Avalanche Search & Rescue Response

Avalanche Search and Rescue Response

View larger imageMock rescues are great practice for the real thing | Photo: Alan Maudie

“Thanks for a really great course, I have been on a number of courses over the years as well as a few inter agency scenarios and I have never seen a field day go so smoothly. You guys were very well organized and delivered the content in a way that was relevant to the needs of the class, or at least me anyways!”

This two day course was developed in response to numerous requests from volunteer and professional SAR organizations to combine the CAA's Avalance Operations Level 1 course with current best practices in organized avalanche search and rescue. Participants must be physically fit and be able to travel in deep snow conditions in the backcountry via snowshoe or skis. Snowmobiles and snowcats may be used on the courses, as they would be in an avalanche search a rescue mission, but have a limited use on an actual avalanche scene, therefore all participants are required to be competent backcountry skiers or mobile and functional on snowshoes.

Registration Process

If you have met the prerequisites listed below then you may register on-line for the course of your choice (if available).  Note that on-line registration opens in early September and requires full payment at time of registration (including applicable hut fees).

NEW: You will be required to upload a scan of the following documents during your registration process. Without them, you will be unable to complete your registration. A scan can be a legible digital photo of the required document. A scan is needed of:

Registered participants will receive an e-mail one month prior to course start. This e-mail will contain the course logistical information as well as pre-course readings. Course materials, including student manual, will be given out at course start.

Program Goals

Taught by Avalanche Search & Rescue specialists, this course trains workers to:

  • Initiate an AvSAR response
  • Manage resources
  • Manage safety
  • Apply appropriate AvSAR techniques


Participants must meet the following prerequisites:

  • CAA Avalanche Operations Level 1 or similar training and experience OR;
  • Currently working in a professional or volunteer capacity for an agency or organization with an organized AvSAR response capacity (RCMP, DND SAR Techs, PEP, mechanized and non-mechanized skiing, ski areas, Parks, highways, etc.).

NOTE: The AvSAR course will become a prerequisite for the Level 2 Module 2 course in the  2013-2014 winter season.

Recommended Course

  • Introductory Level Incident Command System course (see Justice Institute CMD110 under Related Links) 


Tuition $477

Course Evaluation

There is an evaluation component to the course. A passing mark of 71% must be obtained on the final exam to complete the course successfully.

Course Equipment & Materials

Participants will be required to bring the following equipment for the field session:

  • Transceiver
  • Shovel
  • Probe
  • Personal First Aid kit
  • Ski and/or snowboard equipment suitable for travelling short distances in non-lift-accessed areas
  • Clothing suitable for travelling in a winter mountain environment

related links

course dates

If courses are full, contact the CAA to be put on a waiting list (info@avalanche.ca) and a general e-mail will be sent out to those on the waitlist when a spot becomes open.