Mountain Adventure Skills Training
Stories and Testimonials - Complete

MAST Students Develop Best Practices Guidelines

Out There Outdoors featured an article written about our MAST students developing best practices guidelines for tree well Incidents. Read article.

MAST - Leads to a truly unique opportunity.

Dan Caldwell, is a graduate from the MAST program. He is a born and raised Fernie boy, and at 31 years old he is now the Guiding and Outdoor Operations Manager for King Pacific Lodge, a high end eco-tourism lodge in north western BC providing eco-tourism experiences to American and European tourists in saltwater fishing, fly-fishing, bear viewing, whale watching, sea kayaking and heli-hiking. The lodge, which is located approximately 60 miles south of Kitimat, provides amazing BC experiences to an array of adventure goers. (Reprinted from with permission) Read full article...

Recent graduate is third in her family to graduate from the MAST program.

The Davis family of Ft. McLeod Alberta can't get enough of the MAST program! Megan Davis grew up hearing about the adventures of her two older brothers who graduated from the Fernie Campus program.

"MAST was introduced to me at an early age. I am the third in my family to participate in the program," Megan explained. "The adventurous and exciting stories my brothers would come home and share opened my eyes and inspired me to take part in the course as well. I love being challenged, and my experiences with MAST have been challenging, adventurous and exciting. My skills and confidence in the outdoors have drastically improved with the help and guidance of our charismatic teachers and guides and their lessons."

MAST student has article published in Walrus Magazine.

Included in the MAST program is a short but intense Adventure Journalism course taught by author and adventurer Jon Turk ( In the thousand word essay project Oliver Noble wrote about his experiences as a new Canadian soldier in Afghanistan. Jon was impressed with the student's vivid images and straightforward writing. After some coaching and editing the article was accepted by Walrus Magazine (

The article "Tour of Duty" can be read on the Walrus web site under Archives - June 2008.

Two MAST graduates team up to buy local whitewater rafting company.

Last year was an exciting one for MAST graduates Jared Yeo and John Knauf as they began running their own rafting business. Both Jared and John gained raft guide training in the MAST program and both went on to work guiding immediately after graduating. They both worked for Mountain High Rafting in Fernie in the summer of 2006 then they partnered up and bought the company. Jared enjoys "Having the company working for you rather than you working for the company." but admits the "organizational reality of running your own business is a real challenge".

MAST graduate now an ACMG Assistant Rock guide and teaching in the MAST program.

Mike Trehearne is a MAST graduate from 1999 who is now a certified ACMG Assistant Rock guide -- taking his assistant alpine guide exam this summer. MAST coordinator Brian Bell says "It's great to have Mike instructing in our rock program. He is a motivating teacher and a great inspiration to current students".

green pointer (right)Read Mike's student testimonial


"Ice and rock climbing, rafting whitewater, canoeing white and flat water, skiing, not to mention the soft skills. This program was built for the recreationalist wanting to become a professional. Step up your game, take your skills to a new level, find out the difference between knowing skills and understanding them. I've had one of the best years of my life here in the MAST program at COTR."
~ Ethan Greaves ~

"Mountain Adventure Skills Training (MAST) is perfect for me as the course provides unlimited options for employment and some of my favourite life experiences to date."
~ Andrew Dolan ~

"The MAST program has given me the opportunity to do so many of the activities I've been wanting to get into. Prior to MAST my main issue was finding people to go out with that know what they're doing. MAST has grouped me with like-minded individuals who are just as passionate about the outdoors and keen to learn as I. Many of the trips we do would otherwise take a great deal of effort to organize. In the normal course of things you would be lucky to complete one or two trips in a year. MAST is nine packed months of trips that just wouldn't be possible otherwise. One of the best things about MAST is you learn to do everything the safe and proper way the first time around, no picking up people's bad habits. We're taught by experienced professionals who obviously enjoy teaching. Spending so much time with ACMG guides and bombarding them with questions has given me a new perspective on what the guiding industry is all about, and more importantly, what's needed to become one."
~ Colin Phillips ~

"The MAST program has given me a real understanding of the requirements needed to succeed in the adventure tourism industry. Through this course I have learned the ACMG standards that I can use as building blocks towards my guiding career. I have met a group of people who have the same interests making the pursuit of outdoor endeavours more possible. Most of all the MAST program has given me direction and the means to achieve my goals in the industry."
~ J. Oliver Noble ~

"The MAST program has given me the opportunity I was looking for to develop my base of outdoor skills. I am in the process of applying for jobs and many employers already know about and respect the skills of MAST grads. The program has given all of us a lot of chances to meet people in the field as well as MAST grads that are putting their education into action. All of these contacts are very valuable for getting jobs. I have had an amazing time on all the trips so far and have some great trips to come still."
~Jaime Zino ~

"This year the MAST program has been an incredible learning experience for me from blisters, navigation and a personal first mountain summit all in the first month followed by six others that have provided me with countless opportunities and firsts. Through MAST we have been able to truly experience the Canadian Rockies, work closely with some wicked and highly skilled guides and met enthusiastic, motivated peers who share similar interests and love of the outdoors. I've always hoped to find a job that would allow me to work, play and live in the mountains and after these nine months the possibilities seem endless."
~ Kaleigh Fendley ~

"MAST has not only provided me with the hard skills and experience to pursue a career in the adventure tourism industry, it has also bestowed upon me some of the best friends and memories of my life. I now have a group of friends that I trust and feel comfortable going out into the back country with. MAST is probably the most valuable school experience I have ever had, not to mention, without a doubt, the most exciting, fun, and challenging nine months of my life. I have to admit I'm pretty bummed that we only have two months left till grad. I am definitely going to miss this."
~ Isabelle Lafferty ~

"MAST was introduced to me at an early age. I am the third in my family to participate in the program. The adventurous and exciting stories my brothers would come home and share opened my eyes and inspired me to take part in the course as well. I love being challenged, and my experiences with MAST have been challenging, adventurous and exciting. My skills and confidence in the outdoors have drastically improved with the help and guidance of our charismatic teachers and guides and their lessons."
~ Megan Davis ~

"The MAST program has been great; it's provided me with a wide variety of skills. The out trips were amazing, allowing me to push myself mentally and physically. The program has prepared me for my working and personal life. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to be outdoors and have a good time."
~ Bob Werner ~

"The MAST program has provided me with a chance to experience a wide variety of sports with professional guides. The student to guide ratio is awesome. You almost get to know your guides too well. If you are one of those people that want to wake up every morning and say, "All right, time to go to school", then the MAST program is for you."
~ Matthew Oliver ~

"I am getting the training I need to make a career out of doing what I love."
~ Stephanie Sorensen ~

"The level of instruction was phenomenal. I always felt safe in situations that would normally be way too dangerous. The camaraderie and group dynamics completely made the experience and provided for lifelong experiences that I'll never forget."
~ Jon MacKenzie ~

"The MAST program gives students solid skills to go into the back country with comfort and confidence. The connections made with guides and fellow students foster a form of customized learning that leads to growth and discovery unmatched by any period in my life. My future looks up and forever changed because of the MAST program."
~ Ryan Angus ~

"MAST met all my needs and more. The MAST program rocks! I wish I could do it again. Ice climbing was the best trip of the year and the weather was great."
~ Ryan Selvig ~

"Coming into the MAST program and being green in the mountain environment, I was excited but nervous to start my nine-month adventure. The first hiking trip to Mt. Fischer was not only a great icebreaker in meeting your fellow peers, but was also a great start on using the vast amount of equipment you have purchased before the course. Starting out with the basics and learning the right way with rock/ice climbing, hiking, ski touring etc. helps you build to an intermediate or advanced level. Therefore, taking the knowledge you have learned and applying it with your friends or to pursue a career as an ACMG guide is now measurably realistic . My fellow peers are always excited to get involved in everything we do in school as well activities outside of it. I have developed relationships that will last a lifetime. Our course coordinator Brian Bell is always enthusiastic to teach as well as learn from us, and there is never a dull moment when he is around. Likewise with our instructors both in class and outdoors. They teach with an eager manner, as well as let you learn on a personal and team-building level. Every venue we have visited on our various trips has been above my expectations of what I was going to see, do, and especially eat. Of course what our class put in for effort beforehand was a huge part of the outcome experience. In the long run I would like to pursue a career as am ACMG ski guide. I strongly believe that this course is a big stepping stone on entering that industry, as well as a multitude of others. This course has taught me many things about the outdoor world, as well as things I did not know about me. If I didn't use the MAST program for a future career I would not be disappointed that I took nine months out of my life that I will never forget. I also recommend this course to anyone thinking about it; it will be some of the best times of your life!"
~ Ryan Storey ~

"I graduated from the MAST program in the spring of 2003. Before my year in Fernie, I'd had an idea that becoming a Mountain Guide was the path I wanted to follow, but didn't really have the direction or skills to make it happen. MAST gave me that base of skills, experience, and knowledge and after a bit more work and a summer of training I applied and was accepted for my first guide's exam through the ACMG.

A week after our MAST graduation I started work with the Banff Adventure Centre (A job I got from one of my guides/instructors on the MAST program!) and worked there for the remainder of the summer. Most of my workload these days comes from a Canmore based company called Yamnuska Mountain Adventures, where I guide multi-pitch rock routes and instruct on the crags in the Bow Valley. I've also worked with the University of Calgary, and put together trips for the odd private guests as well. When I'm not working, you'll probably find me with friends on one of the walls around the Bow Valley, out on some sort of training mission (usually with my next exam in mind!), or trying to decide which Canmore coffee shop has the best espresso! I'm really psyched to be able to work with the MAST students, especially after being a student myself, and to give back some of what I learned to a program that gave me so many amazing experiences. See you guys on the course next year!"
~ Mike Trehearne ~