Avalanche Awareness Courses

"What I learned most is that I never know enough"

Advanced Avalanche Awareness Course

SME Avalanche Safety Training Level 3

The Advanced Avalanche Awareness Course offered by Selkirk Mountain Experience offers a higher level of learning and more advanced practical skills than the CAA AST level 2 courses.

Ruedi has been guiding skiing and mountaineering around the world in complex high alpine terrain and challenging avalanche conditions since 1975. He also has been actively involved in training Mountain Guides in Canada. What he learned over all these years is that regardless of how much we know, we always have to be open to learn more. Any ski-tour or ski-run is only a fun memory if we can experience it safely.

Therefore the full week SME Advanced Avalanche Awareness course is in Ruedi’s opinion essential for skiers who like to ski in large and avalanche prone backcountry terrain and in more complex alpine slopes. This is why Ruedi keeps teaching these courses in the challenging and instructive terrain that can be found around the Durrand Glacier Chalet and the higher alpine Mt. Moloch Chalet or Empire Lake Chalet.

Learning from the endless variety of terrain, from the ongoing changing conditions while skiing in the steep trees, exposed high alpine and on snow covered broken glaciers. Learn what a buried critical snow layer means. How can we apply avalanche and snow observations and weather conditions into our route planning. Navigate a crevassed glacier in avalanche hazard. How do it all safely in restricted visibility, using compass, GPS and maps. If we are struck by bad luck, how can an efficient rescue be performed?

The terrain is the classroom. You learn as we climb to peaks or ski unknown large powder slopes. The students lead and Ruedi will instruct and coach everybody to fully understand how it is done, how to stay safe and also how to efficiently experiencing a great day of fun skiing and ski-touring.

Ruedi will teach every ski-guest starting from their personal skill level. Some ski-guests might have already obtained their CAA Operations Level 1 or AST level 1 or 2 course, while others might never have visited any courses prior to this Selkirk Mountain Experience course. Regardless of where your personal knowledge regarding ski-touring skills is, we can guarantee that this course will bring your knowledge and confidence to a higher level. This is why we take only 5 students per course.

Course Outline:

Day 1
  • Helicopter flight from Revelstoke to the Durrand Glacier Chalet, 15 minute flight
  • Advanced avalanche beacon course, deep burial and multi burial scenario
  • Snow observation, snow profile, snow stability tests
  • Depending on time, short ski-tour
Day 2 to last day of the course
  • Daily test profiles and snow stability tests in various snow conditions and type of slopes, evaluation of snow-stability tests.
  • Applying snow-stability tests to safe and efficient route finding in sub-alpine and high alpine (up-hill and down-hill).
  • Applying weather forecast, avalanche forecast, pre ski-tour early morning snow observations and previous day's snow observations to tour planning
  • Evaluating slope mechanics, skier impact on slope while up-hill walking and down-hill skiing
  • Flow of glaciers and the meaning of glacial crevasses
  • Safe and efficient route finding in crevassed glaciers
  • Navigation in poor weather in large alpine terrain
  • Map, compass, GPS
  • Several scenarios in route planning and preparation (students will prepare two ski-tours and decide on where to go)
  • Injured skier rescue systems
  • Rope handling for glacier travel
  • Glacial crevasse rescue systems
  • Hut to hut skiing to the Empire Lake Chalet of Mt. Moloch Chalet, dependent on weather
  • Short indoor theory sessions in early morning or after dinner.
End of the course
  • Early morning helicopter flight from the Durrand Glacier Chalet back to Revelstoke.
  • CAA - AST Level 2 Certificate

Avalanche Safety Course at Selkirk Mountain Experience