WOMEN’s AVALANCHE SKILLS TRAINING 1 (AST1) WHISTLER Industry leading Avalanche Skills Training from the Sea to Sky’s most experienced team.

BOOK NOW Starting from: $299.00 /per person Book Now

BOOK NOW Starting from: $299.00 /per person

Book Now

Avalanche Skills Training 1 (AST 1) - Whistler

The Women’s Backcountry Series is a program designed for women looking for a pressure-free environment to progress in the backcountry. Learn from the best female and male guides in the area, with support, patience and a wealth of experience.

Your backcountry education starts with our professional guides and two days of fundamental travel, rescue, and risk management skills. MSAA works closely with Avalanche Canada to develop, refine, and deliver the best and most current avalanche training available.

Book online or contact our office to ask any questions: 1-604-938-9242 or info@mountainskillsacademy.com


Avalanche Skills Training 1 is designed by Avalanche Canada to build the core skills necessary for safe backcountry travel. MSAA’s highly experienced guides spend the first day diving into the fundamentals of snow science, terrain assessment, risk management, planning, and dealing with emergencies.

The first day is held indoors in a classroom to facilitate effective theory instruction. The day begins with a discussion of the online pre-course. Throughout the day there are also decision-making exercises and a navigation workshop.

Day two is all about getting on the snow, applying the ideas from day one, refining basic skills, and practicing new ones. Practice safe travel techniques, perform basic snowpack assessment, learn critical companion rescue skills, and change the way you look at terrain!

Course includes:

  • 1.5 - 2hr pre-course using an online interactive learning platform
  • Backcountry avalanche awareness book
  • Avaluator booklet and avaluator slope assessment field card
  • Canadian avalanche association mandatory student fee
  • Companion rescue field card
  • Use of snow study kit with thermometer, crystal screen and loupe
  • Avalanche skills training level 1 certificate (upon successful completion)

Snowboarders: For this course we require that all snowboarders use a splitboard. We do not allow people to use snowshoes for this course.

Lift Ticket *Day 2 only: If you do NOT currently possess a valid Whistler Blackcomb lift ticket (Seasons Pass, Spirit Pass, Edge Card, Epic Pass, etc.), you may buy a Lift Ticket through our office at checkout.

**All Courses subject to a minimum number of participants. 48 hour notice will be given if the minimum number has not been reached.

Day 1: Classroom portion - 9:00am - 5:00pm

Everyone will sign waivers and the guide will review the AST Pre-Test before starting on the course theory. The day will include a short morning and afternoon break as well as a lunch break. The day will end with a debrief along with homework, some handouts and a resources list.

Parking: Please note that the nearest parking for this course is located at the Whistler Day Lots

Day 2: Field Day - 8:30am - 4:30pm

The guide will lead a short briefing (discussing current conditions and weather) and have everyone perform a gear check. From there you will head up the mountain to apply the skills you learned on Day 1. The day will end at approximately 4:30pm with a quick debrief and discussion of what steps you can take after your AST1.

MSAA Loyalty Program: Following the AST-1 Course all students will be added to the MSAA loyalty program. All students will receive a 10% discount on any future course with MSAA. Following the AST-1 Course we reccomend all students take the AST-2 course within the next 1-2 seasons. For more information contact our office.


If you require rentals we have teamed up with local rental companies to provide discounted rentals. Visit our rental page HERE for more information!

Day 1: (Classroom Day)

  • Pen
  • Paper/notebook
  • Lunch, snacks & water
  • Face mask
  • Laptop (optional)

  • Day 2: (Field Day): Dress appropriately for the conditions.


    • Weatherproof shell jacket and pants
    • Down or synthetic insulated jacket
    • Mid layer fleece top
    • Insulating top and bottom under layers and socks
    • Warm hat/toque and balaclava
    • 2 pairs of gloves
    • Sunglasses and sunscreen


    • Lift Pass
    • Backpack-25-35 Litres
    • Alpine touring skis/splitboard, skins, bindings, and boots
    • Avalanche Safety Kit (transceiver, shovel, probe)
    • Helmet
    • Poles
    • First Aid Kit with blister kit
    • Rite in the Rain notebook and pencil (optional)
    • Map, compass, GPS (optional)
    • Lunch, snacks, and water
    Day 1 (Classroom):
    • Snowpack: crystals & layers
    • Terrain
    • Environmental factors in avalanche formation terrain
    • Avalanche hazard mitigation
    • Avalanche danger resources
    • Human factors
    • Equipment and companion rescue technique familiarization
    • Pre-trip planning & avalanche bulletin/avaluator
    • Decision making competence
    Day 2 (Outdoor):
    • Trailhead procedures
    • Companion rescue
    • Avalanche terrain travel
    • Snowpack and/or avalanche observations
    • Snowpack tests
    • Avalanche terrain descent

    Click HERE for the full curriculum

    The important details:

    Season: Nov – Apr

    Duration: 2 Days (8:30am – 4:30pm)

    Location: Whistler

    Max Ratio: 8 Clients to 1 Guide

    Minimum Age: 16 yrs

    Prerequisites: Average Fitness & Intermediate Skier


    Price: Weekend: $339 Midweek: $299 | $1499/private (up to 8ppl)

    Book Now

    Request Alternative Dates:

    Have a date in mind that is not available to book? Request an alternative date and if we have more than 3 participants interested we will open the date. 



    Review, refresh, and build upon your avalanche safety knowledge.

    Women's AST Level 2

    Focusing on terrain analysis, snowpack assessment, hazard management and rescue skills, with this four-day course you’ll be ready for new, big adventures.