Avalanche Training 2 Course Emphasizes Safe Terrain Approach

My AST 2 avalanche training 2 course emphasized safe terrain approach.

By BCA Pro Athlete Wiley Miller

With my recent early season trek north to Coastal BC, I felt it was appropriate to get myself into a snow safety course before things get rolling this winter. BCA has been supportive of my interest in snow safety and I reached out to the company for advice on a course in the Sea to Sky corridor. Bruce Edgerly of BCA came back with a suggestion to take the AST 2 through the Mountain Skill Academy in Whistler BC. A great place to begin your avalanche safety training if your interested in a class.

Having taken my Avy 1 in the States and now completing my AST 2 here in Canada I now have an even better set of tools for approaching terrain and snowpack this winter. Although much of what I had learned in my Avy 1 was refreshed for me in the AST 2, there was more emphasis placed on approaching terrain. This is something that I have dwelled on in the past.

What’s the safest and most efficient way to get up there? A question that sometimes isn’t as clear as you may think… there and many ways to skin the cat so to speak, but in most cases only one way to do it safely, or one way that is better than the rest. All in all is was an amazing experience and well worth doing. It’s absolutely crucial for any backcountry enthusiast and I encourage anyone interested in going out of bounds with their friends to take a course.

Wayne Flann stopped by to say hello, he hosts the Wayne Flann Avalanche blog, which is highly regarded in the area for it’s snow assessments.


Practicing digging an avalanche victim out of the snow.

Snow pit analysis with our guide Eric Vezeau.

Approaching safely.

Assessing avalanche risk amongst complex terrain.


BCA freeride ambassador Wiley Miller is featured on the cover of our Backcountry Access 2017-18 catalog (to be available online summer 2017), and skied the signature line in Level 1’s Pleasure, recently awarded Movie of the Year at the Powder Video Awards.  

BCA put freeride ambassador Wiley Miller through a recreational level two avalanche course over the holidays at Whistler’s Mountain Skills Academy. All BCA athletes are required to have a minimum of level 1 avalanche training. Wiley took his level 1 last year and was so stoked he took his level 2 this year. Our kind of athlete!