To have candidates attain a basic understanding of mountain awareness and guiding principles. To become proficient with the technical and practical skills needed to work as apprentice ski guides within a mechanized backcountry operation.
- Canadian Avalanche Association Level 1 course
- Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance Level 1 course or equivalent
- Current 80 hour First Aid Certificate
- Resume showing previous industry or related experience
- Back country ski touring resume or trip log documenting experience
These are the criteria that participants will be evaluated on for successful completion of this program.
- Basic proficiency demonstrated by finding 4 transceivers buried 60 cm deep in a 30m x 30m area within ten minutes. Transceivers can be turned off. Probe targets are to be used. The targets can measure up to 30cm x 30cm.
- Demonstrate ability to build anchors, perform a lower, rappel a fixed line and ascend it.
- Understand the fundamentals of a crevasse rescue system and be able to assist in an organized rescue. To be able to demonstrate a single rope system in the field within a timed period. The timed period will be at the discretion of the instructor/examiner depending on the site.
- Understanding the fundamentals of a self rescue and be able to take charge, organize and participate in a search.
- To be able to interpret basic terrain features in the field onto a map and from the map into the field.
- To use a compass to shoot bearings for resection and route planning
- To dig snow profiles and make observations within the time constraints of a mechanized skiing operation.
- To adequately assess significant terrain features.
- To identify hazards and hazard potential.
- To route-find through terrain identifying safe and suitable routes.
- To identify the safest routes in any given piece of terrain
- To understand the fundamentals of guest management and be able to effectively communicate directions.
- To understand the application of specialized guiding techniques.
- Document daily observations and activities for reference and liability using a blank paged field book.
- Demonstrate back-country awareness and the fundamentals of safe decision making.
- Ability to work on a team, be open to new concepts, strategies, and demonstrate good leadership qualities.
Example of Level 1 schedule
The present outline is dependent on the weather and specific local details. Some changes will be necessary; the Instructors will announce daily scheduling.
Introductions and Overview
Course Outline, Manuals, Evaluation Criteria
Field Books (observations & info)
Transceiver Orientation and Practice
Terrain & Hazards
Discussion – Snowpack Observation
Avalanche rescue – Demo
Discussion – Decision Making 3×3
Equipment and Knots
Discussion – Introduction tMechanized Skiing
Mechanized Ski Guiding;
Discussion – Mechanized Ski Guiding
Mechanized Ski Guiding / Tail Guiding;
Practice Session – Skill Development
Discussion – Avalanche Case Study
Mechanized Ski Guiding
Discussion – Mountain Sense
Injured Skier Evacuation
Review Challenging Concepts
Rope Rescue Scenario
Discussion – Rescue Gear
Course Evaluation Questionnaires
Example Level 1 Equipment List
This changes with course location.
- Touring Gear IE: Ski’s/Split Board, Boots, Skins
- Adequate clothing for backcountry skiing
- Casual clothing for classroom lectures
- Guide’s pack 35-55 liters
- Avalanche Probe
- Snow study kit
- Snow saw
- First Aid kit
- Repair kit
- Headlamp with extra batteries
- Water bottle
- Compass, Silva Ranger or one with mirror, North American or Universal
- Swiss Army knife or ‘Leatherman’ type tool
- Goggles, sunglasses and sunscreen
- 7 Carabiners (4 locking and 3 non-locking)
- 2 Guide’s slings (6 or 7mm perlon cord, 5m in length)
- 2 Personal prusik (7mm perlon cord, 1.75m in length)
- 2 Anchor Slings (19-26mm webbing, 7m in length)
- Climbing Rope (10-11mm, 40-60m length)
- Climbing/Skiing helmet
- Waterproof field note book (write in the rain/snow)
- Topographic Maps 1:50,000 scale
- Improvised Toboggan/Rescue Shelter,
- Micro/Mini-traxion or similar mechanical braking device,
- Programmable VHF radio.
For Maps contact:
ITMB Publishing Ltd.
12300 Bridgeport Road, Richmond, BC, V6V 1J5
Telephone: (604) 273-1400
Fax: (604) 273-1488
Web Site: http://www.itmb.com/