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Level 2 & 3 Course Report Blue River BC 2018

May 16, 2018

Bivy Drag
Photo Credit: Justin Lozier

Level 2, April 9-19, Blue River and the Monashee Chalet

The level 2 program had 16 students, 9 Candidates were successful, 3 will have to complete hard skills re-testing (beacon or rope rescue) and 4 candidates were unsuccessful.

Level 3 course April 9-14, 2018

This is the second year for the 2 part program, the first 5 days consists of a training course with no exam.  The emphasis for the course is on demonstration, coaching candidates and setting out the L3 standards.  The instructors (and the students also) believe that this year’s program was successful.

4 candidates participated and were exposed to 3 instructors during the 5 days.  At the end of the program all candidates were given feedback on their performance and given suggestions on areas to improve.  A big emphasis for all candidates is to keep training and use mentorship to build skills and experience.

All L3 course participants will be able to attend the L3 exam next year if they feel they are at the standard.

Level 3 exam: April 15-19, 2018

This is the first year where L3 exam candidates must have attended a L3 course at least 12 months before taking the exam. The L3 exam has no training or coaching component but jumps straight into testing and assessing candidates’ performance in relation to the L3 standard.   The program consists of 4 full days of testing and assessment with final evaluations completed on the day after the exam.

This year 2 candidates attended.  During guiding demonstrations 2 examiners were present to ensure consistent and fair assessment of candidate’s performance.  Both candidates will have to re-test some hard skill in the next 12 months.

Weather and Venues

Mike Wiegele Heli-skiing, Guides Haus was used for all meetings.  Daily filed trips consisted of Heli assisted ski touring, Mechanized (Heli) skiing and valley training and practice stations

All students were required to snow camp for nights, based around the Monashee Chalet, owned and built by the Teufele family, kindly allowed by Bernie Teufele.

We were challenged by highly variable weather and in-accurate weather forecasts so the instructors and students had to remain flexible as to the daily (and hourly) plans.  Despite the weather the objectives of the course were achieved.  Blue River is an excellent course location since there is a large range of terrain close to the lodge.

We were supported by Yellowhead Helicopters who supplied an A-star B3, which has great advantages especially when mechanized skiing with up to 5 groups.  Pilot, Steve Tosh is a great asset as he enjoys teaching and coaching candidates.

Curriculum, Marking and Feedback

Student evaluation feedback and Marking

A draft Marking and assessment document was created by the L2 & 3 instructor team.

This was distributed to the students at the start of the course and we think was worthwhile but is a work in progress

Candidate hard skills re-testing

As in the past, if a candidate fails a hard skill (rope or beacon exam) but performs at the standard in all other areas, then they are able to attend a re-test.  To ensure consistency between courses, a draft hard skills re-test procedure has been developed.  It will be posted to the website and discussed early in all courses.