Frequently Asked Questions

Making a Booking

The Mountain Addicts team will start taking bookings for ski touring trips up to a year in advance. The sooner you can book, the more likely it is that you will get your desired trip dates. The guide’s schedules fill up quickly!

All waiver acknowledgements must be completed prior to making a booking. If you book a course or trip before filling out the waiver acknowledgement, your booking will be cancelled.

AST 1 and 2

Yes, however, you must have experience ski touring in the backcountry and be able to:

  • Use avalanche rescue equipment and understand the basics of companion rescue
  • Describe avalanche types and size, recognize avalanche terrain and avalanche formation and release
  • Understand and interpret the Public Avalanche Bulletin
  • Use the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale in conjunction with the North American Danger Scale to plan a trip
  • Use the Avaluator Slope Evaluation Tool in the field

The AST 1 course is the essential first step in developing your decision making framework for venturing into winter backcountry avalanche terrain. You must have the skills and experience mentioned above to attend an AST 2 course without AST 1.

Check out the answer above, which outlines the level of understanding expected of those attending the AST 2 course. Avalanche Canada recommends taking the AST 1, or the AST Refresher course, every few years to stay current and confident with your terrain selection and companion rescue techniques.

Youths aged 16-17 can attend an AST course without a legal guardian. Youths aged 12-15 can attend a course with a legal guardian present on a case-by-case basis.

Youths 16-17 may attend a ski touring trip with a legal guardian in avalanche terrain. Youths 15 years and younger may attend a ski touring trip in “simple” or “challenging” terrain with a hazard rating of LOW-CONSIDERABLE as forecast by Avalanche Canada, and a legal guardian must be present. Youths 15 and younger will not be permitted to travel in “complex” terrain.

Please note that anyone under the age of 18 will need to have a “Consent and Acknowledgement of Risk” form completed by their legal guardian.

Equipment and Ability

Yes. You need a metal collapsible shovel, a collapsible probe, and a digital, 3-antennae transceiver. You can rent this equipment from Mountain Addicts.

No. Your guide will work with you to choose a ski touring location that suits your skill level and offer instruction in ski touring skills.

There is an Equipment List for all of our services at the bottom of each page.

Safety and Legal

Mountain Addicts hire only professionally trained guides and instructors. Our ski touring guides must be Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) members. Additionally, Avalanche Canada vets our avalanche education instructors.

Mountain Addicts also subscribe to the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) Info-ex, a database for avalanche professionals to collect and share information regarding snow, weather, and avalanches. Every morning and evening, Mountain Addicts guides complete a rigorous hazard forecast and evaluation workflow to submit to the Info-ex.

As part of maintaining professional membership with the ACMG and the CAA, the Mountain Addicts must submit proof of continuing professional development activities so that they are up-to-date with industry best practices in avalanche safety.

Guides manage avalanche hazards by managing the terrain we travel in and exposure to surrounding terrain. If the danger rating is high, our terrain choices are limited, and we will stick to more mellow terrain. If the danger is low, we have more terrain options to explore.

We are happy to discuss safety with you at any time. Please feel free to give us a call.

The Mountain Addicts are very passionate about their careers. We love sharing the mountain environment. Due to accidents in the adventure tourism industry and ensuing litigation, securing insurance is both difficult and costly.

Melissa Makepeace, the owner of Mountain Addicts, loves her business and guests. She is committed to abiding by the requests of the company’s insurer so that she can confidently continue to run Mountain Addicts. Part of this is showing the insurer that Mountain Addicts informs guests of the risks involved in wilderness activities and that they are aware of them BEFORE signing up for the activity. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Here is a link to the waiver agreement.

Thinking of making a booking? BEFORE booking any program with Mountain Addicts Guiding and Instruction Inc., participants must agree to sign the waiver/release of liability.