go from 8:30 to around 17:00. Timing of each day will depend largely on the group, the instructor and the conditions of the day, but below is a general idea of what to expect. 

Day 1: Theory session

08:30: Meet your instructor and other participants either virtually or in a classroom in the Comox Valley for a day of theory. Sleds will not be needed on day one. 

16:00pm-17:00pm: Approximate finish time

Day 2: Field session 

08:30: Students meet their instructor at a pull out 11km up the Mount Washington Rd. Waivers and rental add-ons are handed out.

09:00: After the morning meeting, students will spend the day in the field, identifying terrain, practicing route finding and safe travel, and learning about slope assessment, hazard recognition and small party self-rescue.
 
16:00pm-17:00pm: Debrief and rental return.

You will be provided with exact meeting details specific to your course one-week prior to your course start date.

Questions? Check out our FAQ page, or send us an email. 

Requirements


Avalanche Skills Training 1 is an introductory avalanche course designed for individuals with little to no avalanche related experience. However, to register for our course for sledders, we ask that you: 

  • Have a basic understanding of your sled, gear, and any limitations (consider practicing with your transceiver beforehand)
  • Are prepared to spend the day outside in variable conditions (please see gear list)
  • Have access to a vehicle which can transport you and your sled safely on winter roads (chains, winter tires, etc.)

If you do not feel you meet these requirements, you may consider registering for our "AST1: Snowshoe" course. 

Pre-course study 

To help you prepare and get the most out of your course, we recommend some pre-course study. Avalanche Canada’s online avalanche tutorial is a great resource.

Questions? Check out our FAQ page, or send us an email.

Gear List


The equipment list provided aims to prepare you to be comfortable in the field regardless of the weather. Please ensure that all your gear is functioning and in proper repair. If you have any questions, please send us an email: [email protected]

Avalanche Safety Gear

These items are available as an add on “avalanche kit” when you book, or by request for $15

  • Avalanche Transceiver (must be a modern, digital three-antenna)
  • Shovel: Collapsible aluminum shovel
  • Probe: Normal length probe somewhere from 220cm to 320cm

Hardware

  • Snowmobile
  • Snowshoes 
  • Collapsible poles 
  • Day pack (30 - 40L, or whatever will fit your gear)

Clothing

  • Waterproof/breathable jacket and pants
  • Lightweight, breathable jacket and pants (for uphill skinning/climbing)
  • Insulated jacket (synthetic insulated jacket is strongly recommended)
  • Lightweight gloves for climbing/skinning 
  • Warm gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Balaclava or another type of neck warmer
  • Baselayers (top and bottom)

Other

  • Water
  • Lunch and snacks (prepared ahead of time and consumable on the go) 
  • Sunglasses
  • Goggles
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat
  • Ski strap
  • Personal first aid (e.g. blister kit, medication)
  • Camera
  • Notebook and pencil (Rite in the Rain recommended)

Rentals


Avalanche Kit: We offer rental transceivers, shovels and probes for $15 as an add on kit when you book.  If you do not have your own modern, digital, three antenna transceiver, please request a rental kit prior to your trip.  

Questions? Check out our FAQ page for information about gear fitting, rentals, add ons, and other commonly asked questions, or send us an email. 

Testimonials

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