With growing numbers of people heading into the backcountry, there is also growing interest in learning about snow safety. One aspect of this is formal avalanche safety training, and we encourage people in the BC community to at least get level 1 training. This provides the basic skills to read terrain for risks and can greatly increase your safety in the mountains.
As I understand it, there are two main curriculums taught: the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) system and the Avalanche Canada Avalanche Skills Training curriculum (AST). Two different trainers will be offering courses before or during the Victorian backcountry festival:
One set will be run by Adam West, who teaches the AST level 1 course (full details here).
The other will be offered by Dave and Pieta Herring, of Alpine Access Australia, who also teach the Canadian system.
Avalanche Canada sets the global standard for providing avalanche awareness programs. Participants acquire new skills and knowledge to help them keep safe in the backcountry. They teach the Avalanche Canada Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 (AST1) Course, which aims to provide an entry-level decision-making framework for assessing avalanche risk. Courses include a day in the classroom and a day in the field. They cost $300.
Dave and Pieta will be running a course in the Hotham area shortly before the backcountry festival on the weekend of August 18 and 19. They may offer additional courses if there is sufficient interest.
For details on their AST courses please check here.