Avalanche Skills Training Level 2

The Avalanche Skills Training Level 2 is the next step in your avalanche education. This is an advanced avalanche course for those who have taken AST 1 already and have experience in the backcountry.
An AST 2 course is built on the foundations of your AST 1, and provides a more advanced decision-making framework for travelling in avalanche terrain. I also recommend to take this course with friends or anyone who is the part of your skitouring crew.

The course has an extensive practical field time in real avalanche terrain. We focus on students creating a decision-making framework for themselves that is based on correctly interpreting avalanche bulletins, understanding weather, making fact-based weather and snow observations while in the field, and working together as a team. We also learn about risk - how to determine what risk you are exposing yourself to, whether that risk falls within levels acceptable to you, and how to reduce risk through the terrain you select for your routes both on ascent and descent. Finally, the course teaches how to proficiently carry out a companion rescue in conditions close to real.

Last but not least, there is a lot of good skiing on the course!

If you are a strong intermediate backcountry skier or splitboarder, have at least 15 days of skitouring/splitboarding experience where you have travelled in avalanche terrain, then this is the course for you! This course is for skiers and splitboarders only.

What you will learn:

  • Progressive planning and travel techniques required to travel safely through various types of avalanche terrain:
    • Proper backcountry travel preparation.
    • Avalanche terrain recognition.
    • Weather, snowpack and avalanche activity observations.
    • Route finding.
    • Decision making in avalanche terrain, human factors.
    • Team work in the field.
    • Snow profiles and stability tests.
  • Key techniques for using the danger rating on a local scale.
  • Key techniques for applying the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) technical model to develop personal, local terrain ratings.
  • How to proficiently carry out a companion rescue.

Itinerary & Location

These courses start with a classroom day in Chamonix where we will review the basics and introduce some advanced concepts in weather, snowpack, terrain, and decision making. Exact location - to be announced.

On day 2 we will begin by having a pre-trip meeting to review weather and conditions, then go on a field trip.

On days 3 and 4 we will go on skitour in different locations in Chamonix or Aosta valleys, depends on snow and weather conditions. Every morning we will review the weather and conditions before deciding on a trip objective.
In the field the emphasis will be placed on using appropriate weather and snowpack observations, and how to use terrain to manage your risk. We will be on the real avalanche terrain appropriate for the conditions, suited to group ability and the Avalanche Danger forecast for that day. Days are typically six to seven hours in the field.

During field days we will be able to communicate with each other and outside agencies with cell phones, radios and Garmin InReach satellite messenger.

Dates

AST 2 dates - 2020/2021:
Decemeber 19-22
January 16-19

For private groups I offer AST courses at any suitable for you dates. Contact me for details.


Price: 490 EUR per person

Minimum to maximum number of participants: 3 to 6

Price includes:

  • Instructor for 4 days
  • Course materials - Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain Field Book.
  • Classroom day
  • Group equipment

Extra expenses:

  • Personal gear
  • Lift Passes
  • Insurance
  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Food&Drinks

Details

If you are a strong intermediate backcountry skier or splitboarder, have at least 15 days of skitouring/splitboarding experience where you have travelled in avalanche terrain, then this is the course for you! This course is for skiers and splitboarders only.

To come on AST 2 you must have AST 1 course certificate. If you had any other 2-3 days avalanche course in the past, contact me for equivalence.

Chamonix valley and surroundings offer great choice of different types of accommodation. Town of Chamonix is ideal place to stray, but places like Les Houches or Argentière also a good choice.

For the classroom day you can use a public transport, location will be close to transport infrastructure. For field day we can be as in Chamonix valley as in Aosta valley too. For the 3 field days you will need a car, but there is always a possibility to share the cars. If you come for course with the car and keen to share it with other participants, please let me know in advance.

Gear list:

  • Touring skis or splitboard. Snowshoe are not allowed on this course.
  • Appropriate clothing, according to the weather. We may stay in one place for an hour or so, good down jackets is essential. Extra gloves/mittens also strongly recommended.
  • Avalanche rescue gear:
    • Avalanche transceiver - current 3-antenna device.
    • Avalanche shovel
    • Avalanche probe
      Do not have that? Contact me, I will organize it. Practice with your avalanche transceiver before the trip. Make sure it both transmits and receives at least 30m away. Understand all its functions and how to use them.
  • Thermos and food for a day
  • Sunglasses
  • Printed topo map OR smartphone app which allow pre-load topo maps (Gaia or similar)
  • Compass (smartphone app works well)
  • Thermometer
  • Inclinometer (smartphone app works well)
  • Snow saw (not  obligatory but recommended)
  • Mechanical pencil
  • Bring your Avaluator and AST Handbook (you should have it from AST 1 course). Let me know if you don't have ones.

INQUIRIES & BOOKINGS