Did we get you at Mountain Adventure? Push your personal boundaries in this truly adventurous program. Imagine your stunning BC Rocky Mountain classroom where you’ll spend time hiking, rock climbing, mountaineering, skiing, canoeing, whitewater rafting while also earning the certifications and training that employers want. That’s MAST!
With the 9-month Mountain Adventure Skills Training program, 60% of your learning time will be outdoors experiencing the regions amazing adventure lifestyle opportunities while also learning the skills employers want you to know. With 13 certification courses, you’ll be introduced to the knowledge you need to be successful in your dream job.
The Mountain Adventure Skills Training Program (MAST) is designed for full-time students interested in pursuing a one year certificate and meets the requirements of the B.C. Provincial common core curriculum.
Learn to be an Adventure Tourism professional from our highly skilled instructors who work in the industry, get a season’s pass at Fernie Alpine Resort as part of your tuition, and gain university credits toward a degree in Adventure Tourism. This program has it all.
|MAST 111||Risk Management in Adventure Tourism||3|
|MAST 114||Natural History||3|
|MAST 119||Guiding and Leadership||3|
|MAST 121||The Adventure Tourism Industry||3|
|MAST 122||Wilderness Travel Theory||3|
|MAST 136||Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management||3|
|MAST 140||Rock Climbing 1||2|
|MAST 141||Hiking 1||2|
|MAST 142||Mountaineering 1||2|
|MAST 143||Ski Touring 1||2|
|MAST 144||Canoe Skills 1||2|
|MAST 145||Whitewater Raft Guide Training 1||2|
|MAST 146||Avalanche Skills Training 1||2|
|MAST 147||Alpine Ski/Snowboard Instructor Certificate||2|
|MAST 156||Avalanche Skills Training 2||2|
|MAST 150 or MAST 151||Occupational First Aid or OEC Wilderness First Aid||2|
(no extra charge for electives, no refund if you choose not to take the elective)
|MAST 162||Ski Tour 2||2|
|MAST 165||Swiftwater Rescue Technician 3||2|
|MAST 169||River Expedition Skills||2|
|MAST 166 or MAST 167||Whitewater Raft Guide Training 2 or Introduction to Whitewater Kayaking||2|
|MAST 168 or MAST 172||Canoe Guide Certification or Mountain Bike Skills Development||2|
Canoe Guide Certification
Advanced Tandem Lakewater Paddler
Basic Solo Lakewater Paddler
Tandem Moving Water Paddler
Swiftwater Rescue Technician 3
Avalanche Skills Training 1
Avalanche Skills Training 2
Interpretive Guides Assoc. Basic Knowledge Course
CASI Snowboard Instructor Certification
CSIA Ski Instructor Certification
Wilderness First Responder Certification
Occupational First Aid
Students explore legal and industry standards for risk management in Adventure Tourism. Topics include the guide’s role in managing risk, Canadian legal system, developing a risk management plan, the role of insurance and legal releases. Students develop trip plans for a variety of group trips.
This course provides an overview of the natural/cultural history of the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains and develops interpretation techniques to communicate this information. Lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on field experiences will cover the topics of geology, ecology, botany, biology, human history, ecosystem-based management and heritage interpretation. Students develop skills in classification, identification, interpretive techniques, and stewardship of the environment.
This course involves an exploration of leadership and effective practice of theories and concepts of teaching, guiding and learning in an outdoor setting. Students examine leadership models, group and individual facilitation and the importance of communication while building a blue print of their own personal leadership philosophy and abilities. Other topics include certification standards, log book requirements and legal parameters, helicopter use and basics of helicopter rescue facilitation as a guide.
This course provides an overview of the variety, products, and infrastructure of adventure tourism in the province. Students explore past trends and discuss the future of adventure tourism while examining the positive and negative impacts the industry has on communities, ecosystems, and economies. Issues of land use in tourism are discussed. This also helps students evaluate the scope of career options and define their own role in this exciting industry.
This course reviews aspects of wilderness travel such as clothing and equipment, navigation, environmental concerns and group travel techniques. Students will learn to identify declination and magnetic north, take a bearing from a map, set a compass from a map and follow a compass bearing. Students will gain a thorough knowledge of topographical maps and the military grid system and will utilize new learning in trip planning exercises. This course introduces the student to the concepts of summer and winter emergency survival in wilderness settings. Topics such as fire building, shelter building, and the psychology of stress are discussed. Overnight survival exercises complete the course.
This course introduces the development, planning, marketing, financing and key success factors required to start new action sport, eco- and adventure tourism businesses. Students consider the opportunities, risks and issues specific to small business ventures during pre-startup, launch and initial growth. This course is designed to assist the student in developing a viable business model, then create a basic professional business plan, supported by research from primary and second sources. In addition to textbooks, the instructor uses case studies and multiple industry examples to illuminate courses concepts.
This course introduces the student to the basics of top roped rock climbing. Students learn the basic knots, safety procedures, equipment and rope skills, group management and climbing techniques to safely set up and climb basic top roped climbs.
This course involves a five day hike through local alpine mountainous terrain where students learn basic camp skills, environmental concerns, group travel considerations, safety and route planning, navigation, food and menu preparation. Classroom and field preparation days lead to a five day mountain expedition.
This course introduces students to basic glacier travel. Students develop skills in group management, roped travel, crevasse rescue, glaciology, winter camping skills, snow and ice anchors.
This course focuses on the skills necessary to travel, ski or snowboard safely in the backcountry in winter. These skills include ski touring equipment knowledge and proficiency, route finding, avalanche terrain and hazard evaluation, group travel management, and companion rescue.
This course prepares the student to canoe tandem and solo in lake water and class 1-2 river situations. Basic strokes and maneuvers are taught while canoe safety and self-rescue are practiced and demonstrated. Curriculum follows the Recreational Canoe Association of BC Advanced Tandem and Solo sections as well as touching on Basic Moving water skills.
This course prepares the student for employment in the BC Rafting Industry. Students will learn how to read whitewater, manage a team in the raft, perform river rescues, rig a raft and to maneuver a raft in up to class 3 water.
The Avalanche Skills Training program provides a national standard for entry level and intermediate level decision making in avalanche terrain. The curriculum provides a decision making framework suitable for use by people with a moderate degree of training and experience. This course covers two introductory certifications: AST 1 and Companion Rescue Certifications and focuses on safe travel practices in avalanche terrain. Several Canadian Avalanche Centre educational products are utilized to develop route finding, hazard awareness, companion rescue and decision making skills.
The Level 1 Courses combine the basics of practical teaching methods, technical understanding and development of guest service skills. Candidates receive coaching on their riding, teaching and people skills with the goal of reaching the Level 1 standard. They also receive suggestions and strategies for long-term development. Level 1 is a pre-requisite for Level 2. The alpine skiers take the CSIA Alpine Ski Instructor Level 1 Certification course. The snowboarders take the CASI Snowboard Instructor Level 1 Certification course.
Avalanche Skills Training 2 builds on the foundations of the Avalanche Skills Training 1 course. AST 2 provides a more advanced decision making framework that is based on the most advanced knowledge available and is suitable for use by people with a moderate degree of training and experience. Classroom and field sessions focus on developing route finding, hazard awareness, companion rescue and decision making skills.
This in depth first aid course is a prerequisite for employment with the BC Ambulance Service, many ski patrols and some Fire / Police Departments. It covers the basics of airway, breathing and circulation - includes how to deal with obstructed airways, breathing distress, bleeding control, shock and one and two person CPR. In addition, continuing patient assessment, hard collar application, securing a patient to a spine board, upper and lower limb splinting and minor wound care are covered. Completion of records and reports are an integral part of the course. The course covers basic to advanced life support and first aid scenario skills.
The Wilderness First Responder program is the ideal medical training for leaders in remote areas including outdoor educators, guides, military, professional search and rescue teams, researchers, and those involved in disaster relief. The curriculum is comprehensive and practical. It includes the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments for days and weeks if necessary.
This is an advanced Ski Mountaineering course in which students advance their ski touring skills in larger mountainous terrain. Students spend five days practicing route finding and navigation skills, winter camping skills, assessing avalanche terrain and skiing through glaciated terrain.
This four-day intensive certification course develops the student’s abilities to react correctly in a river rescue situation. Students learn to be comfortable in moving water and have a basic understanding of moving water principles while practicing proven river rescue techniques for canoeists, kayakers, rafters and rescue personnel.
This course will introduce the students to multi day large group river expedition guiding skills. Topics include menu planning, shopping, packing and cooking for a large group. Students will utilization group cooking equipment and food safety and handling techniques. Planning, packing, set up of group paddling equipment, various style of craft, safety gear, personal gear packing and storage in crafts. The students will execute a large group multi day expedition.
Building upon Whitewater Raft Guide Training 1, this course gives students advanced skills and maneuvers in rivers up to Grade 3. Students refine river reading skills, work as a team and learn advanced guiding skills. Students develop leadership skills to coach and command a raft crew in preparation for meeting the qualifications required by the BC Rafting Outfitters Association. Multiple days on the Elk and Bull rivers develop strong team rafting skills as well as safety and risk management practices.
This course is designed to develop skills at the novice white water kayaking level. Students are educated in safety issues as well as equipment design and use. Instruction is provided in flat water techniques, progressing into gentle white water and river running procedures. This course prepares the student to safely progress to grade three white water and covers theoretical knowledge and practical application of white water kayaking skills.
Building upon skills learned in Canoe Skills 1 students can be certified at the Day Guide and Expedition guide levels providing they meet the Recreational Canoeing Association of British Columbia standards. The course focuses on: paddling, rescue and teaching skills, group management and dynamics, risk assessment and decision making, meal preparation and hygiene, camping, Leave No Trace and interpretive skills. The Expedition Guide Certificate requires solid moving water skills in addition to many other leadership, coaching, communication, camping and environmental skills.
This course is geared towards beginner to advanced riders looking for formal instruction in riding techniques, mountain bike guiding skills, trail building and bike maintenance. Taking place in Fernie, this course utilizes local trails, professional bike guides and mechanics and local trail builders to encompass a complete overview of the employment opportunities in this growing sector.
Application Deadline is July 31. Applications from qualified students are processed on a first come, first served basis. Do not delay submitting your application.
To apply for entry in the MAST program please complete the following steps:
1. Review the Admission Requirements:
You must be 19 years or older as of September 1 and have completed Grade 12 or equivalent, or have permission from the Program Coordinator. You must also be physically able to accomplish the tasks of the program.
2. Complete the required forms:
Visit AccessCOTR to apply online or download an application form.
3. A non-refundable commitment fee of $250 is required.
You are given details for this payment in your letter of acceptance. Tuition installment and deadlines will be detailed in your letter of acceptance.
Season's Pass at Fernie Alpine Resort included in tuition. We offer more skills courses included in tuition than any other Adventure Program!
|Student Association Fee:||$80.5|
|Health and Dental Fee:||$229.5|
*These prices are for domestic students and may not be 100% accurate. However, these estimates will give you an adequate idea of tuition and fees for our programs. These prices do not include textbook costs. All prices are subject to change. Tuition fees include an alumni fee, student activity fees, and a student technology fee. In certain cases a materials and supply fee may also be included. For more information, visit: Tuition and Fees.
|Student Association Fee:||$80.5|
|Health and Dental Fee:||$229.5|
*These prices are for international students and may not be 100% accurate. However, these estimates will give you an adequate idea of tuition and fees for our programs. These prices do not include textbook costs. All prices are subject to change. Tuition fees include an alumni fee, student activity fees, and a student technology fee. In certain cases a materials and supply fee may also be included. For more information, visit: Tuition and Fees.
The following personal equipment list is required by all MAST students. This equipment will, with care, last for years. Students may wish to delay purchase of equipment until program confirmation. For good advice and introductory product knowledge check the ‘LEARN’ heading on the MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop) web site..
Camping and Hiking Gear needed by September 1
Ski Touring Gear needed by November 1
Rock Climbing Gear needed by September 1
Whitewater Rafting/Canoeing/Kayaking Gear needed by April
MAST Student Amy Twigge fulfills lifelong dream. Published by Fernie Fix Magazine
Read about how Amy has taken the time to learn to play again.
MAST Student has article published in Fernie Fix Magazine
Read about the program from Charlie's perspective.
Experienced guides and instructors ensure you are learning the most professional skills at the current standard. You will receive personal contact with professionals who are out there making a living in the business of Adventure Tourism.
Brian has designed paddling, rock climbing and outdoor education programs since 1988. He is a professional river guide, Master canoe instructor and Swiftwater Rescue Instructor who has been teaching and guiding on rivers all over Canada, including the Northwest Territories.
He also spent five years sea kayak guiding in Belize, Central America. Brian holds a Canada Ski Guide Association Level 2 Certification and has worked as a Cat Ski guide in Fernie for four years. Brian has Coordinated the MAST program since 1998 and began as an instructor in 1994. He teaches many aspects of the program including Leadership, Introduction to Adventure Tourism, Navigation, Survival, Swift Water Rescue,Avalanche Skills, Ski Touring, Hiking, Mountaineering, Canoeing and Rafting.
"The most important part of my job is keeping the MAST program relevant to today's adventure tourism industry. The best part of my job is teaching such enthusiastic and diverse students in the amazing outdoor environments we have here in BC."
Lee-Anne owns and operates Fernie Nature Tours where she shares her passion for all things wild and roots to our past. She is an environmental educator with Wildsight and has taught natural history and environmental stewardship with MAST since the programs inception. In 2009 she completed her MA in Environment and Management. Her goal is to change the world, one mind at a time.
Blair and Lynn own and operate Canyon Raft Company, the first raft company to be based out of Fernie. Blair and Lynn have extensive experience on wild rivers all over BC. Blair is a provincial examiner for the BC Raft Certification process and a Swiftwater Rescue Instructor. In winter Blair is the Snow Cat Operations Manager at Fernie Alpine Resort. They have been involved with the MAST program for 15 years.
Beth has made a career of bringing new ideas to life. Her strengths include coaching students and consulting clients through the practical steps required to connect services and products with realistic markets. She prioritizes cash flow, knows how to communicate value to investors, customers, and company teams.
Her experience includes managing, founding and owning more than one outdoor adventure business. Beth has an MBA in New Venture Development. In addition, she studied at the European Summer School for Advanced Management. Beth is endlessly curious and a serial entrepreneur.
Roger's passion is river canoeing, exploring rivers from Southern California to the Northwest Territories, appreciating the importance of the canoe to Canada's history and also expanding the boundaries of how people normally think of canoeing. He is a Master Instructor and the Instructor coordinator with the Recreational Canoe Assoc. of BC and is dedicated to river conservation. He and his wife Allyson have been teaching with the MAST program since 2009.
Rick is an ACMG Ski Guide and has been guiding with Island Lake for the past 10 seasons. Rick has been skiing and climbing the Fernie backcountry for many years. Rick holds his Canadian Avalanche Association Level 2 Forecaster and is a professional member. Known for his excellent teaching and knowledge, Rick is an asset to the MAST program guiding staff.
Eric graduated from the MAST program in 2001 and is now a heli ski guide with Mica Heli out of Revelstoke. Eric is a passionate educator who enjoys giving back to the MAST program where he got his start in Adventure Tourism.
Steve has worked with the MAST program for many years and is a passionate guide who ensures students understand their mountain environment. Steve is a guide/instructor for the Alpine Hiking, Avalanche Skills and Ski touring courses.
Owner of Canadian Alpine Guides has been working with the MAST program for over 10 years. Mike instructs the Mountaineering, Rock Climbing and Ski Touring courses. He enjoys the enthusiasm of the students as well as mentoring them through their introduction to mountain sports.
Are you interested in the Mountain Adventure Skills Training program offered by College of the Rockies Fernie Campus? This video shows what awesome adventures and great learning experiences students get to participate in throughout the first half of the program!
- Zack Decorso, MAST Alum
Get Schooled Outdoors: Programs Offer Hands-On Learning for Careers OutsideRead the Full Story
Interests: Work With My Hands, Care for Others, Start or Run Your Own Business, Teach Others, Not Have a Desk Job
342 - 3rd Avenue
PO Box 1770, Fernie, BC, V0B 1M0