Resort access and parking are closed. For the safety of everyone, please consider enjoying the backcountry elsewhere while Whitewater staff prepare for the season.

Avalanche Education - Ymir Peak

Avalanche Education

Must Know Backcountry Info

Whitewater Ski Resort offers a variety of avalanche safety and backcountry courses for skiers/snowboarders with a wide range of experience.

Companion Rescue Skills

It's called companion rescue because your best chance for survival in the unfortunate event of an avalanche burial is being rescued by your partners. The clock is ticking fast and you don't have time to wait for outside help! Avalanche professionals practice rescue regularly because it's important to be sharp when it really counts! This Avalanche Canada developed course is a follow up to the AST 1, or a fantastic annual refresher to dust off the companion rescue skills. It is a full day outside going through new and old techniques for finding and retrieving your friends fast. Lift ticket included in course

In this course you will:

- Learn to organize and prioritize your actions in an avalanche rescue
- Tune up your search, probe and shovel skills
- Practise single and multiple burial scenarios.

*Includes an Avalanche Canada Companion Rescue Skills (CRS) certificate

This day is spent outside in the field at Whitewater Ski Resort. Expect to be outside all day (9:00am-4:00pm) while undergoing moderate activity.

Participants must have: Avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel, skis or snowboard. This equipment can be rented at Whitewater (make sure you pre-book and get fitted at the rental shop the day before the start of the course).

Companion Rescue Skills December 24th, 2020 $125
Companion Rescue Skills February 7th, 2021 $125

Managing Avalanche Terrain

This course has been recently developed by Avalanche Canada in direct response to feedback from AST 1 course participants looking for more practice of safely moving through avalanche terrain.

This course begins in the base area with a refresher on planning a backcountry day trip and all of the resources available to you. Then, head out of bounds to put in some time practicing on avalanche terrain recognition and management. Includes lift ticket for the day.

In this course you will:

- Use the public avalanche bulletin and weather info to plan a backcountry trip.
- Follow the trip plan, and learn how to adapt to current conditions
- Recognize and classify avalanche terrain and find safe routes to travel

*Includes an Avalanche Canada Managing Avalanche Terrain (MAT) certificate
*Please note the AST 1 is a pre-requisite for this course. Participants should be comfortable skiing or riding in the trees.

This day is spent outside in the Whitewater backcountry. Expect to be outside all day (9:00am-4:00pm) while undergoing physical activity.

Participants must have: Avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel, skis with climbing skins and touring bindings (ie Marker Duke, Salomon Guardian, Atomic Tracker, etc). Splitboards are highly recommended for snowboarders. This equipment can be rented at Whitewater (make sure you pre-book and get fitted at the rental shop the day before the start of the course).

Managing Avalanche Terrain January 2nd, 2021 $125
Managing Avalanche Terain March 6th, 2021 $125

Avalanche Skills Training (AST 1)

Do you want to head out of bounds and into the backcountry? AST 1 is your place to start. You don't need any backcountry experience to take this course, but you do need to be able to comfortably ski or ride the trees.

This course developed by Avalanche Canada is considered the bare minimum for anyone traveling in avalanche terrain during the winter. Course pre-reading is completed online before heading out for 2 knowledge-packed days in the backcountry.

Think of it as the driver's license of the winter backcountry recreation world! Why train? Because your life, and the lives of your partners, depend on it!

In this fun and engaging course you will learn:

  • The basics of avalanche formation and release

  • How to identify avalanche terrain

  • The basics of trip planning

  • Appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain

  • A foundation of companion rescue skills

  • The use of tools like avalanche forecasts to mitigate avalanche risk

This course is the beginning of your lifelong learning process in avalanche education.

*Includes Backcountry Avalanche Awareness book (a publication by the Canadian Avalanche Association), an Avalanche Canada Avalanche Skills Training (AST) 1 certificate and lift tickets if required.

Approximately 5 hours of course pre-reading is completed online. Learn the theory behind avalanche formation and release at your own pace.

The two field days are spent outside in the backcountry at Whitewater Ski Resort. Expect to be outside all day (9:00am-4:00pm) while undergoing moderate activity.

Participants must have: Avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel, skis with climbing skins and touring bindings (i.e. Marker Duke, Salomon Guardian, Atomic Tracker, etc.). Splitboards and poles are highly recommended for snowboarders. This equipment can be rented at Whitewater (make sure you pre-book and get fitted at the rental shop the day before the start of the course).

Participants 16 years or younger must receive prior approval from the lead instructor. Whitewater also offers Avalanche Skills Training courses for youth, aimed at ages 12-18. Information can be found here

Please note there is a minimum requirement of 6 students registered per course date in order for the class to run. If the minimum number of required students is not met for a specific date, those registered will be automatically added to the next available course date. The maximum enrollment is 12 students per class.

AST 1 December 22nd - December 23rd, 2020 $260
AST 1 January 9th - January 10th, 2021 $260
AST 1 January 12th - January 13th, 2021 $260
AST 1 January 23rd - January 24th, 2021 $260

AST 1

February 8th - February 9th, 2021 $260
AST 1 February 13th - February 14th, 202 $260
AST 1 February 27th - February 28th, 2021 $260