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AABBS Youth Avy Skills Training


Avalanche Awareness Beyond the Boundaries (AABBS) is a non-profit society formed to provide free Avalanche Skills Training to youth between the ages of 12 to 18 in the Kootenay area.
To see this years course dates, please click here


Mission Statement
To raise awareness and educate youth in decisions making about backcountry travel and avalanche safety by providing age appropriate courses in the West Kootenay region.

AABBS is a non-profit society founded in the spring of 2009 by a group of Nelson ski industry and business professionals concerned about the increasing numbers of teens venturing out into the back country without any avalanche and/or mountain safety training.

Thanks to the generosity of the many donors supporting the effort, the AABBS provided free Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) approved Avalanche Skills Training (AST) courses to approximately 250 Nelson and area youth between the ages of 12 to 18 since 2009. 

 The fundraising efforts for the society kicked off at the 2009 Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Festival held at Whitewater through a silent auction where the initial seed money of $5,000 was raised. The AABBS was named beneficiary for the Travis Steeger Memorial Fund set up after his tragic death and donations on his behalf have been ongoing. The first of large corporate donations was given to The AABBS by the Nelson & District Credit Union in the form of a cheque for $2,500. A gear swap in 2010 raised $775, as well as the Avalanche Rescue Seminar in December hosted by Whitewater and instructed by Manuel Genswein raising a further $650. Furthermore, Whitewater's forgotten pass funds and donations from the use of Whitewater's Beacon Basin training AABBSgrounds have contributed another $135. Ongoing monies will be raised through the AABBS membership drive and private donations. The Kootenay Mountain Culture magazine's popular Backyard Booty Film Showcase donated all proceeds from the night's bar to the fund and there were some thirsty filmgoers!
Fundraising for the AABBS will be ongoing into 2015/2016 winter season. In fact, during last season's  Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest Buff-Eh and Silent Auction, (thanks to the community and it's generous donations), Whitewater was able to help raise $3600 for the AABBS. In October of 2015 the students in the Selkirk College SROAM program (Ski Resort and Operation Management) raised $2000 in their annual SROAMazing Race. The board is planning to pursue more corporate sponsorship through the various trusts, foundations and community events in the area.

The AABBS has striven to deliver a slightly modified version of the CAA approved AST 1, drawing on the instructors experience and feedback from the youth in order to maximize interaction and engagement. We have also integrated the one day Avalanche Awareness Courses into the AABBS curriculum to raise awareness and prepare these youth for the AST 1 course. It was difficult for some youth to access the necessary equipment required for the AST course. The society board has since provided 12 complete safety equipment packs with all of the necessary backcountry gear.
If you are interested in making a donation or volunteering to help the AABBS meet future goals please contact Kirk at kirk@skiwhitewater.com or call 1800.666.9420 or 250.354.4944.

The following dates are for the 2015.2016 season;

** Registration packages are now available for pick up in our Downtown Office!

Course Dates:
1)    January 8th (evening), Jan 9th (1/2 day + evening), Jan 23rd (all day in the field) and Jan 24th (all day in the field)
2)    February 5th (evening), Feb 6th (1/2 day + evening), Feb 27th (all day in the field) and Feb 28th (all day in the field)

This is a free course for youth with limited capacity. Registration is on a first come, first served basis. If you are interested, please stop by our dowtown office to pick up your registration package or call us at 250-354-4944 to have your name put on the wait list.
* a $20 donation to the society is required
* lift tickets are provided, if needed
The Youth Mountain Education Center (YMEC) opened December 2015.
Allowing our ski team, and youth avalanche courses a space to get educated about the mountains
in the mountains. Pritvate YMEC bookings avaliable. Call 250-354-4944 for details.

"The place has feel. It's got a story. And what's more is that you get the sense that people actually live there. As for the terrain, I'm not sure if I have skied anything quite as good since. And I am finally able to say, Yep, this is the place! - Chris Booth, Chillfactor Magazine, Australia 2012 "
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