Avalanche skills training is a must for everyone recreating in the backcountry.Learn From A.C.M.G. Certified Guides
Do you venture out of bounds, off the trails or into the backcountry? An AST 1 is your place to start. You don't need any experience to take this course. It is a must for everyone recreating in the backcountry or slackcountry.
We Offer AST 1 & AST 2 Courses
Avalanche Skills Training 1
Do you venture out of bounds, off the trails or into the backcountry? An AST 1 is your place to start. You don’t need any experience to take this course. It is a must for everyone recreating in the backcountry or slackcountry.
This is the course where you’ll learn how to recognize avalanche terrain and how to self rescue. An AST 1 is a minimum of two days with both classroom and field components. You need to take this course first and so should your friends because just one person trained in a group is not enough. Everyone in your group should take an AST 1. Recognize an AST 1 course is only the beginning – the avalanche pros will tell you avalanche training is a life long process.
What you will learn in AST 1:
- Avalanche formation and release
- Identify avalanche terrain
- The basics of trip planning
- Optimal use of tools and resources like the avalanche forecasts
to mitigate your avalanche risk
- Use appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain
- Intro to companion rescue
Avalanche Skills Training 2
You have taken your AST 1, you have solid experience in the backcountry and you dedicate most of your free time to recreating in the backcountry; this is a course for you.
An AST 2 course builds on the foundations of your AST 1, and provides a more advanced decision-making framework for travelling in avalanche terrain.
An AST 2 course comprises a minimum of 9.5 hours of classroom instruction with a minimum of three days in the field.
What you will learn in AST 2:
- progressive planning and travel techniques are required to travel safely through various types of terrain
- key techniques for using the Danger Rating on a local scale
- key techniques for applying the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) technical model to develop personal, local terrain ratings
- proficiently carry out a companion rescue
AST 1 & 2 Course Details
Expect a Logistics package after paying for your tour including meeting place, guide info and policies.
Here is an example of where we will meet.
We will meet the morning of your tour at either:
- Revelstoke Resort Base
- Rogers Pass Info Center
- Kicking Horse Mountain Resort Base Area
- Laggans Cafe Lake Louise
We will do waivers, look over equipment and talk about the day. We usually use the ski lift to access sidecountry terrain the first day so as to spend more time in the alpine and make skiing more accessible.
- These courses are pro learning environments and focus on teaching the students all the information on the curriculum.
- They will be full field days in the mountains so be prepared for being outside all day in the mountain environment.
- You must be able to ski/board powder for the AST 1 but it is ok if it is your first time on touring equipment
- The AST 2 is for Intermediate to Expert skiers and Boarders
- The AST 2 requires good physical strength and stamina to at least cover 1000m and 5km. It is a friendly environment so we encourage you to join but they are full days.
- BackPack 25-30L
- Warm Puffy Jacket (down or synthetic insulation)
- Warm Gloves for riding/Thin gloves for touring
- Warm Hat
- Lunch/Snacks Water/Small Thermos Sunglasses
Non Essential Items. Recommended
- Multi Tool
- Repair Kit (duct tape, bailing wire, zip ties, binding parts)
- Snow Observation kit (folding ruler, crystal screen, loupe, thermometer, compass) Altimeter
- Small First Aid Kit Helmet
- Light Weight Base Layer Top and Bottoms
- Ski/snowboard socks
- Mid Layer top ( soft shell preferable, wind breaker, vest, fleece, or flannel)
- Gore-Tex Pants
- Gore-Tex Jacket
Snow Science Equipment is Encouraged
- Crystal Screen
- Snow Saw
- Rite in the Rain Note Book
If you need rental equipment try one of our partners:
The Columbia Mountains around Golden, Revelstoke, and Lake Louise are rugged beautiful places.
Temperatures can range widely throughout the winter from plus 5°C to -25°C so students need to have appropriate clothing for these courses.
The mountains around Golden are by far the best place in which to take an AST course as there are three different ranges with different snow pack and weather characteristics.
WE only offer course early through mid winter to capitalize on the changing snow pack and give students time to practice new skills before winters’ end.
Pre Course Learning
- Online Course Completed prior to field days on your timeline
- Pre Field Day Zoom Meeting (for review, questions and field day prep)
- 8:00 AM meet at field location (TBD)
- Full field day
- 4:30 PM course close for AST 1 and debrief of day
Day 2/3 AST 2
- 8:00 AM meet at field location (TBD)
- Full field day
- 4:30 PM at cars for debrief and discussion, next day planning and course close on last day
- Transport to and from locations
- Rental Equipment needed to complete the course
Course Dates 2021/22
|Golden, Rogers Pass||2021 Dates: Nov 27, Dec 11||AST 1|
|Golden, Rogers Pass||2021 Dates: Dec 3-5||AST 2|
|Golden, Rogers Pass||2022 Dates: Jan 8, Feb 12, March 5||AST 1|
|Golden, Rogers Pass||2022 Dates: Jan 14-16, Feb 4-6, March 11-13||AST 2|
“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach of us more than we can ever learn from books.” –John Lubbock