Whistler Adventure School focuses on teaching students how to travel safely, survive, lead groups and navigate the backcountry.
words :: Todd Lawson.
When your campus is smack-dab in the middle of one of the world’s premier winter destinations, it only makes sense to offer a program that appeals to students wanting to get more experience in the outdoors in a chilly wilderness setting.
The Whistler Adventure School (WAS), a PTIB accredited post-secondary institution located in Whistler, has been offering adventure tourism–related programming to students from the Sea to Sky Corridor and all over the world since 2015.
“The Adventure Tourism Industry is thriving in B.C. (and especially here in Whistler) as more people are seeking nature and outdoor spaces, and there are many exciting career opportunities that can stem from the learning and certifications provided in this new program,” says WAS General Manager Shelley Quinn.
WAS has been offering full-year programs such as Mountain Sport Technician and Marketing and Media Manager as well as a variety of six-month Guide Training Programs including Bike Guide, Ski & Snowboard Guide, Alpine Guide and Rock Guide Training. New for the fall 2020 session, the new Adventure Tourism Winter (ATW) program now includes these courses.
“There are many outdoor enthusiasts from all around the world who perhaps haven’t had the opportunity to ski or snowboard extensively. This course will allow ‘intermediate’ level skiers or snowboarders to access a program to gain experience and skills in the backcountry and expand their leadership skills,” says Quinn.
The core focus is teaching students how to travel, survive, lead groups and navigate the backcountry in challenging winter conditions. Students will learn orienteering, shelter construction, theory and practical leadership skills, group management and overnight winter camping skills. Instructors will emphasize minimum-impact wilderness travel techniques. The program includes the 80-hour Wilderness First Responder course. And also included is an introduction to Backcountry Skiing/Snowboarding with the AST level 1 certification.
This is not a classroom course. (Though you might hang off some ropes from time to time.) This is a hands-on program for real-life experience in the field. Students learn from guides in the know. And by learning these skills and practicing in a group environment, successful graduates of this program will be more confident and competent explorers and leaders in the wilderness.
And after the course, you get paid to play. How sweet is that!?