The Avalanche Skills Training (AST) curriculum was developed by Avalanche Canada with support from the National Search and Rescue Secretariat. AST courses provide a decision-making framework for backcountry users based on the most advanced knowledge available. The standard AST 1 course curriculum was updated in 2015 by Peter Marshall (Cloudburst Lead Instructor). Most of our scheduled courses are run at Cypress Mountain or at the Sea-to-Sky Gondola near Squamish.

AST Level 1

The AST 1 Course provides an entry-level decision-making framework that is based on the most advanced knowledge available. It is suitable for people with basic training and little experience. Courses are tailored to ski/ snowboard/ hikers and snowmobilers.

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Describe avalanche formation and release using basic terminology
  • Identify avalanche terrain
  • Plan and complete a backcountry trip plan using all available resources
  • Describe techniques to minimize risk when traveling in the backcountry
  • Demonstrate a basic companion rescue

Classroom Component
Seven hours of classroom time will be spread over 2 days.

Field Component
The course will include a total of 9-10 hours of field time, with the majority being spent on the second day.

Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver, British Columbia

AST Level 1 Dates

  • TBA

$245.00 plus tax
Includes books and materials, use of avalanche gear and all lift tickets.

*The January 10-11, 2015 AST Level 1 course is now full. Contact us to inquire about future courses.

AST Level 2

The Avalanche Skills Training Level 2 Course will provide an intermediate level decision-making framework for those interested in taking their knowledge to the next level. It is suitable for use by people with a moderate degree of training and experience.

Course Objectives

  • Use the Avaluatorâ„¢ as a filtering tool to determine when additional planning and travel techniques are required to travel safely.
  • Be familiar with Avalanche Danger Ratings verification techniques for personal use on a local scale.
  • Be familiar with the ATES technical model as a means to develop personal, local terrain ratings.
  • Use routefinding to take advantage of nuances in terrain to manage personal risk.
  • Use travel techniques in avalanche terrain appropriate to the avalanche conditions.
  • Proficiently carry out a companion rescue.
  • Understand the limits of their training.

Classroom Component
9.5 hours classroom time will be spread over the first 2 days.

Field Component
The majority of the AST 2 course will be spent in the field with 2 full days planned, and 2 partial days.

AST Level 2 Dates and Locations
Contact us for more details on this course.

$590.00 plus tax
Includes books and materials, use of avalanche gear
* There may be additional cost for Whistler backcountry lift tickets

1-Day AST Level 1 Refresher

This course is a field based one day course designed for individuals who have previously taken an AST 1 course and would like to refresh their skills and knowledge.

1-Day AST refresher course date and location:
Please contact us for more details.

$95.00 plus tax