AST2 with Cyril Shokoples - Saturday, Jan 20, 2024

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

You are STRONGLY encouraged to read this page in its entirety before signing up.
The Basics:
Event Type: Training 
Event Location: north of Lake Louise 
Event Starts:   Saturday, Jan 20, 2024 08:30 AM  
Event Ends:   Sunday, Jan 28, 2024 05:00 PM  
Registration Cut Off:   Saturday, Jan 06, 2024 05:50 AM  
Difficulty Rating:   D2 - See Conversion Chart  
Trip Coordinator(s):   Julie Morter
Elisabeth Dupuis

Participant Info:
Who's Invited:   Members Only  
Attendee Screening:   Attendees are Pre-Screened
Maximum Group Size: 6
Maximum No. Guests: 0
Minimum Group Size: 6
Maximum No. Guests Per Member: 0
Number Registered So Far:   0 (View sign-ups, waiting list)
Are Dogs Permitted:   No

CURRICULUM: We will be following the Avalanche Canada guidelines for the AST level 2 course and adding a few interesting tidbits that have been coming out of recent research. In addition to working on snowpack skills like the compression test, we will look at the extended column test and discuss in detail the importance of fracture character in interpreting results. We will also spend time developing very basic snow profile skills of participants. Most importantly we will be working on terrain travel skills.

This will be an unusual four days in that it is not at all about making tons of turns or extreme skiing in avalanche terrain. We will spend much of our time on moderate terrain and focus on skills that will assist you to lead groups safely and efficiently. Each field day will include skills review and practice. Many participants will be given the opportunity to lead, at least on straightforward sections of our tours when it will further our goals. The activities of the field days will depend on the current avalanche hazard, weather, our progress and the group needs.

FIELD DAYS: On the second morning of the course (January 21) you should be packed and ready to go on our first ski tour. We will be departing shortly after we meet. If you have any questions, please call. The plan for that day will be a ski tour in the Rockies likely very close to the cars north of Lake Louise. The first field day is mostly spent engaged in practicing snow and rescue skills and you need very, very, VERY warm clothing for standing still in the snow. You have been warned!

Subsequent days will be at locations like Crowfoot Pass, Little Crowfoot, Crowfoot Peak, Observation Peak, Helen Shoulder, Chickadee Valley or similar objectives. On these days we do more travel and fewer snowpack skills. In summary our days will lay out roughly as follows.

Day 1 – meet at 8:30 for a classroom day
Day 2 - meet in Lake Louise 7:45 AM - travel north of Lake Louise
Day 3, 4 - meet in Lake Louise at 7:45 AM unless otherwise announced during the course.
I plan to try to be back to the vehicles by about 5PM on the last day if possible.

This course will be based out of Banff, Yoho or Kootenay Parks and we will be skiing entirely in the Rockies. Road conditions are variable on the Icefields Parkway. Even after Highway 93 is plowed it is often in fair to poor condition. If you are car-pooling please be sure you travel in vehicles with good winter tires.

Our exact location for ski tours will be somewhat weather and stability dependent of course and so we can't say with precision exactly where we will be on each day.

GENERAL PLAN: Our plan is to spend Saturday doing the required classroom work in Calgary. Saturday will be a long day so participants should try to be somewhat fresh. Bring a lunch for EACH DAY of the course. Sunday is outdoors all day at location north of Lake Louise (subject to change due to weather). On the second weekend we will be entirely based out of Lake Louise so please book accommodation well beforehand. It is best NOT to drive from Calgary to Lake Louise every day.

Saturday January 20 - meet in Calgary 8:30 AM (location TBA and will be sent to participants prior to the course) – primarily indoor sessions

Sunday January 21 - meet in Lake Louise 7:45 AM. Travel to area north of Lake Louise. We will try to be back to the vehicles by about 5PM on Sunday at the latest.

Required Items to Bring:

GEAR: Every backcountry traveler in avalanche terrain should have a proper probe, good METAL shovel and a modern digital transceiver. Participants who do not have their own gear will be provided with a digital three antenna transceiver, shovel, probe, snow study kit and snow saw to use for the duration of the course. Participants are encouraged to bring their own items if they have them but DO NOT rent or purchase prior to the course... You may change your mind about what you should buy after the course! We DO NOT allow single antenna analog transceivers or older two antenna digital transceivers on the course as they are considered to be outdated or perhaps extremely outdated.

SKI EQUIPMENT: In regard to equipment, everyone should come equipped for ski touring (with AT skis, Telemark skis or Split board). Make sure your skins are the proper width and fit your skis. Split boards with skins and ski poles are definitely OK so long as you have practiced with them. NO skinny skis please. If you need an equipment list I will send out a winter equipment list. Digital three antenna transceiver with mark function, shovel and probe are essentials for avalanche travel and a snow study kit and snow saw would be helpful. I may have spares of all of these items that you can borrow. Bring your own gear if you have it but do not rent...

PARK VEHICLE PASS: Be sure you are travelling in a vehicle that has a valid Parks Group Pass in the window. If you do not have a valid pass in your window I cannot allow you attend the course. Make sure you have a pass before you come or purchase a pass when you enter Banff Park. Not only is it required as part of my business licence conditions, it is also your mountain rescue insurance in case of an incident in the backcountry.

Recommended Items to Bring:

MAPS: If you have maps for the Wapta, Kootenay or Yoho Park Areas please feel free to bring them. We will consider tours in those areas. You can also bring Ski guidebooks for those areas if you have them. I will have a few limited copies of the Wapta Icefields and area map available at a discount if you want to purchase one.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:  

to be confirmed




ACCOMMODATION: First and foremost, the Calgary Section DID NOT make accommodation arrangements for you and that is your own responsibility. Accommodation costs are not included in the course cost. I am personally staying at Lake Louise on Saturday night so that I don’t have a huge amount of driving on Sunday.

If you have not done so already you may consider car-pooling or sharing accommodations with one or more of your course mates.

WAIVERS: you will be required to sign an Avalanche Canada and a Rescue Dynamics waiver and send them to Cyril Shokoples at Rescue Dynamics prior to attending your course. If you don’t sign a waiver beforehand you will not be able to attend . More on this to come, including a link to the waivers and medical forms.

TEXTS: Everyone will get a copy of the Bruce Tremper text “Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain” most recent edition. You will also get a copy of the Avalanche Canada field book. These will be distributed prior to the course for those who book early. Many AST2 courses do not provide you with the text or field book! You will need to bring your Avaluator 2 card from your AST1 course. We will be using it a lot

PRECOURSE READING: If you have time and you want to challenge yourself, try to complete the two pre-course quizzes if you can. I understand that not everyone will have time but try to at least skim the questions even if you cannot come up with the answers. The more you prepare yourself the more you will get out of this course.

GROUP GEAR: The instructor will provide a satellite phone, PLB, VHF radios, first aid kit, repair kit and two ski guide tarps that will be distributed among the group for the weekend. Be sure you have some room in your pack for one or two of these items of group gear.

Instructor: Cyril Shokoples – ACMG / IFMGA Mountain Guide / CAA Avalanche Professional / Avalanche Canada AST Provider

Payment Options:
  • Member $800.50 CAD
Cancellation/Partial Attendance:
Please review our participant responsibility guidelines!

standard club policy

*Cancellation Policy*: If a participant is unable to attend a paid course or trip, there will be no refund unless the participant finds a suitable replacement that is acceptable to the trip coordinator. Acceptable waiting list candidates will have priority. It will then be the participant's responsibility to recover funds from the replacement. If the coordinator cancels an event, participants get a refund (less any non-recoverable costs). Note that ACC National does not refund hut fees due to weather, delay, closures, or any other reasons. The Calgary Section of the ACC is a not for profit club and we only charge attendees what it costs us to provide courses or trips.

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Registration for this event closed on Saturday, January 06, 2024 at 05:50 AM.