This introductory avalanche skills course is designed for snowshoers, hikers, and ice climbers who want to develop the skills for safe travel in backcountry terrain where avalanche hazard exists. One theory day in the classroom introduces you to the course content and one field day outdoors lets you practice hands-on. Enjoy your adventures more with this critical safety knowledge. All courses are lead by experienced, highly trained guides.
This introductory avalanche skills course is specifically designed for snowshoers, cross-country skiers, hikers and ice climbers. If you venture into terrain where avalanche risk may be present, this course is for you.
Our two-day AST 1 course provides avalanche skills training which includes avalanche phenomenon, trip planning, the principles of safe travel in the backcountry avalanche rescue and much more.
*All Courses subject to a minimum number of participants. 48 hour notice will be given if minimum number has not been reached.
This course complies with Avalanche Canada’s AST 1 course curriculum guidelines and after successful completion, you will be awarded an official AST 1 certificate of completion.
Part I: Introductions & Pre-Course Quiz
Part II: Avalanche Phenomenon Power Point
Part III: Avalanche Travel Equipment & Companion Rescue Clinic
Part IV: Avalanche Bulletin/Avaluator 2 & Pre-Trip Planning Session
Debrief. Homework, Handouts & Resources List
We are happy to help source any gear you need for your course.
Avalanche Safety Kit is not included (transceiver, shovel, probe) however we can arrange avalanche kit rentals.
Classroom Day: Just bring yourself, lunch, pens, and paper. A laptop is optional.
*Lunch, snacks, and water
*A link to our 30 minute Pre-Course Lessons and video will be provided in your logistics package after course registration.
Transportation: Ensure you have reliable transportation to and from meeting locations.
Lift Tickets: Lift tickets are not included but can be purchased through MSAA.
Food: For field day, pack plenty of fluids, high energy food, and snacks. A thermos with a hot drink is also a great idea.
Please note: All Courses subject to a minimum number of participants. 48 hour notice will be given if minimum number has not been reached.
We strongly recommend you purchase insurance for Trip Cancellation, Emergency Evacuation and Adventure Sports Coverage (some backcountry adventures are excluded from coverage).
Emergency Evacuation and Medical Insurance
This coverage provides you with emergency air rescue if required and full medical. Parks Canada provides free evacuation within the Parks and if you are a Canadian resident your medical will be covered by your provincial health plan (except ambulance/air ambulance transport). We strongly recommend international visitors purchase this insurance.
Emergency evacuation insurance is compulsory for all our hut trips, as these typically take place outside of Parks Canada’s jurisdiction.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
To prepare for unforeseen circumstances we strongly recommend purchasing Trip Cancellation Insurance at the time of booking your trip. Trip Cancellation insurance covers many scenarios to reimburse you for cancelled trips outside of your control.
Learn about training courses at the academy:
Our recommended insurance provider is Tugo.Com who can be reached via the following:
All prices are quoted in Canadian dollars and are exclusive of a 5% tax (GST). Prices are subject to change. Guide gratuities are not included in fees.
Our preferred method of payment is by Mastercard or VISA. We also accept bank e-transfers and cash.
• For 1-2 day adventures/courses booking must be paid in full.
• For longer adventures/courses a deposit of 50% is required at the time of booking.
• The remaining balance is due 30 days before the start date.
• Bookings made less than 30 days before adventure/course must be paid in full.
Next day bookings are taken up until 5pm the day before any tour or course. *Subject to guide availability
Mountain Skills Academy takes mountain safety very seriously, however there is no way to completely mitigate risk in alpine environments. Prior to undertaking any of our courses or trips we require you to sign a waiver.
Mountain conditions are extremely unpredictable and can change at short notice. Our guides endeavor to undertake the routes and/or peaks that our clients desire, however our decisions will be impacted by conditions. Unfortunately we are not able to offer refunds if conditions are not suitable to undertake a particular route on the day you have booked. We will however make every effort to take you out for the best day possible given the conditions.
Applicable to all tours and courses*: If conditions force us to cancel a course or trip we will do all we can to accommodate you at another date. If this isn’t possible we will offer a full refund. We reserve the right to decline rescheduling dates based on availability. *Does not apply to first aid courses.
Late Arrival Policy
Guests arriving more than 15 minutes late for an activity forfeit 100% of the tour price. Tours leave promptly; it is recommended to arrive 15 minutes early to sort out gear and sign waivers.
Adventures Cancellation Policy
Half Day and Full Day Tours
**On all multi day trips pre-arranged add-ons are non-refundable (food, accommodation, etc).
1-2 Day Courses
3+ Day Courses
**If you are able to find someone else to take your place on a course, please let us know as we are more than happy to transfer bookings.
Minors (under the age of 19) and custodial groups (youths affiliated with an institution where a parent or legal guardian is not present on the trip) may register for certain trips and courses with a letter of consent from parents or legal guardian as well, they must sign a waiver and have a parent or legal guardian sign a waiver. Further, we abide by the Parks Canada Custodial Group winter backcountry policy as outlined here.
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