Basics AST 1 Course

Basic Avalanche Training - Before exploring the mountains, it is essential that you understand the basics of avalanche safety - including how to navigate, determine your safety, and more. Learn More

Advanced AST 2 Course

Advanced Avalanche Training - For people with intermediate knowledge and mountain experience, AST 2 offers next-level training in avalanche safety and more.
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Have you taken AST 1 Training?

Build on your knowledge with the Companion Rescue Skills Course.

Throttle Decisions

Throttle Decisions is a fast-paced video series aimed at encouraging mountain sledders to become better trained in avalanche safety. Its eight short components move through the AST course, tackling topics such as terrain, companion rescue, mountain weather and how to read the avalanche bulletin.

Filmmaker Francois Desrosiers of FD Productions shot video in 2012-13 with a host of riders across BC, capturing not only some great action but also some straight-shooting commentary from avalanche experts, brand-name riders and even some avalanche survivors.

If you'd like to order a physical copy of the DVD series for a suggested donation of $10, visit our store.

Avalanche Education Through AST Courses

It is essential that people who wish to explore Canada's spectacular mountains are well trained in how to safely navigate avalanche terrain. Avalanche Skills Training (AST) Courses provide you with the information and skills you need to identify the dangers around you and travel safely. They also offer essential tools for trip-planning and rescues and more.

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Avalanche conditions on the go

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What Causes Avalanches

AST 1 Course - Basics

Course Overview

The AST 1 Course provides an
entry-level decision-making
framework, based on the most
advanced knowledge available, for
people with basic training and little
experience. With over 7 hrs of classroom
time required and 1 day of field training,
participants will learn the basics of avalanche
safety: how to identify avalanche terrain and how
to plan and carry out a trip. They will also be introduced to tools such as: The Avaluator, Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES), Avalanche Danger Ratings and Avalanche Bulletins. This course also provides basic training in how to carry out a companion rescue and more. Read full details

Highlights Include

  • • The basics of avalanches
  • • How to plan and carry out a safe snowmobiling trip
  • • Learn to use the Avaluator, an avalanche safety tool
  • • Learn to carry out a companion rescue
Inquire here

AST 2 Course - Advanced

Course Overview

The AST 2 Course provides an
intermediate-level decision-making
framework, based on the most
advanced knowledge available, for
people with a moderate degree of training
and experience. With over 9hrs of classroom
time required and 3 days spent in field
training, participants will learn to determine
avalanche safety by using different safety tools. This course will also provide the prerequisite knowledge for any further avalanche training and more. Read full details

Highlights Include

  • • Learn the Avaluator as an advanced planning tool
  • • Avalanche Danger Ratings verification techniques
  • • Routefinding and travel techniques
  • • Learn to proficiently carry out a companion rescue
Inquire here

Companion Rescue Skills Course

The Companion Rescue Skills course can be used as the first stepping stone to avalanche training and can also be used as a refresher for those who have previous training in either AST 1 or AST 2 or other avalanche training. The vital skills covered in this course are a "must have" for all backcountry recreationists, whether you ski, board, sled, hike or climb. Read full details

Common Avalanche Misconceptions

"I'm following tracks so I must be ok."

First tracks may not trigger a slide, and the conditions may have changed since those tracks were made. Besides, you might be following someone who is not aware of the current avalanche danger.

"But I've got a transceiver on me."

A transceiver is not a force field - it doesn't protect you from avalanches. Transceivers improve your chances of survival if you know how to use it, but only about a third of completely buried people are found alive. Transceivers do make body recovery easier, though.

"I've ridden here for years, I've never seen it slide."

Don't kid yourself. Snow stability changes - from season to season, day to day, even minute to minute.

"My friends will dig me out."

Maybe. But they've got to be alive and be trained to find you.

Transceiver, shovel and probe.

Every person in your group needs to have a transceiver, probe and shovel and everyone needs to take the time to practice searching.

Avalanche balloon pack.

Consider buying an avalanche balloon pack. If you're caught in an avalanche, triggering the airbags to inflate will help you stay on top of the snow.