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Tours + Trips

AST-2 Course

The Details

Location: McGillivray Pass Lodge
Duration: 4 days
Cost: $1700 plus 5% GST
Dates: December 17-21, 2019
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If you have your AST-1 and want to further develop your backcountry safety knowledge; this course is for you! The AST2 course builds on the foundations of your AST-1 and provides a more advanced decision-making framework for traveling in avalanche terrain. The course comprises of both indoor theory sessions at the Lodge and hands on field days amongst the famous McGillivray Pass terrain.

The primary focus will be on a developing and implementing a system for assessing and evaluating potential avalanche slopes in the backcountry in regards to the hazard that they present. The course will emphasise the practical collection and analysis of relevant data that an average backcountry skier would be able to use as the basis for making their decisions regarding travel in avalanche terrain.


What you will learn in an AST-2:

  • Progressive planning and travel techniques that are required to travel safely through various types of terrain
  • Key techniques for using the Danger Rating on a local scale
  • Key techniques for applying the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) technical model to develop personal, local terrain ratings
  • 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
  • Observing, collecting and recording information in the field through activities such as snow-pits; avalanche activity; wind loading, snow distribution and depth; snow testing; weather observations; and, terrain assessment
  • How and when to perform a variety of shear tests, such as a pole test, compression test, burp, ski cutting, Rutschblock; and, to know how to relate each test to the overall “big picture”
  • Self-rescue procedures and protocols, including multiple transceiver searches and companion rescue


  • Previous Avalanche training (AST-1 or equivalent)
  • Competent backcountry travel
  • Strong intermediate or higher skier/snowboarder
  • Ski Touring/Splitboard equipment with climbing skins
  • Avalanche kit: 30L pack, avalanche beacon/shovel/probe
  • Minimum age of 16 years

  • Helicopter transportation into the Lodge from our Staging area in D’Arcy
  • 4 nights accommodation at McGillivray Pass Lodge (based on double room occupancy)
  • All meals cooked by a private chef
  • AST2 course instruction by professional members of the CAA and ACMG guides
  • AST2 certificate upon completion of the course
  • Avalanche manual “Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain
  • CAA Rite in the Rain field book “Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain”
  • $100 gift certificate for a future Whitecap Alpine Adventure
Trip Itinerary:
Dec 17 – meet at Pemberton Airport at 9am for your helicopter safety briefings and waiver signing (please be sure to have self-transport to get to our helicopter staging area in D’Arcy)
Dec 17 – half field day and evening theory session
Dec 18 – full field day and evening theory session
Dec 19 – full field day and evening theory recap/self-study 
Dec 20 – full field day
Dec 21 – half field day

Dec 21 – fly out from the Lodge at 12pm
Optional rental extras:
  • G3 ski and split-board rental with skins and poles
  • Arc’teryx 30L packs
  • G3 shovel and probe
  • Mammut beacon

If you have your AST-1 and want to further develop your backcountry safety knowledge; this is the course for you!

Have Questions?
Call us at 604-907-7937 or email us at