Brittney Dickson teaches a backcountry skills class in the backcountry. Photo submitted.

Brittney Dickson teaches a backcountry skills class in the backcountry. Photo submitted.

Backcountry skills course offered in Golden

From December 7 to 8, Stay Wild Backcountry Skills will be hosting their first of many Avalanche Skills training courses.

This weekend in particular, the course being offered is Level 1, for sledders, skiers and snowboarders, and will educate on the basics of going into the backcountry.

“We cover all the basic facts before you start heading back there,” said company owner Brittney Dickson. “You get to learn from people who have been back there for a while and you get to start your training from there.”

The course covers the most vital basics, such as how to rescue someone if they get caught in an avalanche, and how to reach terrain and what to watch out for when you’re in the backcountry. Risk management is also an important part of the course.

Moving forward, Dickson says she is starting to add a focus on human behaviour and how to notice patterns of decision making. This stems from a push from Avalanche Canada who is investing more into researching human behaviour and its impact on backcountry and avalanche rescue.

“It’s exciting to see how we can improve avalanche safety with that,” said Dickson.

If you can’t come this weekend, it’s no worries. Dickson says they’ll be offering the course about twice per month now that the season has started. They will also be offering Level 2 courses, as well as intermediate courses to take between Levels 1 and 2.

People come from all across the world to take these courses. According to Dickson, it’s not uncommon for people from the States or from Europe to try and sneak in a course while on vacation.

“Canada is the leading country with avalanche education so lots of people want to take their course in Canada,” said Dickson. “Lots of people on holidays are pretty stoked to take it.”

Dickson first started offering the courses because of her own love of the backcountry and snow science. After taking a series of professional level courses, people started asking her if she would start offering something, which led her to her avalanche training.

For Dickson, teaching these courses is a privilege, and something she enjoys immensely.

“I love showing people what they can get out of the mountains, I feel like people are usually surprised about how much there is to know,” said Dickson. “I love seeing people’s eyes open up and they just want to learn more.”

Golden is the perfect place to start your backcountry education, according to Dickson. Having the mountains at your doorstep makes for easy access, which also helps when it comes time to teaching the courses themselves.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

The southern mountain caribou, an iconic species for the Splatsin First Nation, is threatened with extinction, much to the dismay of the First Nation. (Province of B.C. photo)
Splatsin First Nation concerned over dwindling caribou herd

Southern mountain caribou at risk of extinction, will struggle to recover without habitat protection and restoration action - report

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

Five-year-old Bayne Krause poses for a photo with his mom Marianne. Bayne’s shirt reads, ‘I have Cystic Fibrosis. Help keep me healthy, please social distance.’ Photo: Laurie Tritschler
West Kootenay mom promotes awareness of cystic fibrosis

Marianne Krause wants people to know what it’s like for her five-year-old son to live with CF

Sisters Audrey Cunningham and Donna Erdman, join the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus singing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Okanagan choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

Threats against Kamloops school forces a hold and secure

The threats were made against Brock Middle School

The majority of city council votes in favour of this design for a new Salmon Arm flag on Monday, May 10, 2021. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Majority of council salutes new flag for Salmon Arm

Two councillors raise concerns about logo being too corporate for a flag

B.C. doctors could face consequences for spreading COVID misinformation: college

College says doctors have a higher level of responsibility to not spread incorrect information

The majority of city council votes in favour of this design for a new Salmon Arm flag on Monday, May 10, 2021. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Time for a change: Salmon Arm’s ‘corporate’ city flag is on the way out

Two councillors raise concerns about logo being too corporate for a flag

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receives his COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccination in Ottawa, Friday, April 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
75% of Canadians need 1st vaccine dose to have more normal summer: Trudeau

The country is on track to hit a major milestone on the road to COVID-19 herd immunity Tuesday, with 40% vaccinated with a 1st dose

A black bear, dubbed Huckleberry by Deep Cove, B.C., residents died on July 31, 2020, after becoming conditioned to food and humans. (North Shore Black Bear Society photo)
Fewer dead bears, more fines: Advocates call for B.C. conservation officer reform

B.C. Bear Alliance wants to see body cameras on conservation officers after more than 600 black bears were killed this past year

Friends Fraser O'Brien, Chris and Ben Reinhardt and Youngbin Kim enjoy a game of hockey on Okanagan Lake off Kin Beach this past winter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Synthetic ice scores outdoor rink applause from Vernon

A new year-round rink could make its way to Polson, Kin Beach or Kin Racetrack

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Drug users were shut out of Vancouver’s decriminalization proposal, critics say, demanding redo

The coalition is asking the city to raise the proposed drug thresholds from a 3-day supply

Most Read