AST 2 McDermott Hut – Fernie

The AST 2 curriculum, developed by Avalanche Canada, will build on skills learned in the AST 1 course. This course includes self-directed online learning, followed by 4 days and 3 nights at the McDermott hut, where participants will receive coaching on trip planning, navigating, track setting, and more.

About the Course

All participants must complete the waiver acknowledgement before making a booking.

The AST 2 curriculum, developed by Avalanche Canada, will build on skills learned in the AST 1 course. This course includes self-directed online learning, an evening session (this is the first date of the course) followed by 4 days and 3 nights at the McDermott hut, where participants will receive coaching on trip planning, navigating, track setting, and more.

All participants will be required to read and agree to the terms and conditions of the waiver BEFORE making a booking, as well as sign a paper copy that will be provided during the evening session.

"AST 2 - Get your crew together and book it. Mel put together an awesome course! We got some great turns, had some laughs, and most importantly, we learned how we can be more safe in the backcountry. Will never forget this trip."
- Dan Elgie, AST 2 Participant

"McDermott hut was great, clean, and well equipped. The meals were great, I'm a big eater and I never felt like I went hungry. Good variety in snacks. It was nice having some greens in the taco night." - AST 2 Participant

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our Instructors and Guides

The Mountain Addicts team is obsessed with safety. All of our guides are members of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). The ACMG is the only internationally recognized professional association of trained and certified mountain guides and instructors in Canada. Our guides come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and Mountain Addicts will find your perfect match.

Mel Makepeace

Ski Guide & Owner
Mel is the owner of Mountain Addicts, an ACMG Ski Guide and Professional Member of the Canadian Avalanche Association. She began her career as a ski patroller in 2008 and now travels the world ski touring and heli-ski guiding. Mel particularly loves facilitating mountain travel confidence in women.

Corin Lohmann

Ski Guide
Corin loves sharing the mountain experience and the connections that are made while learning and exploring in the backcountry. Since 2011, Corin has been guiding ski trips in the mountains of Western Canada. He lives in Fernie with his family and spends his summers running ; a glacier guiding business in Jasper National Park.

Greg Inman

ACMG Ski Guide
Greg Inman grew up skiing on Poley Mountain in New Brunswick. After graduating from Acadia University with a degree in Recreation Management, Greg moved to Fernie to become a ski guide. With a background working as a heli-skiing guide in northern BC, and ski touring almost every range in BC, he now spends most of his time guiding at Island Lake Catskiing while raising a young family in Fernie.

More Info

This course is for those practiced in backcountry travel, who have taken the AST 1, and are looking for feedback and coaching in their decision making process. You should have a good level of fitness and know how to use, and troubleshoot, your backcountry touring equipment.

  • All participants are required to sign a waiver.

Equipment List

Required items: Please bring the following on Day 1, Classroom Session

  • Lunch & Snacks – there will be a lunch break and there is a Boston Pizza on site
  • Digital Avalanche Transceiver with Fresh Batteries: 3 Antenna type transceiver required, if you are unsure, send us an email indicating the make and model
  • Paper and pen AND PENCIL for notes (you will be provided with a field book)
  • Compass
  • Lap-top (google earth application recommended)
  • Smart-phone with topographic map/GPS app (GAIA recommended)

Required Items: Please bring the following on Day 2, Field Day

  • Water: thermos or flask 1-2L, hydration pack not recommended due to cold freezing the tube
  • Some additional snacks/treats/drinks to supplement provided lunch
  • Digital Avalanche Transceiver
  • Avalanche Shovel: collapsible & metal
  • Collapsible Avalanche Probe
  • Skis: ‘Alpine Touring with touring bindings’ or ‘Telemark’


  • Split Board: with split board skins. Please practice transitions from touring mode to riding mode at home before the field day.
  • Ski Poles: recommended for all modes of travel
  • Climbing Skins ‘Stick-on type’
  • Boots: appropriate for your mode of snow travel
  • Multi-Day Pack: large enough for spare clothes, lunches, shovel, probe, sleeping bag, and share of group gear (first aid kit, breakfast/dinner etc.). 40-60 litre size recommended
  • Compass
  • Sunglasses and/or Ski Goggles
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp
  • Sleeping Bag – the hut is very warm, so a 3 season bag will be fine
  • You will be provided with field book, but please bring pencils
  • It is HIGHLY recommended that you arrive with a GPS App installed on your phone. GAIA is preferred.

The Guides Hut in downtown Fernie have transceivers for rent as well as a limited supply of touring equipment.

During the field day there can be longer periods of inactivity in very cold temperatures. To maximize your learning experience, be sure to bring lots of extra clothing so that you can focus on the course and not the cold. Bring clothing of varying thicknesses that can be ‘layered’ to achieve comfort and versatility. Cotton clothing is not appropriate as it causes rapid heat loss when wet. You may have heard the expression “Cotton Kills”.

Below is a recommended clothing list:

  • Base Layers (top and bottom): Wool or synthetic materials preferred, such as  Rab® Forge Leggings and Top
  • Water Resistant Jacket: A quality hardshell for staying dry when it’s dumping is an essential piece of ski touring kit. Our guide’s use the Rab®  Khroma Kinetic Jacket.
  • Water Resistant Ski Pants: Waterproof pants help keep you warm in the powder. Pants with ventilation that you can open and close are ideal. Check out the Rab® Khroma Kinetic Pants.
  • Warm Mid-Layer Shirt, Sweater, or Fleece such as the Rab® Alpha Flash Jacket.
  • Insulated Jacket or Vest: A feather down or Primaloft™ insulated jacket is essential for staying warm while taking breaks or when the weather gets really cold. Don’t be afraid to double down! The Mountain Addicts love the Rab® Neutrino Pro Jacket.
  • Socks: wool or synthetic, no cotton. 1 pair for ski touring and 1 pair for the hut.
  • Wool or Fleece Hat that covers the ears.
  • Buff: great for protecting your face in cold and windy conditions. Mountain Addicts have buffs for sale.
  • 2 Pair of Gloves: we always recommend ski touring with at least 2 pair of gloves. One pair for sweating in, and another pair for keeping your hands dry and warm. Check out these options: Rab® Pivot GTX Glove and Rab® Khroma Tour Infinium Gloves.
  • Ski Helmet: recommended for skiers and riders. We love Pret helmets!
  • Comfortable hut clothing and hut booties (not bulky!) Guides will often bring a wool or cotton t-shirt and thin pants or tights.

A note on clothing: Typically, you will wear the same base layers everyday while touring, and bring a cotton shirt and thin pants for the hut.

Optional Equipment: Not essential, but feel free to bring anyway

  • Camera
  • Chemical hand warmer & toe warmer packets
  • Snow saw
  • Snow Study Kit

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To Reserve Your Place?

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Join the Mountain Addicts for the Managing Avalanche Terrain (MAT) course in Fernie. Grab your skins and get touring with an ACMG Ski Guide.