Avalanche Skills Training 1 & Ski touring

Avalanche Skills Training 1 & Ski touring

Cost: $350/person - $315/person Midweek

Length: 2 Days + Online Course

Max Instructor/client ratio: 1:6

Instructor Quals: ACMG Ski Guide

Location: Whistler Blackcomb

Service: Phone Interview

The height of your building depends on the strength of your foundation.

You deserve the right start to your Avalanche skills training! Developing solid foundational skills and good habits is key for a long and safe journey in the mountains. This course is two full days in the field, with a small amount of online learning. Unlike other companies, you will be taught by fully qualified ACMG Ski Guides, not a lesser expert or qualification. We know the more individual tutoring and instruction you get the better the learning outcome, therefore we are offering you the lowest instructor to guide ratio in the Sea to Sky corridor.

For a slab avalanche to occur these three elements must combine, a cohesive layer of snow (slab), a sliding surface (weak layer), enough gravitational force to overload the weak layer (slope angle).

What you will learn.

Companion Rescue - You will practice the fundamentals of single victim avalanche recovery, which includes; Transceiver search techniques, probing techniques, efficient team shoveling.

Avalanche Occurrence Recognition - You will learn the fundamentals of why avalanches occur through a variety of experiential learning. 

Avalanche Terrain Recognition & Best Practice Travel techniques - you will learn to recognize large to smaller avalanche hazards that exist in the backcountry and how to mitigate these hazards. Including route finding practice and Avalanche terrain group travel techniques. 

Pre-trip planning tools - you will learn a series of resources & tools that will allow you to plan your backcountry trips safely.  

Other backcountry hazards recognition - you will learn about other hazards that exist in the backcountry

Introduction to winter navigation - you will be introduced to the basics of winter navigation techniques.

Is this course for you?

We will be taking you into mountainous backcountry terrain & we need to be assured that you have certain foundational travel techniques. It would be unsafe for you and the other group members if you did not have these skills.

  • You must have the ability to ski or ride black-diamond terrain on the ski resort.
  • You must have a reasonable level of fitness that allows you the ability to hike up steep terrain for 3hrs per day. 
  • You are not required to have any backcountry experience although you need to have at least tested out walking with your touring skis or split board. 

If you are concerned about not having the prerequisite please contact me and we can discuss a preparation strategy for you in order to achieve this course at a later time within the season.


What can you expect?

Arrive at 8 am at the meeting location TBD with food, water & all equipment and lift pass for the day, you are ready to ski or board with your boots on. We will meet and look at a series of resources that can give us information about what sort of weather, snow & avalanche conditions to expect in the backcountry. 

We will then use the ski resort to access the backcountry.  Expect to be in the elements for most of the day and until we re enter the resort. This could be anything from wind & snow to sunshine, be sure to check the day's forecast before leaving home to have an idea of the temperatures and conditions of the day.

What do I need to supply?

Lift tickets 

Backcountry ski or Boarding equipment 

Avalanche rescue equipment 

Transportation to the mountain 

Food/water/tea for the day

Escape Route in Whistler Village has an excellent supply backcountry touring equipment



Prior to the course, you are required to complete some online learning material. 

Day 1

8 am -  Information gathering & condition assessment session - Whistler Village 

9 am - Depart for the backcountry 

Day 2

8 am -  Information gathering & condition assessment session - Whistler Village 

9 am - Depart for the backcountry

Ski touring Equipment.

Downloadable Ski Touring Equipment List 

This is a list that you can consult anytime you go touring, keep in mind that packing light is also critical.

Touring Equipment

  • Ski Touring boots or snowboard boots - no regular ski boots
  • Skis - over 100mm waist is recommended
  • Touring Bindings - Pin or tech bindings are highly recommended (track binding are heavy and their ergonomics make for much more difficult travel)
  • Split board
  • Ski poles with powder baskets - adjustable type recommended
  • Adhesive climbing skins - Fitted to the width and length of your skis or board
  • Backpack capacity: 30-40 litre

Avalanche Hardware

  • Avalanche probe 
  • Snow Shovel - no plastic shovels
  • Avalanche Transceiver (457 KHz single frequency)
  • Spare transceiver batteries (purchase new ones & check for correct size)

Other essentials

  • Ski goggles, x 2 if you like dunking your head in the snow.
  • Sunglasses - even if it’s not sunny the snow is bright
  • Insulated water bottle or regular water bottle (No Camelback or other hydration
    systems they will freeze) 1L unless you are a sweety fish!
  • Food and snacks for the day - that are easy to eat on the go or in a snowy environment
  • Small thermos (good option to warm the insides)

    Ski Clothing
  • Ski pants gortex
  • Long underwear, shirt and bottoms (poly-pro/wool blends)
  • Fleece tops and bottoms (wind-stopper)
  • Ski socks 
  • Ski gloves / Mitts - Ideally one pair thinner and another pair thick
  • Gore-tex outer jacket/parka (with hood)
  • Down/Synthetic jacket (warm, “puffy” type jacket)
  • Neck gaiter/tube or buff - if its windy
  • Toque (ski hat)
  • Lightweight helmet and carrying system (optional)
  • Sun hat/powder hat - baseball caps work well

    Other Important Stuff
  • Personal first-Aid & blister Kit (second skin, compeed, athletic tape, personal medications, Ibuprofen, etc...)
  •  Sunblock
  • Headlamp, it's good to bring a headlamp in your pack in case we have an issue, for example, a broken binding later in the day.

Do I need to sign a waiver?

All participants must read, understand, and sign a Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims, Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement. Those under the age of 19 years must have a parent or legal guardian co-sign their waiver. Medical conditions that may affect your or other participants’ safety must be declared during the reservation process. The participation of any person in any program at any time is always subject to the discretion of OneLife Adventures and its guides, crew, or skipper. Please click on the waiver button below to read. An electronic wavier will be sent to you once your booking is complete.


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