Operating Days

Daily Operation to and including March 25th.
Closed March 26-27
Open March 28,29,30,31
31st is slush cup and closing day

Monday, February 5, 2018

Mt. Baldy Alpine Club - another AST 1 Avalanche Course

The December AST 1 course was full, with a wait list. The club has a second course lined up for February 24th and 25th. Great opportunity to get that course on your home mountain. Finbar put on a very good course, and will be back to teach the upcoming course.

The course is a full two days,  Feb 24 and 25th held at Mt Baldy.  The cost for the two day course is $270.00 and that includes a book and avaluator.  You will need a probe, shovel and beacon needed to for Avalanche rescue.  Payment is required with a non refundable deposit of $50.00 or payment in full.  I will accept email transfer, cash or Cheque to the Mt Baldy Alpine Club.   12 spots available, first 12 paid are in.  The last course sold out immediately with 32 people wanting to take this, so act fast on depositing or paying in full, demand is high.

A lot of people have a love for the backcountry but lack of knowledge and “snow sense” stops them exploring our greatest resource in winter. Combine this with pictures and news stories of horrendous avalanches and accidents and this is understandable, so this was always left to the “experts”.

So how do people get the skills and knowledge to explore this great resource?
It starts with good training, knowledge and the right equipment.

The Canadian Avalanche Association designed a series of training courses that take you from novice to industry recognized professional.

It all starts with the AST1 (Avalanche Safety Training level 1)

The Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 Course will provide an entry-level decision-making framework that is:

• Based on the most advanced knowledge available.
 • Suitable for use by people with basic training and little experience.

 At the end of the course, students should be able to:
 • 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

Your instructor for these courses is Finbar O'Sullivan

Finbar O'Sullivan
I was born in Ireland, immigrated to Canada in 1975 and moved to Alberta, this is where I fell in really fell in love with the mountains and snow.

In 1978 I moved to the Okanagan Valley to work at the Canadian Outward Bound Mountain School as an instructor and never left. The Okanagan valley is a great area to ski, climb and enjoy life. Four great ski hills plus a world class rock climbing area, and four hours drive from the Selkirk Mountains, why would I ever want to leave??

In my early years I climbed extensively in the Rockies and Selkirk Mountains here I had my first real taste of snow, ice and avalanches. After several very close calls I thought it time to learn about this powerful phenomenon Mother Nature used to scare me. So my journey began.

I joined the Canadian Ski Patrol and through this fantastic organization I started my training. I volunteered my time and this is where I first learned to teach every thing from first aid to ski hill rescue techniques, more importantly I first started to learn about snow avalanches. I took my recreational avalanche course (RAC) and advanced course (ARAC) with CSPS and that gave me the abilities in 1996 to take my first professional level course through the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA level1). This intense and in-depth training gave me solid skills and abilities to start work as a professional ski patroller at Apex Alpine ski area. Still while working with the Canadian Ski Patrol I started to teach avalanche awareness course to fellow ski patrollers and coordinated avalanche training throughout the southern half of the province. This is where I really started my teaching career.

After Apex I was fortunate to get a job with Monashee Powder Cat skiing, here I met Herb Bluer who became my mentor for the next few years and he helped me fine tune my skills and knowledge on snow. His many years of experience and skiing helped me to develop an understanding of terrain and its relationship to avalanches, his voice still rings in my ears “its all terrain, terrain, terrain, learn to read it!!!” I was very fortunate to have him as a teacher.

In 2002 I felt I now had the experience, knowledge and skills to take on the next challenge to certification, the CAA level 2 course. Herb Bluer wrote my letter of recommendation and I applied to take the course. This is a very intense course full of assessments and here I had to prove what I know and put it all into action at a professional level, very in depth and very stressful. I passed.

To add to the teaching side in 2004 I Enrolled in the Provincial Instructors Diploma and spent the next six months passing that course, this rounded out my skill set and really improved my ability to teach and communicate with both youth and adults.

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