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Youth Avalanche Skills Training (AABBS)

Backcountry Knowledge for Youth

Avalanche Awareness Beyond the Boundaries (AABBS) is a non-profit society formed to provide free/affordable Avalanche Skills Training to youth between the ages of 13 to 18 in the Kootenay area.

Avalanche Awareness Beyond the Boundaries (AABBS)

AABBS is a non-profit society founded in the spring of 2009 by a group of Nelson ski industry and business professionals concerned about the increasing numbers of teens venturing out into the backcountry without any avalanche and/or mountain safety training. This is a slightly modified version of the Avalanche Canada approved AST 1 drawing on the instructor's experience and feedback from the youth in order to maximize interaction and engagement. We have also integrated the one-day Avalanche Awareness Courses into the AABBS curriculum to raise awareness and prepare these youths for the AST 1 course. You must be strong intermediate skiing/riding ability to take this course.

This is a free course for youth with limited capacity, registration is on a first-come first-serve basis.

Includes: Lift ticket if required

AABBS Course #1 Jan 15 - Jan 17 $50 Donation
AABBS Couse #2 Jan 29 - Jan 31 $50 Donation

Mission Statement

To raise awareness and educate youth in decision-making about backcountry travel and avalanche safety by providing age-appropriate courses in the West Kootenay region.

About

AABBS is a non-profit society founded in the spring of 2009 by a group of Nelson ski industry and business professionals concerned about the increasing numbers of teens venturing out into the back country without any avalanche and/or mountain safety training.

Thanks to the generosity of the many donors supporting the effort the AABBS provided free Avalanche Canada-approved Avalanche Skills Training (AST) courses to approximately 467 Nelson and area youth between the ages of 13 to 18 since 2009.

The fundraising efforts for the society kicked off at the 2009 Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Festival held at Whitewater through a silent auction where the initial seed money of $5000 was raised. The AABBS was named beneficiary for the Travis Steeger Memorial Fund set up after his tragic death and donations on his behalf have been ongoing. The first of large corporate donations was given to The AABBS by the Nelson & District Credit Union in the form of a cheque for $2500. A gear swap in 2010 raised $775 as well as the Avalanche Rescue Seminar in December hosted by Whitewater and instructed by Manuel Genswein raising a further $650. Furthermore, Whitewater's forgotten pass funds and donations from the use of Whitewater's Beacon Basin training grounds have contributed another $135. Ongoing monies will be raised through the AABBS membership drive and private donations. The Kootenay Mountain Culture magazine's popular Backyard Booty Film Showcase donated all proceeds from the night's bar to the fund and there were some thirsty filmgoers!

Fundraising for the AABBS will be ongoing into 2019.2020 winter season. In fact, in the past five years, Whitewater was able to help raise over $21,000 for the AABBS. In October of 2015 the students in the Selkirk College SROAM program (Ski Resort and Operation Management) raised $1000 in their annual SROAMazing Race. The board is planning to pursue more corporate sponsorship through the various trusts foundations and community events in the area. A BIG thank you to 2018/2019 AABBS sponsors Backroads Brewing Company, Baldface Lodge and Backcountry Skiiing Canada.

The AABBS has striven to deliver a slightly modified version of the CAA approved AST 1 drawing on the instructors experience and feedback from the youth in order to maximize interaction and engagement. We have also integrated the one-day Avalanche Awareness Courses into the AABBS curriculum to raise awareness and prepare these youths for the AST 1 course. It was difficult for some youth to access the necessary equipment required for the AST course. The society board has since provided 12 complete safety equipment packs with all of the necessary backcountry gear. If you are interested in making a donation or volunteering to help the AABBS meet future goals please contact Kirk at kirk@skiwhitewater.com or call 1.800.666.9420 or 250.354.4944.


The Youth Mountain Education Center (YMEC)

The Youth Mountain Education Center (YMEC) opened in December 2015. Allowing our ski team and youth avalanche courses a space to get educated about the mountains in the mountains. There are limited private YMEC bookings available, $40 for an hour and $100 for the day. Call 250-354-4944 or email info@skiwhitewater.com for details.