Camp Highlights

  • season-long avalanche coaching and mentorship program
  • Designed for recreationalists wanting to go beyond the AST2
  • Led by subject specialist and Lead Winter Guide Doug Latimer
  • Doug's avalanche e-book included in your course fee
  • 6:1 max guide to participant ratio for field days

Dates & price

  • Dec 5-6 (classroom - online), Jan 23-24 (field) & Feb 20-21(field)
  • $750 per person

Take your Avalanche Skills to an Advanced Level this Winter

This course has been custom built by the ACC's Lead Winter Guide (and avalanche expert) Doug Latimer and is for those of you who have taken an AST2 course but still want to develop your avalanche skills further. 

While most avalanche courses analyze the snowpack at a specific point in the season, the aim is to get you understanding how conditions develop dynamically over the course of a full winter with a classroom weekend in November, field weekends in January and February and continuous email discussion with your group and guide.

You'll be analyzing the avalanche hazard as it develops week by week, location by location, all with Doug's hands-on coaching and supervision, and a copy of his avalanche e-book included in your course fee.

For 2020 we will be doing the classroom sessions online.

Camp Objectives

The material covered in this program will take you beyond the AST-2 curriculum. Unlike a professional-level certification, the focus isn’t on snow science. While we’ll discuss snow assessments and their role in the decision-making process, we’re focused on the whole decision-making framework with extensive discussion on the components that influence hazard management and decision-making in avalanche terrain. Some of the topics your guide will discuss include:

  • Current research and industry case studies
  • Your understanding of your own personal development as a backcountry user
  • Your personal risk tolerance
  • Your role in a group or as a leader
  • More detail coming soon!
Day by Day Adventure Itinerary 

Weekend 1 (classroom days)

Participants meet at 9:00am on the online platform. Instructions will be sent out the week before. Curriculum topics which will be covered this day include:

  • Review of the basic principles of avalanche phenomena
  • Advanced snowpack metamorphism – what actually drives change in the snowpack
  • Advanced snow science: snowpack layering, crystal shapes, temperature gradients
  • Advanced trip planning considerations
  • Identifying hazards
Zoom lesson days will finish around 4:00pm

Weekend 2 and 3 (field days)

Meeting times will always be 9am, however, locations and objectives will vary each day but you can guarantee you will be out in the field with your instructor(s), typically either in Kananaskis Country or the Icefields Parkway, making real-life observations and gaining hands-on experience. The group will decide together ahead of time the best place to ski based on current avalanche conditions and weather. Curriculum topics which will be covered over these days include:

  • Advanced hazard identification and mitigation
  • Advanced group management & decision making
  • Advanced snowpack observations & snow stability analysis
Our field day will see a maximum participant-to-guide ratio of 6:1 to make for the best possible learning experience. Fields days usually end around 4:00pm (back at the cars).

Throughout the Winter:
Between course weekends you will receive communications from Doug about changes in the snowpack, case studies, incident reports and are encouraged to bring things forward to the group as well. This will be a winter long discussion.
Is this Camp For Me?
Intermediate

Participants must have taken the AST 2 course either through the ACC or another provider. Participants should also have a good amount of backcountry skiing experience, possess intermediate to advanced ski technique and good all round fitness. We recommend having at least 2 years of backcountry experience since your AST 2 course.

Food, Accommodation and Guiding

Food

Food is not provided as part of the course. Bring along a packed lunch and some snacks for the field days or pop out for lunch in Canmore on the classroom days.

Accommodation

Accommodation is not included in this course.

Guiding
Our Lead Ski Guide Doug Latimer oversees all our avalanche training programs. Doug has almost 20 years of experience in teaching AST and other winter instructional courses, as well as ski guiding. He also recently authored his very own avalanche e-book which is included in your course fee. We are extremely excited to have him on board for a third season after rave reviews for the past two years.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed it and was so impressed with Doug's leadership and direction! Especially blown away by the e-book with embedded videos he used to instruct the course.
  • Doug is a great guide with LOTS of experienced based knowledge. Even if the course was only a conversation about the framework of thinking he has developed over the years of being in the mountains it would have been worth it.
  • Doug Latimer is an excellent (possibly ideal) choice for the instructor of this course. He has a ton of experience to draw on, but more importantly you can tell that he thinks about these things and questions these things continually, and you can see this built into his course design.
- ACC Avalanche Course Participants -

Popular ACC avalanche course locations

More Information

- Please try to register online before calling. If you are having issues please try to have your emergency contact information and course questionnaire filled out before calling.

  Email us
  403 678 3200 ext. 213


Course Documents

Gear List   

ACC Liability Waiver (En)   

ACC Liability Waiver (Fr)  

Covid Health and Exposure Declaration    

ACC Model Release  

ACC Covid Protocols  

 


Cancellation policy and travel Insurance

Please be sure to review our cancellation policy before registering for ACC Adventures:
 
Cancellation Policy
We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips

Travel Insurance


Included WITH YOUR CAMP FEE

  • 6 days instruction by ACMG certified ski guides
  • Audio-visual avalanche presentation created by Doug Latimer
  • Online avalanche book by Doug Latimer
  • Communication with Doug throughout winter on changing snowpack
  • COVID adapted online classroom day

Participants Must Provide

  • Transportation to and from the field location on field days
  • Accommodation
  • Meals and lunches
  • Personal gear (see gear list)

Organizing Fantastic ACC Adventures For Over 100 Years

  • Local Knowledge - based out of Canmore, AB, we know the Rockies region and the best local caterers, guides and porters
  • Dedicated resources - full-time office staff, ACMG guides and group equipment on-hand to ensure your trip runs smoothly
  • Not-for-profit - any money we make on camps and courses is reinvested into providing services for our members and the mountain community

Your Guides

Doug Latimer

Doug has 20 years of guiding experience behind him as an ACMG ski guide and an ACMG apprentice rock guide. As well as his private guiding he has spent a number of years working for the UoC where he taught a range of instructional programs in avalanche training, crevasse rescue and backcountry ski and ski mountaineering. He also somehow finds time to run a multimedia production company! In 2019, we are excited to announce Doug will be joining us as our on-staff winter guide; the perfect guy to take care of our Intro To, avalanche safety and other ski courses.