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The Kootenay Mountaineering Club

A world of adventure in our own backyard

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Skills Courses for KMC Members

Introduction to Backcountry Skiing – December 9, 2018 (members only)

Cost: FREE

Instructors: Peter Oostlander, Bert Port and others. Dates and instructors are subject to change as we get closer to the course date.

Join us for a day of exploring the world of backcountry skiing! This one day course covers basic skills needed to participate in day trips on skis.

Location: To be announced (depends on snow conditions).This trip is not suitable for split snowboards.

Program Objectives:

This trip is an introductory course for those who have never skied outside a resort but would like to pick up backcountry skiing or would like to get some more experience. If you are an intermediate skier who can confidently ski 'blue' (intermediate) runs in-bounds and want to try backcountry skiing, this trip is for you!

This is not an avalanche course and no previous avalanche training is required.

What you will learn:

  • Ski gear and how to use it
  • Skin up technique
  • Beacon check and basics of winter safety
  • Route planning and route finding
  • Basic avalanche safety considerations

What to bring: THE BIG 5

  • 1) Backcountry skis (with AT or telemark binding)
  • 2) Ski boots
  • 3) Climbing skins
  • 4) Ski poles
  • 5) Avi gear – a beacon (check the batteries!), shovel and (optional) probe


  • A warm puffy jacket or fleece
  • A waterproof & windproof jacket
  • Two pairs of gloves, one pair should be mittens
  • Waterproof overpants
  • Snacks, lunch and drink for one day
  • Headlamp; knife, lighter or waterproof matches
  • A small thermos with hot drink is recommended

After completing this course you should have the confidence to join the KMC on day trips such as the trips listed below.

Intermediate Backcountry Ski Trips – Day 1 -January 26, 2019; Day 2 - February 9, 2019 (members only)

Cost: FREE

Guides: Peter Oostlander and Bert Port

Join us for a day of carving some turns in some popular backcountry ski areas. For those that have taken the Intro to backcountry ski course: build on the skills you have learned! This trip is not suitable for split snowboards.

Location: To be announced closer to the date (depends on snow conditions)

Prerequisite: Completion of the KMC “Introduction to Backcountry Skiing Course” or similar experience

What to bring: see above

Summit Mountain Guides Avalanche Skills Training (AST) Courses

The Kootenay Mountaineering Club is subsidizing these courses to the amount of $25 per member. Please note we have a $75 course subsidy limit for any one member per calendar year.

Volunteer trip organizers will receive an additional subsidy of $25 over and above the regular member $25 discount, already included in the posted rates. To qualify, you must have organized at least 4 trips in the past year. This program recognizes the importance of all trip organizers within our club. If you think you qualify, please contact Peter Oostlander first for an approval.

AST 1 - February 23-24, 2019 done on snowshoes

Course value $247 - KMC member rate: $199 incl. GST

Price includes:

  • Avalanche course book
  • CAA avaluator trip planning tool
  • AST 1 certificate

Location: Castlegar Recreation Centre for theory session.

Group size: Maximum 8, Minimum 6

The introductory course, Avalanche Skills Training 1, is a 2 day weekend program. Students will learn how to recognize and manage avalanche terrain, read snow pack information and better choose up track routes and descent runs. The program is lecture based the first day, with some time dedicated in the field to practice transceiver searches and discuss rescue fundamentals. The second day will be field based and experiential, learning and practicing skills like: terrain evaluation, mountain hazard assessment, safe route finding techniques, snow pack analysis and snow testing techniques. Please see here for course itinerary and equipment requirements.

Companion Rescue & Refresher Course - January 6, 2019

Course value $137 – KMC member rate $99 Incl. GST

Group size: Maximum 8, Minimum 6

Has it been awhile since your last avalanche skills training? Review and renew your practical rescue skills, get information about new avalanche equipment as well as discover updated probing, shoveling and group rescue techniques.

This one day field course is based out of Nelson BC. It follows the Canadian Avalanche Association program, goals and objectives. In addition to learning modern search practices this course provides trip planning techniques and rescue resource awareness.

Please see Summit Mountain Guides course page for course itinerary and equipment requirements.

Managing Avalanche Terrain –January 13, 2019

Course value $137– KMC member rate $99 Incl. GST

This course has no minimum group size, since KMC students will be added on to an existing SMG course.

The MAT is a one-day, field-based course, designed to expand on the terrain management theory taught in the AST 1 course, as well as develop winter backcountry travel skills. AST 1 (or AST 2) is a prerequisite.

AST 1 grads will benefit from this one-day field session focusing on traveling safely through avalanche terrain. Students must be intermediate to advanced resort skiers.

Please see Summit Mountain Guides course page for course itinerary and equipment requirements.

AST 2 – Jan 17-20, 2019; Feb 1-4, 2019

(limited spaces available) *evening sessions on day 1

Course value $488 – KMC member rate: $415 incl. GST

Are you looking for the highest recreational avalanche training? Are you interested in boosting your skills before seeking further Industry Training Programs? The AST level 2 will deepen your knowledge, broaden your experience and skills for better decision making in avalanche terrain.

This 3 & 1/2 day program is the next logical step after completing the AST 1. Similar topics will be covered with more depth and emphasis on adapting personal exposure based on changing conditions & field observations.

This course provides the highest level of recreational avalanche training. It is also a stepping stone for further CAA industry training programs. See Summit Mountain Guides course page for more information.