Whistler Adventure School, British Columbia


Whistler Adventure School (WAS) is a private career training institution accredited and certified by the British Columbian government (PTIB) to deliver high quality career education in Marketing & Media, Retail, Manufacturing and Guiding.

Students gain the knowledge they need to find professional jobs in tourism, marketing & media, retail, manufacturing or outdoor recreation. A diploma from WAS prepares students for a variety of rewarding and in-demand careers locally and internationally.

Students graduating from WAS programs have created new businesses, media endeavors, as well as entered the world of professional guiding. Further, WAS works with students to help create an educational experience to further their career paths.

WAS programs are designated to enhance the career education and personal development of all students. Courses are instructed by well-known industry professionals who also serve as mentors and advisors. With small, interactive classes WAS provides hands-on learning where time to practice is main factor.

Whistler is a unique place and international hub for diversity, activities and cultural richness. Whistler is the number one ski and bike resort in North America - hosting amazing winter and summer activities, festivals, arts and culture. Students can study and work while enjoying the Whistler lifestyle of skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, and living close to nature.

The typical WAS student
The average student at WAS beats to their own drum. The typical student enrolled in our programs love the outdoors, mountains and an active life style with an inner desire to share this through their art and love of technology.

Whistler’s reputation as the world’s best bike park as well as home to some of the best skiing and snowboarding lends itself to people who are active, driven and enthusiastic about pursuing their dreams. WAS enables these endeavors by offering courses that bring the classroom to the world.

Admission Requirements for International Students

  • All students applying to WAS must be 18 years or older.
  • Proof of sufficient English requirements: IELTS General Training: Listening: 4.5 | Reading: 3.5 | Writing: 4 | Speaking: 4
  • Receive a valid Canadian Study Permit before program starts.

On Mountain Labs
The Whistler Adventure School prides itself on training students in some of the most challenging terrain in the world, the coast mountains surrounding the Sea to Sky. Students benefit from a hands-on experience, unparalleled in North America. Our instructors safely educate, train, and inspire students to become the people they wish to be. Students in guide courses learn the skills necessary to become successful guides.

Finding Somewhere to Live
It is important to note WAS does not arrange or book any accommodation. This is done solely by the student. WAS recommends the following two accommodation providers for short-term stay upon arrival. Reason why WAS recommends the Whistler HiHostel and Whistler Athlete Center is, they both have the benefits of providing:
  • walking distance to school
  • affordable rates
  • a social environment to meet like-minded people
Students can seek employment based on their study permit work allowance but they will need a Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN) before applying for jobs. Study permits and SIN have an expiry date.

Whistler has a huge number of temporary workers and many employers to choose from. The local newspaper Pique has an employment listing section; the largest employer in Whistler is Whistler Blackcomb. Be prepared for the shoulder season, employers need extra hours and employees at certain peak times and a reduced staff during off season times.
For more information, please contact StudyCanada EU <- click for e-mail

Study at the Whistler Adventure School in 2022 and 2023 (prices shown are for 2022)

There is a general application fee of CAN$ 250

Ski & Snowboard Guide Training
One of the few courses in North America and Canada to teach a true backcountry guiding program, all set in the coast mountain region. The Ski/Snowboard Guide Training Program gives students the opportunity to enlarge their backcountry skill set and pursue a career in guiding if they wish. The program consists of 157.5 full time hours completed over a 6 month period.

An on-snow and hands-on program that teaches students in depth backcountry skills including backcountry route planning, crevasse rescue, avalanche safety training and guiding amongst many other exciting elements. Throughout the program, students train in alpine terrain, building a resume of trips and backcountry experiences that also supports preparing for an ACMG / UIAGM Ski Guide level, if this path is chosen.
Start in 2022 is December, in 2023 March and December
CAN$ 7,500 Tuition Fee International + CAN$ 75 textbook fees
CAN$   450 Trip fees
CAN$   150 Ski Gear Rental Fee
CAN$   250 Ski Gear Rental Deposit

Rock Guide
The Rock Guide Training Program consists of 157.5 full time hours completed over a 6 month period and introduces fundamental skills to rock climbing and guiding. Students gain the skills to strengthen their own rock climbing abilities and/or to prepare for a career as an ACMG/IFMGA guide assistant.

Students learn a variety of rock climbing techniques such as crack climbing, face climbing, the mechanics of rappelling, multi-pitch rock climbing and develop lesson plans for teaching presentations to guiding clients. Throughout the program, students build a resume of rock climbs and multi-pitch experiences that also supports preparing for reaching an ACMG/UIAGM level, if chosen.
No dates in 202
CAN$ 5,000 Tuition Fee International + CAN$ 50 textbook fees + CAN$   450 Trip fees

Bike Guide Training
The ideal course for an individual looking to take their mountain biking skills to the next level and start guiding, especially in the backcountry. The 197.5 hrs Bike Guide program incorporates the 80hrs Wilderness First Responder and on-trail mechanics in addition to the PMBI Level 1 instructor and a course dedicated to the skills involved in guiding clients. To conclude the program, students complete a 50hr co-operative work experience within a guiding role. Some past co-op partners have included Whistler Blackcomb, Tyax Adventures and Arbutus Routes.
Start date in 2022 in May, June and July
CAN& 7,500 Tuition Fee International + CAN$ 50 textbook fees + CAN&  75 Course Materials

Mountain Sport Technician
This program teaches the basic fundamental skills necessary to become a part of the summer and winter outdoor tourism industry. Skill sets emphasized include snow safety, ski, snowboard, trail building,  survival and winter camping. Students will be equipped to enter the retail, manufacturing and outdoor industry on an entry level.  Note that this program replaces the previous Retail Manufacturing Manager Program.

In addition, through the bicycle mechanic course they will receive Internationally recognized Cytech Certification  Students have an option to select either Principles of Digital Marketing and Media or Experiential Leadership and Guiding to include in their Mountain Sport Technician Program Diploma.
2022 January, April, June, September

CAN$ 13,500 Tuition Fee International + CAN$ 150 textbook fees
CAN$   1,200 Course Material
CAN$      150 textbook fees

Adventure Tourism Winter
The Adventure Tourism Winter Program teaches students a range of skills to prepare them for winter backcountry outings. Students learn the fundamentals of backcountry travel with exposure to all types of terrain from rivers to mountains, rock walls and alpine peaks. At the end students apply their skills in an co-operative placement to gain work experience.
Start Full Year (12 month) Program starts: November, December, January, March (1 year Program)
CAN$ 9,500 Tuition Fee International + CAN$ 75 textbook fees + CAN$ 450 Trip fees

Design & Innovation Program
The Design & Innovation Program (former Whistler Experience Program) combines all courses from the Marketing & Media Program or Retail Manufacturing Program. Students select any 4 courses from either program to create their own custom experience depending on their interests. Courses chosen have to be within the program completion time period of 6 month.

This programme is for students who are interested in a shorter marketing or retail experience or to combine courses from both programs within six months.

Start dates depend on course selection (almost every month)
CAN$ 8,500 Tuition Fee International 
CAN$   600 Ski / Snowboard Production Material
CAN$   150 Ski/Snowboard Tuning Material
Can$    150 Boot Fitting Material
CAN$     25 per week Pro Camera Rental