Mountain Weather - Banff and Canmore - Rockies
Banff / Canmore

Mountain Weather


  • Cost:
  • $126

Location: Canmore and Banff, Canadian Rockies   Duration: 1 Day   Fitness: Average   Ability: Intermediate   Prerequisites: None   Course Code: MTNWTRBanCan

Our Mountain Weather course is designed for mountain enthusiasts; Backcountry skiers and mountaineers who travel to remote areas, skiers or climbers traveling in complex terrain, those who are out beyond normal forecast ranges.

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Course Information

Our Mountain Weather course is designed for mountain enthusiasts:

  • Backcountry skiers and mountaineers who travel to remote areas
  • Skiers or climbers traveling in complex terrain
  • Those who are out beyond normal forecast ranges

These groups need to plan for and understand mountain weather so they may apply their findings to pre and current travel plans. Advanced use of online weather products, and in the field weather and snowpack recordings are taught and used towards refining a travel and whiteout plan, as well as for recognizing and adapting travel plans to incoming weather.

Advanced Mountain weather skills are an essential component to creating any mountain travel navigation / white-out plan

We strongly recommend you pair this course with our immediately subsequent two day Mountain Navigation course.

Day One

  • 09:00 Meet at Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge, Guides Room
  • Morning Meeting: Formal introduction, coffee or tea, sign waivers, course outline
  • Weather Tutorial: weather products ensemble
  • Lessons 1 – 15
  • Lunch at around noon
  • Exercise: Weather and Hazard (mountain & avalanche hazard) self forecast for the next day
  • 16:00 End of day. Debrief, discuss next steps

Classroom Equipment

  • Notepad
  • Rite in the Rain notebook and mechanical pencil
  • Laptop computer (If you do not have one please let us know)
  • Map – Canmore 82-O/3 1:50000 topographical map


*Please note we may go outside during this course – please prepare for the conditions

  • Warm top and bottom under layers and socks
  • Mid layer fleece top
  • Weatherproof shell jacket
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves
  • Hiking boots
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Lunch, snacks, water

• Lesson 1: Cross referencing local forecast and Government Text Forecast
• Lesson 2: Satellite IR 500 Milli-bar Map
• Lesson 3: Satellite IR Surface Pressure Map
• Lesson 4: Satellite Animated Active Weather Fronts loop map
• Lesson 5: Jet Stream map
• Lesson 6: Freezing Level Map
• Lesson 7: Weather Radar
• Lesson 8: Local data-loggers
• Lesson 9: Mountain Weather phenomenon – orographic lift, convective cloud activity, humidity, pressure, elevation
• Lesson 10: Local climate and weather patterns, storm tracks, prevailing winds, Chinook’s, Pineapple express, etc.
• Lesson 11: Avalanche Hazard considerations (avalanche and weather forecast)
• Lesson 12: Mountain Hazards Tutorial
• Lesson 13: Recognizing and mitigating mountain hazards by sight, terrain photo’s and from an elevation, weather and climate perspective
• Lesson 14: Glaciers and associated hazards: serac’s, crevasses, snow bridges, snow plugs, bergschrund’s, rock strewn dry glaciers, moats
• Lesson 15: Objective Hazard Triggers: Rock, ice, serac, cornice and avalanche hazards triggered by wind, precipitation and temperature problems (including exposure, frostbite, cold snaps, daytime heating, heat-waves)

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Important Information

We strongly recommend you purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance upon booking and Emergency Evacuation insurance.

Emergency Evacuation and Medical

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 National Health.

We strongly recommend international visitors purchase this insurance. Emergency evacuation insurance is also 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.

Our recommended insurance provider is Tugo.Com who can be reached via the following:

All course prices are quoted in Canadian Dollars and are exclusive of a 5% Federal GST. Prices are subject to change.

Full payment is required at time of registration. Our preferred method of payment is by Mastercard or VISA through our online payment portal. We also accept Credit Card payment over the phone, bank transfer and cash.

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 and WFR courses.

Adventures Cancellation Policy

Half Day and Full Day Programs

  • Within 24 hours: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, no reschedule.
  • Outside of 24 hours: $25 rescheduling fee per booking or full refund.
Multi Day Programs
  • 2 Day Programs: Within 10 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 10 days: $25 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.
  • 3+ Day Programs: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule or full refund.
  • Customized Trips: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**On all multi day trips pre arranged add-ons are non-refundable (food, accommodation, etc).

Courses Cancellation Policy

1-2 Day Courses

  • Within 10 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 10 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

3+ Day Courses

  • Within 30 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**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 18 for our courses based in Alberta and 19 for those based in BC) and custodial groups (youths affiliated with an institution where the parents/legal guardian are not present on the trip) may register for certain trips and courses with a letter of consent from parents or legal guardian as well as must sign a waiver and have their parents 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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