APPLY NOW to Backcountry Riders Mentorship Program

“Backcountry Riders Mentorship Program” (BRMP) is an intermediate offering developed for skiers and splitboarders who are aiming to go deeper into the backcountry in search of more challenging routes in avalanche terrain. Mentorship is provided by experienced Edmonton Section volunteers who will share techniques and practices to help you take your backcountry experience to the next level and improve independent decision-making. Our goal is to invest in members that will become future mentors and leaders.


The program consists of two (2) scheduled mountain trips with program mentors and in-town workshops. Trips will be based out of Canmore or Lake Louise. Each day, we will seek out downhill-oriented routes in Challenging to Complex avalanche terrain. Evening discussions will include review and planning for current avalanche conditions. On these trips we will put into practice:

  • Companion rescue and beacon search review

  • Route finding, track setting, and terrain management

  • Group management

  • Hazard identification and avalanche awareness

Workshops will be scheduled in Edmonton throughout the season. Topics will include:

  • Review of beacon search and companion rescue

  • Review of avalanche hazards and decision-making tools/aids

  • Trip research strategies and route planning.

Program Dates

A summary of the main events/trips and scheduled dates are as follows:

  • December (TBD, evening): Beacon Search and Companion Rescue review

  • Jan 4-6, 2019. Mountain Trip #1

  • February (TBD, 1-2 evenings): Route Planning Workshop

  • March 1-3, 2019. Mountain Trip #2

In-town “TBD” events will be planned to fit everyone's schedule. An additional trip with program mentors may be scheduled for April or May, depending on interest, aptitude, and conditions.

Participant Requirements

This program is aimed at Edmonton Section members who have at least 1 to 2 seasons of winter backcountry experience. Participants with good cardiovascular fitness and strong downhill riding skills in all conditions will be best suited for the style and difficulty of trips planned for this program. The minimum expectations for participants are:

  • ability and willingness to contribute in a group setting,

  • can ski double-black diamond terrain confidently in all conditions (tight trees, wind crust, powder, etc), with a loaded pack,

  • the ability to break trail in powder snow, skin and climb at least 1200 m/day,  

  • willingness to apply judgment and engage in decision-making for travel in mountain terrain,

  • AST 1 certificate, and

  • Valid Edmonton Section membership.

Please contact with questions about the above requirements.


$140 in course fees, plus:

  • Pre-booked hostel accommodations for weekend trips: approx $35 per night.

  • Carpooling and meals will be planned as a group and expenses shared.

How To Apply

Please complete the application form FOUND HERE before November 8, 2018. Up to nine (9) participants may be accepted; all will be notified by November  18, 2018. Contact with any questions about the application or the program.

Required Gear

Participants will be expected to own all of their personal avalanche safety and touring gear. A detailed list of gear requirements will be discussed at the kick-off meeting and will include the following main items:

  • Alpine-Touring (AT) skis or Splitboard with appropriate bindings, boots, and fitted skins

  • Avalanche beacon, probe, and shovel

  • Backpack, ~35 to 45 L, with ski/board carry system

  • Helmet required

Program Limitations

The program does not seek to replace the avalanche safety and technical training offered by ACMG/IFMGA instructors. Rather, this program is based on a mentorship model involving knowledge transfer from volunteers as well as between participants. The Edmonton Section recommends that all participants complete AST 2 with a certified provider before travelling independently in Challenging and Complex avalanche terrain.

Happy Nina after a great run on a BRMP trip last season (formerly WIM+)

Happy Nina after a great run on a BRMP trip last season (formerly WIM+)

Jake and Jarett on top of the world at Cirque Peak last season on a BRMP trip (formerly WIM+)

Jake and Jarett on top of the world at Cirque Peak last season on a BRMP trip (formerly WIM+)

BRMP mentee laying down some nice lines on Mount Athabasca last season

BRMP mentee laying down some nice lines on Mount Athabasca last season