Program Highlights

The WAS Adventure Tourism program consists of seven courses which follow the curriculum of the leading certification agencies in each discipline. The courses will educate students on safe backcountry travel and take students into all terrain types from rivers to mountains from rock walls to alpine peaks. Students will be immersed in all aspects of the world of adventure tourism. Each course can be completed individually or combine all seven courses, including a co-op work placement, for a full program graduation. Course Breakdown: 67.5 hours per course plus a 200-hour co-op work placement. Location: On Campus, Sea to Sky rivers and mountains.

Program Summary

Program Name: Adventure Tourism Program Hours: 605 (Full Time) Length of Study: 12 Months Credits: 22.5 Credential: Certificate CIC Eligibility: One-year study permit and co-op work permit. Work and Study permits expire upon graduation. Entry Requirements: Minimum 18 years old & Proficiency in English. Physical & Skill resume required. Intake dates: April & October

Courses within the Adventure Tourism Program:

Snowmobile/ATV Guide

The mechanized backcountry travel industry has been developing exponentially over the past 5 years. Given the wide range of audiences interested in participating in this activity, the need for capable, well-trained guides has continued to grow. The potential for high exposure and risk are an inherent danger to consumers and operations alike. This class utilizes the established standards that each licensed guide must possess. The course will include hands-on machine operation and handling skills. Note: The snowmobile and ATV guide courses will be substituted depending on winter or summer season.

Backcountry Skiing/Snowboarding

The snow sports industry is experiencing a boom in backcountry recreation. As snow sports enthusiasts desire to venture deeper into the backcountry, the need for trained, dedicated guides has increased. The Ski & Snowboard Guide course follows ACMG curriculum and educates students on safe backcountry travel for their clientele. Students will be immersed in avalanche training, terrain selection, group management, backcountry equipment and multiple backcountry trips exploring the Sea to Sky mountains.

Rock Climbing

Students will learn from our knowledgeable instructors to become competent climbers able to navigate vertical terrain using the skills generated by this course. Students completing this course will understand the basics of rock climbing, including anchor building, belaying, movement, leading and rock protection. Using ACMG standards students will be taught to move safely through vertical terrain while managing the risks and hazards. In addition to classroom sessions, most of this course is conducted outdoors in Squamish. Each student will go through rigorous sessions to strengthen their skills, fitness and provide the knowledge to enjoy climbing.

Flat Water Canoe

This is a course designed as an introduction to the activity of canoeing and to develop the student’s skill and knowledge to a flat-water instructor’s level. Topics include the history of canoeing in Canada, canoe and paddle construction and design, equipment essentials (usage and maintenance), tandem and solo paddling techniques, water safety, rescues, trip preparation and instructional techniques.

Sea Kayaking

This is an introductory course designed to expose students to the basics of sea kayak guiding and to improve paddling technique. Emphasis is placed on navigation, rescue techniques, surf zone skills, open coast skills, radio operation, and natural history. Risk management and safety essentials are also covered.

Alpine Hiking & First Aid

The Alpine hiking course provides skills related to wilderness travel and outdoor adventure. Emphasizes knowledge of backpacking skills, survival techniques, proper physical conditioning, route finding, equipment selection, and an understanding and respect for the environment. The course incorporates lecture and discussion sessions followed by a weekend trip to the mountains. The First Aid course teaches the recognition and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies for victims 8 years old and up; identify and care for life-threatening bleeding, sudden illness, and injuries. Certification in adult CPR and Standard First Aid is available.

Co-Op Work Experience

Students enrolled in full-time programs complete a minimum of 200 hours of Co-op work experience with an employer related to their field of study. WAS has connections with businesses in Whistler that offer students the chance to practice their skills in a real world setting. These businesses are often looking for future employees and the co-op work experience course allows students an opportunity to impress. WAS and students work together to find a suitable placement and this course is part of the overall grade students will achieve.

Program taught in:
  • English

See 6 more programs offered by Whistler Adventure School »

This course is Campus based
Start Date
Open Enrollment
Request Info
8,750 CAD
Canadian students; $12,250 CAD international students
By locations
By date
Start Date
Open Enrollment
End Date
Application deadline

Open Enrollment

Application deadline
End Date