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  Phone: 403 678 4164 - 1 866 678 4164
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Dates and Prices

Canmore Classroom

Calgary Classroom

Price

$195 CDN includes instruction, classroom materials, and avalanche safety equipment. You will need to bring adequate clothing and equipment for a backcountry ski tour (or snowshoes). GST is extra.

Special: Book an AST 1 and AST 2 at the same time and receive a 10% discount on both programs!

$150 CDN for the 'Plus Day'

Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group

Is it for you?

The focus of this program is avalanche theory and instruction via the Canadian Avalanche Centre avalanche skills training curriculum. Our first day will be in the classroom in Calgary or Canmore learning about the conditions and physics that lead to avalanches. This is a full and intensive day. The second day will be a field trip to a backcountry location where we will be travelling either by backcountry ski gear or snowshoes to a number of different snow study sites. This can involve up to 5 km of travel and up to 250 m of elevation gain. Students must be able to travel on backcountry skis or snow shoes and should have a normal level of fitness.

Participants must be a minimum of 16 years of age and able to provide their own transportation.  Otherwise, individuals 14-16 years of age may attend when accompanied by a participating parent or guardian.

Certification

This course is two days of intensive learning.  The first day is classroom based and the second is in the backcountry learning and practicing skills.  It is a fast paced course with a curriculum developed by the Canadian Avalanche Centre and refined by Yamnuska.  Upon completion of the course you will receive an Avalanche Skills Training 1 Certificate.  The AST1 is the prerequisite for the professional level Avalanche Operations Level 1.

Advanced Avalanche Training and Theory

This course is the prerequisite for our Avalanche Skills Training 2 advanced course. If you are a backcountry skier/border, you can join us for this comprehensive 4 day program which includes one day of advanced theory and three days of backcountry touring. We offer this four day program based out of Canmore once in January, once in February and over two consecutive weekends in March. We also offer this program in Roger's Pass for those who are intermediate/advanced backcountry skiers/boarders.

Further reading and theory: We are now offering the AST 2 text for sale on our AST 1 programs. If you would like to have a reference manual that goes into more depth of the theory behind why avalanches occur, you can purchase the "Staying Alive In Avalanche Terrain" book by Bruce Tremper for an additional $25. Please let us know when you register if you would like this option as supplies are limited.

Avalanche Skills Training 1

Gain an introduction to avalanche skills and the basic principles of safe winter backcountry travel with the avalanche experts from Yamnuska. We are a proud Supporting Sponsor of the Canadian Avalanche Center and an approved avalanche skills training course provider. Courses in Canmore / Banff and Calgary.

Winter backcountry travel, skiing and snowboarding are very popular and exciting sports but without proper knowledge, enthusiasts often take unnecessary risks. Educate yourself with our introductory courses in Canmore or Calgary to make your winter travels in potential avalanche terrain safer and much more enjoyable. Our avalanche skills instructors are full-time certified guides and professional members of the Canadian Avalanche Association. Their extensive personal experience in avalanche operations and avalanche forecasting will add an extra dimension of interest to make the training and advice more meaningful, relevant and fascinating.Canadian Avalanche Centre

We consistently get superb feedback from our avalanche skills training course students. For your convenience we offer classroom courses in both Calgary and Canmore. We can offer private courses in British Columbia and Alberta for groups or individuals.

Our Canmore and Calgary avalanche courses fill quickly with many people booking both the AST 1 and AST 2 courses at the same time. Take advantage of our Winter promotion to receive a 10% discount when you book our AST 1 and AST 2 courses at the same time. This is great value.

*New!  Join us for an additional day of backcountry skiing every Monday following our AST 1 course.  Sign up for our ‘Plus Day’ add-on option where you’ll get the opportunity to put into practice all of the AST 1 skills:  route selection, terrain recognition and assessment, group management and safe travel practices and snow study opportunities where appropriate.  (Must be on skis or splitboard. Minimum int. skier at ski hill. Must be 18 years of age or older unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.)

"The field day was great! Steve did an awesome job in helping us get some hands on experience. I feel very confident in my skills as a result!" Jason - Alberta

"The training was awesome and the instructors really master their stuff and it couldn't have been done better. Kudos to the instructors!"

 Stephane - Alberta December 2012

Course Agenda

Day 1 (At Yamnuska Office in Canmore or our Lecture Room in Calgary)

9:30 am in Canmore or 10:00 am in Calgary

  • Introductions, goals and objectives, agenda
  • Avalanche phenomena, formation and characteristics of avalanches
  • Avalanche Terrain Recognition, introduction to the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale
  • Changes in the mountain snowpack, snow metamorphism

12:00 pm

  • Lunch break

1:00 pm

  • Assessing and reducing risk
  • Accessing and utilizing the Avalanche Danger Scale and Public Avalanche Bulletins
  • Using the AvaluatorTM
  • Safe travel and trip planning
  • Companion Rescue: A methodical approach
  • Logistics for the Field Day

4:30-5:00pm

  • Class ends

Day 2 at Bow Summit, on Highway 93, 40 km north of Lake Louise (on rare occassiosn we may head to selected areas of Kananaskis Country or Banff National Park).

9:00 am

  • Meet, issue gear and introduce additional field day instructors
  • Weather and avalanche bulletin group discussion
  • Field observations (ongoing)
  • Transceivers and companion rescue practice
  • Managing risk in avalanche terrain (ongoing)
  • Route selection, track setting and terrain recognition (ongoing) 
  • Snow pit and stability tests
  • Group rescue exercise

4:30 pm

  • Debrief and end of course

NOTE ON RISK: The course takes place in the backcountry in a winter environment.  Conditions can be harsh and you need to be adequately dressed to enhance your comfort and learning.  During the day we will be on the periphery of avalanche terrain however, we do limit our exposure to avalanches so that we can operate in the program area no matter what the avalanche danger is for that given day.  All of our guides/instructors carry first aid kits and emergency communication.  The course is designed to provide a good platform for learning and is not meant to be physically challenging or to put you at risk. Our focus is on instruction so we find appropriate avalanche study areas close to the road to maximize your avalanche education.

NOTE: Agenda may vary with field conditions and group abilities. A short tour of up to two kilometers is integral on the Sunday but if you're not a skier, snowshoes are adequate. It is important that you be properly equipped for a full day in the backcountry in winter conditions (see gear tab).

*New!  Join us for an additional day of backcountry skiing every Monday following our AST 1 course.  Sign up for our ‘Plus Day’ add-on option where you’ll get the opportunity to put into practice all of the AST 1 skills:  route selection, terrain recognition and assessment, group management and safe travel practices and snow study opportunities where appropriate.  (Must be on skis or splitboard. Minimum int. skier at ski hill. Must be 18 years of age or older unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.)

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