Resources for Youth

View larger imagePoster created by Gladzy Kei Zuniga | Jasper High School student

It is best to gain experience by going into the backcountry with a more experienced person or a mentor. They will be able to share their knowledge and experience with you. Seek them out! Don't ever go into the backcountry alone!

When you go into the backcountry in winter, make sure you have a Trip Plan and the Right Gear.  This includes the 5 essentials of transceiver, shovel, probe, your brain (knowledge to use the gear) and a buddy (companion).

These are great tools but one of the best is to take an Avalanche Skills Training Course!

What do you currently know about avalanches? The Online course will help you acquire the basic knowledge and skills you need to rescue yourself and your companions in an avalanche. These are critical skills for all backcountry travellers. This course usually takes 2-3 hours and you can start and stop as you wish.

The Online course is not intended to replace field avalanche training. We strongly recommend that anyone travelling in the backcountry take an AST course offered by a qualified avalanche instructor. 

 "This site is all about teaching you the right place to charge and the right place to ease off, it's about teaching you to pick your pow." Behind the Lines is a social networking site which has an excellent library of videos and photos (you can register and add your own). You can also check out safety tips, avalanche bulletins, avalanche news and profiles.

AdventureSmart provides information on the Right Gear, which includes trip planning and the 10 essentials for the backcountry.  You can also print this Backcountry Checklist from Parks Canada and use it for your winter backcountry trips. (Click here for the Backcountry checklist in French.)

The following are some resources you may be interested in. Contact the Canadian Avalanche Centre to order these books or DVD's.

Backcountry Avalanche Awareness
(3 different editions: one each for skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers)
by Bruce Jamieson. This is a great introductory book.

Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain
(same edition for skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers)
by Bruce Tremper. A comprehensive practicle great book.

The Fine Line
A new DVD with amazing footage of professionals riding in the backcountry. Includes a feature film and 4 training films on Understanding Avalanche Bulletins, Choosing Terrain, Predicting Avalanches and Emergency Self Rescue.

A Dozen More Turns
A  true story about a group of friends with avalanche experience that become involved in a fatal avalanche because they were looking for just "a dozen more turns."

Know Before You Go
Great footage of professional backcountry skiers and riders promoting avalanche education and practicing with avalanche equipment.

You can order these materials by calling the Canadian Avalanche Centre at 250-837-2141.

Enjoy being out in the winter but more importantly be safe!



related links

  • Online Avalanche Course
  • Youth AST Course
  • Parks Canada Backcountry Checklist
  • The Right Gear from AdventureSmart
  • Behind The Lines  is all about teaching you the right place to charge and the right place to ease off, it's about teaching you to pick your pow.

    Behind The Lines
  • Friend behind the lines