Backcountry Intro to Skiing/Splitboarding (BITS) - 2020/2021 Program
REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. ANY FURTHER SPOTS WILL BE ON A LEADER/SPACE AVAILABLE BASIS ONLY. DO NOT SEND PAYMENT WITHOUT CONTACTING THE COORDINATORS FIRST
Application: 2020-21 Application Form
Payment Link: See Notes at the bottom of the posting for the BUY NOW link
Registration/Payment Deadline: November 22
This is the central sign up for the BITS Program, the ACC Calgary Section’s introduction to backcountry skiing (BITS) program. It is NOT a separate trip (just a placeholder) – you need to sign up here to join the program. BITS trips will be posted by the organizers and participants will be assigned to a group for each trip.
BITS is a volunteer/peer-led mentoring program consisting of an online introductory classroom session followed by a series of beginner focused ski tours designed to help you progress as a backcountry skier. It includes learning about terrain, avalanche safety, trip planning, gear and other relevant skills. And a chance to enjoy our wonderful backcountry! Upon completion of the program participants should feel capable of attending a variety of easy and moderate ski trips with the ACC Calgary section. It is open to all adult Calgary section members (19 and older).
The program will consist of an online introduction session(s) that is open to all (date/time TBA in November), and three weekend day-trips. The trips will be Dec 12, January 16 and February 27 – conditions permitting- with a couple of make-up sessions possible, based on leader availability and conditions. Dates will be announced by early to mid November.
BITS is NOT a learn to ski program, nor AST1. Participants must have solid intermediate ski skills at the resort (i.e. be comfortable skiing a blue run in all conditions), and - if at all possible - have completed AST1 before the first trip. If AST1 may be an issue, please contact the organizers before signing up – exceptions may be made for the first trip. You are encouraged to book your AST1 course as soon as possible – demand is likely to be high and class size limits lower than in past years. You can look at avalanche.ca for listings of providers/courses, or contact the BITS organizer for info (firstname.lastname@example.org). You also need to be fit – able to do a moderate 10km hike.
There is $50 fee for the program; these funds enable us to provide our leaders and helpers with small subsidies to help with courses to improve their first aid/leadership/avalanche safety skills. Refunds will be available ONLY for withdrawals that are related to COVID – contact the organizers for more information. Payment can be made via Paypal. Once payment has been made please forward the receipt to the program coordinator at email@example.com & and firstname.lastname@example.org and they will add you to the program.
Note that capacity is limited by the number of leaders. Additional spots may open up if there are sufficient leaders. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline
Application & Payment Deadline: November 22, 2020
1) Sign up here to be placed on the wait list
2) Attend one of the online intro sessions
3) Fill out the application form and return to email@example.com
4) Submit your payment to link at top of page
5) Once your application and payment are received, you will be moved onto the “go” list.
6) You will be placed on individual trips by the organizer. If you cannot make a specific trip, you must remove yourself from the trip and e-mail the organizer to let them know.
7) Trip leaders will communicate with participants to confirm trip locations/times. Participants are responsible for letting the trip leader know ASAP if they cannot make a trip and must withdraw themselves from any trips they cannot make.
8) Have fun!
Everyone who wishes to participate in the program must submit a FULLY COMPLETED application, which can be found here: 2020-21 Application Form. You will need to download the file, open it with Excel or Google Spreadsheet, fill it out, save it, and send it back to firstname.lastname@example.org. The application will be used to group participants into similar abilities for the ski tours.
You will need to have your own ski and avalanche safety gear (probe, avalanche shovel and 3-antennae avalanche beacon). Note that rental equipment is likely be limited this season – MEC is probably out of the rental business – so book rentals early. For rentals, winter rental gear options are likely to be University of Calgary, possibly Norseman, and GearUp in Canmore. Especially with the ability to meet indoors highly restricted due to COVID, it is important to be familiar with your gear ahead of time and make sure it is properly fitted/adjusted/DINS set. If need be, head out to the resort for day prior to BITS.
Self Directed Learning
Participants will be asked to complete several self directed learning exercises over the course of the program.
1. Watching a series of Youtube videos with helpful hints on ski touring and powder skiing technique (~30 min)
2. Reading Bruce Trempers book - Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain (~4 hrs)
3.Completing Avalanche.ca online tutorial (~2 hrs)
4. Trip planning prior to your events - navigation, weather, avalanche and group considerations (1-2 hrs per event)
Finally, a note with regards to COVID-19. All ACC section trips will be run as per the section’s COVID guidelines. These may change depending on the current situation. If changes in provincial or other regulations require any alterations to BITS, we will let all participants know, and be flexible in terms of refunds.
All participants must sign the new waiver and health declaration before every trip. You are strong encouraged to read the section guidelines & understand your responsibilities: http://www.acccalgary.ca/calgary-section-protocols/ Briefly, participants should comply with social distancing requirements, be prepared with mask(s) & gloves when distancing is not possible (and for emergencies) and sharing of gear is to be kept to an absolute minimum. Carpooling should be limited to those in the same household or bubble.
A Few Other Notes – Please Read
Please ensure that the e-mail on your ACC Calgary Section profile is one that you check regularly. This e-mail will be used for all automated trip notifications/reminders and send to leaders for contacting participants. Leaders/organizers will not be responsible for communications missed if the e-mail is not up to date.
In order to comply with best practices, and to ensure that we have enough leaders in case of COVID-related absences, we are capping groups at a maximum of 8 people. Once you are assigned to a group, you will remain in that group unless there is significant mismatch in abilities, and any changes will be made by the organizers.
Also, due to the restrictions on carpooling, participants will generally be expected to meet at the trailhead. If participants in the same household prefer to be in the same group, please indicate clearly on the application form. We will place household members in the same group, however if the members are of differing abilities, they will be placed in the group appropriate to the lower of the two levels.
Finally, all participants must sign up under their own name – both so leaders know who to expect and for record keeping due to COVID. As such, if you have a family membership, please ensure that you have separate sign ins for each person who is participating. To have separate log ins created, please contact the section IT chair: email@example.com
Any questions? Contact the program coordinator, Kate Snedeker at firstname.lastname@example.org