Jan, Feb, Mar, Dec
We will meet for a 4-hour session during the evening. We will discuss and watch videos on topics like:
We will also check the required equipment.
We will generally meet at 8AM and drive to an agreed ski touring location in the West Kootenay area. We will spend 8 daily hours in the mountains learning and practicing skills such as:
On the evening of the second and third days, we will have a 2-hour classroom session.
At the end of the course, participants will receive a Canadian Avalanche Association certificate and personal feedback.
Nelson city, British Columbia, Canada
Any accommodation in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada
Before the course, you must read “Staying Alive” by Bruce Tremper. You must also make sure you have the most recent version (2010) of Avaluator™ Trip Planner (received in AST 1).
The guide will carry the following gear: SAT phone and/or VHF radio, first-aid kit & repair kit, crevasse rescue gear/ski-mountaineering rope (route dependent), evacuation gear for injured people, avalanche rescue gear, snow saw, snow study kit, maps of the area, GPS, compass, and altimeter.
You will need to bring:
• Alpine/Telemark Touring skis (lightweight bindings like Dynafit, G3 Onyx or Silvretta Pure are recommended) OR split board for snowboarding
• Alpine/Telemark touring boots (with Vibram sole)
• Ski poles (with regular powder baskets)
• Climbing skins (at least as wide as the waist of your ski)
• Avalanche transceiver (475 megahertz with extra batteries)*
• Lightweight snow shovel*
• Avalanche probe*
• Medium-sized day touring backpack (approx. 40 liters) with outside straps for ski attachment
• Repair kit/spare parts for your bindings (optional)
• Skin wax (a small amount)
(*) SMG may be able to lend these items or to recommended you where they can be rented.
• Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore Tex or similar)
• Wind and waterproof over pants (Gore Tex or similar with integrated gaiters)
• Fleece pullover or jacket and down/fleece vest
• Warm pants (thin: insulated/fleece) and warm shirt (not cotton)
• Capilene, fleece or wool underwear, top and bottoms
• Gloves (lightweight and heavier weight)
• Scarf, neck gaiter or bandanna
• Sun hat, preferably with wide rim
• 2 pairs of socks with thicker outer (wool) and thinner liners (polypro)
• Wool or fleece hat, covering the ears
Please note that the weather in West Kootenay can vary drastically. In the winter you can expect temperatures from -15°C to -5°C during the day while these could rise above zero in the spring. For clothing, we recommend the “layer system”, and light wear that doesn’t take much space in your backpack and dries quickly.
• Sun glasses (with very good UV protection)
• Sun screen and lip protection
• 1-liter water bottle or thermos flask (Camelbaks are not recommended)
• Headlamp with spare battery and bulb
• Personal items (prescription medicine, small blister kit/first aid kit, extra contact lenses and maintenance equipment, prescription glasses, etc.)
• Camera (optional)
• Lunch and snacks
I am an IFMGA and ACMG-certified mountain guide based in Nelson, British Columbia. I'm the lead guide at Summit Mountain Guides, a guiding agency I co-founded back in 2007 and which offers year-round guiding services and courses in Canada and Europe.
The mountains of western Canada have been my playground since 1992. I'll be happy to take you mountaineering, backcountry skiing, rock climbing, hiking or ice climbing in this area I know so well. From day trips to multi-day adventures, I can guarantee an unforgettable and safe experience.
The SMG team of guides will help you with your trip's logistics, safety and contingency plans so that you get the most out of your backcountry experience and can just focus on having an amazing time on the mountain!
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