Want to Explore the Backcountry, Find Some Sweet Lines, But Not Sure Where To Start....

View larger imageKids practicing rescue skills in Fernie | Photo: Steve Ruskay

An Avalanche Skills Training (AST) Course is a great place to start learning.

There are AST courses for skiers, boarders and snowmobilers. The Canadian Avalanche Centre wants to promote avalanche awareness and education for youth. We want you to be safe in the backcountry. Take an Avalanche Skills Training course with Canadian Avalanche Centre licensed instructors. It may save your life.

What is an Avalanche Skills Training Course and what will you learn?
This course will teach you to:

  1. Understand the basics of avalanches and identify avalanche terrain
  2. Learn how to plan a trip in the backcountry and how to check avalanche bulletins and terrain ratings
  3. Practice a companion rescue 
  4. Understand the limits of your training and what is a logical next step in the learning process

Each student will receive an Avaluator: a decision making tool that you can carry in your pocket!  The Avaluator can help with pre-trip planning as well as helping you make decisions when you are out in the backcountry.

How long is the course? This course is designed to be completed in a weekend, though some longer courses are offered. It is a combination of some evening classroom time and 2 days spent in the field.

We encourage you to get more training and to begin by taking an Avalanche Skills Training level 1 course. The following instructors are sorted by region to facilitate finding a course near you. Please note that all instructors are different. On the right hand side it is indicated whether the instructor teaches "youth only" courses, will accept youth on regular courses or whether a parent or guardian needs to be present.

Please note that there are also instructors who teach snowmobiling AST courses as well which is designated by the snowmobile icon.

To find instructors in your area who teach youth or youth-only courses, go to Providers on our website, then click the region you are looking for. At the top, you will see a link for youth AST instructors.