AST Course Equipment List
You need to have everything on the list!
WHAT I CAN PROVIDE
I can provide the following:
Transceiver (charge of $10/day applies)
Shovel (no charge)
Probe (no charge)
Let me know as soon as possible if you need any of this.
PDF DOWNLOAD / PRINTABLE EQUIPMENT LIST
Click here for a PDF file of just the equipment list that you can download or print
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVERS
We only allow MODERN DIGITAL TRANSCEIVERS on our trips.
A transceiver with a MARKING FUNCTION IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Your transceiver must have been tested in both transmit and receive modes – it needs to have a signal at a minimum of 30 metres in both modes.
I can recommend the following transceivers:
Pieps Powder BT
Black Diamond Recon BT
It is best if your transceiver is less than 10 years old.
Your transceiver has to have been manufactured since 2001 (so it meets EN 300718 standard).
If your transceiver does not meet the specifications above you will not be going skiing!
Let me know if you would like more information on transceivers.
COMMON EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS
Issues we see with ski equipment include the following. Some of these problems might end your ski week or at least make life very frustrating! Make sure you have these things sorted out before the trip.
Make sure your bases are smooth and waxed! A tune-up for your skis/board is essential.
Inappropriate backcountry skis/snowboards
Too heavy, too narrow or skis and boards that are not backcountry specific.
Try to keep your set-up as light as possible.
Ski width under your foot in the 95-105 mm range is best. Narrower than this and you may have issues in deep snow or crust conditions, wider than this is often too heavy.
Make sure your skin glue is in good shape and get them fixed if the glue is dirty, in clumps, or the glue has worn off at the edges or ends of the skins.
Avoid G3 “Alpinist”, “Scala” and “Expedition” skins - this is old stock with glue that does not work. “Alpinist+” and other G3 skins are OK.
New skins are well worth the investment if yours are looking old.
Ill-fitting boots will give you blisters. I recommend a professional boot fitting.
All boots have bolts and rivets that may come loose. If your boots are brand new or well-worn make sure fittings are tight and in good shape.
Bring specific tools to tighten the bolts/screws on your boots and check them a couple of times over the week.
Binding problems. Beware of the following bindings:
First generation Diamir Vipec bindings (manufactured 2012-2013)
Dynafit Radical 1.0 (manufactured 2011-2012) - see information for a recall here.
Poles that are too long for skiing in deep powder snow
Adjustable length poles are best
Please bring the following to the classroom day:
Laptop/mobile device (optional)
Lunch, water, snacks
Ast 2: additional materials (optional for AST 1)
Textbook. Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper works well.
Maps for the Wapta/Bow Summit area and Rogers Pass. You may share maps with other students if you wish. You can buy a map of the Bow Summit/Wapta area here or you can buy one from me during the course.
AT touring skis or telemark skis or splitboard
Understand that telemark and snowboard bindings may not be releasable and greatly increase your risk if caught in an avalanche.
No snowboard/snowshoe combinations, splitboards only.
Touring specific boots
Adjustable length ski poles
EQUIPMENT THAT YOU SHOULD BRING SKIING EVERY DAY
Digital avalanche transceiver (marking function recommended)
Water bottle and/or thermos
Skin wax: I find a simple candle works fine.
Small personal first aid/repair kit: band aids, blister kit, headache pills, hand and toe warmers, extra batteries for transceiver and headlamp, duct tape, pocket knife, special binding and boot parts.
Toilet kit: toilet paper, baggie for used paper, hand sanitizer
Health insurance and mountain rescue insurance information
35-45 L capacity backpack
All your gear and clothing must fit inside your pack
Nothing should be strapped to the outside.
AST 2: Additional equipment required (optional for AST 1)
Inclinometer. Some compasses have an inclinometer as does an iPhone (in the stock compass app).
OPTIONAL SAFETY GEAR
Average temperatures are normally about -5 to -15 but you need to be prepared for temperatures from -25 to +5
Several thin layers are better than fewer thicker layers. No cotton!
Long underwear tops and bottoms - wool or synthetic
Ski pants – softshell or light hardshell pants both are fine
Thin windbreaker/softshell - for walking uphill in warm conditions
Warmer softshell jacket – I prefer a hooded jacket but it’s absolutely necessary
Shell jacket – to keep the wet out, Gore-tex or similar seems best
Down or synthetic insulated jacket – for breaks and emergency use
Lightweight gloves – for walking uphill in warm conditions
Warm gloves – 2 pairs (mittens are optional but recommended if you get cold hands)
Hand warmers if you get cold hands
Warm toque for skiing down
Lightweight toque for walking up
Balaclava or neck tube – essential for cold conditions
Each instructor will provide:
Group first aid kit
Group repair kit
GPS, compass, map etc
Good looks and bright personalities!