Why choose our AST1?
Because you'll learn more.
Damian is a qualified ACMG guide who has taught 60 AST courses.
Our courses are longer (2.5 days) and yet lower priced than others.
Our courses are well known for being professional, well organised, energetic and fun.
Limited to 8 people
26,000 yen. The best in Japan.
The AST 1 is an introductory avalanche course developed by Avalanche Canada. It is designed to give you an entry level avalanche decision making framework for recreational use. It does not train you to work in the avalanche industry. On successful completion you will receive an AST 1 certificate and also be able to move onto more advanced recreational and professional avalanche training within.
To make sure you learn with a full day of backcountry touirng on your course and are not rushed, we deliver the AST1 course over two and half days.
Day 1: 4pm-8pm classroom time
Day 2: morning classroom, afternoon companion rescue training outdoors
Day 3: full day backcountry tour
Two and a half days of instruction, course text and Avaluator, plus some transport.
What you will learnWe choose to stick the the true AST 1 curriculum for your longer term benefit. What we teach is briefly summarised here. On the field day we will go ski touring and visit at least one well known avalanche path in the Hakuba area to apply your classroom training.
- Introduction to the Formation and Nature of Avalanches
- Introduction to Avalanche Terrain
- Terrain Traps
- Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale
- Avalanche Danger Ratings and Forecasts
- Decision Making Competence
- Trip Planning - Introduction to the Avaluator
- Trip Planning - Weather
- Trip Planning - Human Factors
- Trip Planning - Equipment and Emergency Plans
- Avalanche Slope Assessment
- Good Travel Habits
- Companion Rescue
Please note: ski/splitboard touring equipment is mandatory. No snowshoes, sorry.
You will also require the basic backcountry kit.
- Backcountry backpack. More than 30 litres strongly recommended.
- Touring skis/Splitboard* and skins. No snowshoes, sorry.
- Avalanche transceiver (3 antenna digital is compulsory).
- Avalanche probe
- Avalanche shovel
- Sunglasses and goggles (sunglasses are important)
- Warm jacket
- Packed lunch and drink
* If you are renting you only need to rent touring skis/splitboard for final day.
Other important info
This course does not include personal emergency mountain rescue insurance. It is your personal responsibility to insure yourself against any expenses incurred if you are injured during the course.
Also, you will likely need to buy a one-ride lift ticket to access backcountry terrain from high in resort areas. These tickets typically cost 1,500 yen. Tips are not customary in Japan and any offered will be politely declined.
It is expected that you have the basic ability to ski/snowboard off-piste terrain with trees. The field day is reasonably strenuous and not suitable for people with injuries.