AST Level 1

Avalanches are the greatest hazard facing any winter backcountry traveller. In order to safely enjoy the backcountry you need understand why avalanche happens, be able to recognize, avoid terrain where avalanches may occur, and know what to do if you or one of you group is caught in an avalanche.

The course is taught by our team of active avalanche professionals and certified backcountry ski guides. These guys and galls live and work full time in the mountains. We focus on introducing you to simple avalanche hazard management techniques. Our courses are based on the most advanced knowledge available and will give you the fundamental skills for safe decision making in avalanche terrain.

At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Understand how and why avalanches form and release.
  • Identify avalanche terrain.
  • Use the appropriate safe travel techniques.
  • Perform companion rescue.
  • Find and use resources for trip planning.
  • Understand your personal limits in terms of training and experience

The course follows a training syllabus developed by the Avalanche Canada and a certificate of completion will be issued at the end of the course.

Practical Information
This is a 2-day field-based course. Please note that due to Government-mandated restrictions the classroom portion of the course will be webinar-based and may be completed any time prior to the start of the course.
Skill Level
No previous avalanche skills necessary. Must be able to travel on skis or split-board.
Upon registration, we will send you a complete equipment list. There should not be any surprises on the equipment list. We will be using standard ski touring and avalanche safety equipment.

You will be required to provide a modern 3 antenna digital avalanche transceiver, an avalanche shovel, and an avalanche probe.

Please contact us if you have any questions prior to booking.\

Group Size
Maximum 1:6 Instructor to participant ratio. We require a minimum group size of 4 for the course to run.
There are two basic types of insurance that most participants need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance.

Emergency Medical Expenses Insurance:

It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident during your trip. Obtain extra coverage if necessary. Costs such as air or ground transportation, long-term care and other services are not covered.

Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:

We recognize that our guests’ schedules may change for many reasons; business, family, flight delays, injuries and other unplanned events. For these eventualities, the Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance is a great way to protect your investment.

For all your travel insurance requirements we recommend the Simpson Group. This agency offers a wide range of travel insurance options including Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical and Personal Effect Loss for Canadian Travelers. We highly recommend purchasing this insurance. For more information and to purchase a plan, visit the Simpson Group’s website.

Risk Management
The course takes place in a backcountry winter environment. Conditions can be harsh and you need to be adequately dressed to enhance your comfort and learning. During the field day, we will be on the periphery of avalanche terrain however, we do limit our exposure to avalanches so that we can operate in the program area no matter what the avalanche danger is for that given day. All our guides/instructors have advanced first aid certification and carry first aid kits as well as emergency communication. The course is designed to provide a good platform for learning and is not meant to be overly physically challenging or to put you at risk. Our focus is on instruction so we find appropriate avalanche study areas close to the road to maximize your avalanche education.
Terms and Conditions
Students must be 18 years of age or older, prior to enrolling in the course.