Avalanche and Safety Training Opportunity

Hello everyone,

The season is soon approaching as we all look forward to the snowfall.

Many of us and our children take pleasure in a day of powder, exploring the slopes and challenging ourselves to become better, faster and explore new limits. Mother Nature in the mountains is a wonderful thing to experience but everyone must respect and understand what she can throw at you! So it is always best to be prepared with the basic fundamentals in understanding the hazards you may encounter while on your journey.

For those of you that may be interested we have the opportunity in enhancing or refreshing our knowledge in regard to safety in the mountains.

There are two courses available:

  1. AST Level 1 Certification

This is a certified Avalanche Safety Training (AST) program which will occur sometime in mid January when the snow pack is conducive for the course to take place. Finbar O’Sullivan will instruct this program and will offer it to us at the same price he offers the ski patrol which is $250 per person  (includes books and tax).

  • 10 – 12 people max per group to fill the course.
  • This is a full weekend of training:  3 day course ( Friday night, Sat and Sunday)

He can also do a mid week session for us if there are enough people.

Finbar prefers 16 yr + for this course but it will depend on the maturity and experience level of the individual.

Registrants will need to provide their own back country gear (as this course will be held out of bounds) or borrow/rent if they don’t own their own touring set up (skis, skins, probe, shovel, pack, beacon).

Course Summary:

Get an introduction to avalanche skills and the basic principles of safe winter backcountry travel. This course offers more than the average AST1 course with two full days in the field.  

WHERE: Classroom sessions and field work will take place at Apex Resort

INSTRUCTOR: Finbar O’Sullivan from Avi-Safe Consulting

 COURSE OBJECTIVES: • Understand the basics of avalanche formation and release. • Identify avalanche terrain. • Know the steps required to plan and carry out a trip. • Use the Avaluator™ as a decision-making tool in areas where trips are rated using the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) and where Avalanche Danger Ratings and Avalanche Bulletins are available. • Find resources for obtaining ATES terrain ratings if their trip is not rated. • Find resources for obtaining Avalanche Danger Ratings and Avalanche Bulletins if these are not available. • Use appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain. • Carry out a companion rescue. • Understand the limits of their training

2.  One-Day Course

This is not a certification program but in his words  “an essential awareness program for anyone who skis at Apex –  in or out of bounds”.

  • Finbar prefers no more then 12 people per class and is willing to do this for kids U14 and older.
  • If there are parents or more kids interested then he will have to schedule additional dates.
  • The day will start with a classroom session –  Finbar and two assistants.

This course will take place at Apex on the hill and will be conducted in bounds. It will cover topics such as: avalanche awareness, snow conditions, terrain, proper use of beacons and probes, search and rescue, buddy system, back country safety, what to pack, tree well safety etc.

Jorgen will have to work this into his schedule and can be held on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday  It will occupy the whole day.

Anyone who has backcountry gear is encourage to bring it. Finbar will provide some gear for demonstration purposes.

This course will take place sometime in early January  – possibly the week of Jan. 1st, 2016.

The cost for this program will be $50 per person if we fill at least 1 class

After skiing at Apex personally for 40+ years Finbar is very happy to be able to do this for the club.

Back country gear is available  for rental through True Outdoors in Penticton.

If you are interested in registering for either course or have any questions please contact:

Michael Borg – theborg9999@gmail.com



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