Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 #1

Learn Backcountry Avalanche Safety Essentials from an Expert

Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 #1

Learn Backcountry Avalanche Safety Essentials from an Expert

Hybrid Online And In-Person Delivery For Your Busy Schedule

Learn How To Test And Interpret Avalanche Conditions

Continue Your Learning With An Avalanche Safety E-Book By Doug Latimer

Is This Camp For You?

Entry Level

The Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 Course is open to everyone with an interest in learning to be safer in the winter backcountry. Don’t own your own ski or avalanche equipment yet? No problem, it’s totally okay to take the course with rented snow shoes and beacon/probe/shovel (ACC members get a 10% discount on rentals at Gear Up in Canmore!)


Before registering, please review our Trip Waivers and Liability, and Cancellation Policies.

Camps are subject to minimum enrollment in order to run.

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Trip Description

Winter backcountry travel is exploding in popularity. More people than ever before are taking their skiing outside of resort boundaries. But lacking education and awareness of avalanche hazard can prove fatal for you or for your partners. Completing an AST1 course is now almost considered a mandatory requirement before venturing into the backcountry.

Our 2-day course provides a thorough introduction to avalanche basics and a framework with which to make decisions in the field. We cover the standard curriculum (as outlined by Avalanche Canada). By the end of this course you will know how to identify avalanche terrain, complete an avalanche rescue and how to read the avalanche bulletin so you can start planning your own backcountry adventures.

Instead of a classroom day, this winter we will be doing it through two evening, online sessions during the week before your course. You can choose to do your field day on either the following Saturday or Sunday. This means that you still get a day off while doing the classroom portion at a more convenient time! Click the “Register Now” button to see more details on when the online portions are being offered.


Doug Latimer
Doug has 20+ years of guiding experience behind him as an ACMG ski guide and an ACMG apprentice rock...
Doug Latimer
Doug has 20+ years of guiding experience behind him as an ACMG...
Learn More

We have a dedicated team of instructors (above) who are excited to provide you with knowledge to start of your backcountry experiences safely. We want to provide the best possible learning experience and give you maximum opportunity to ask questions. So for our field day on Day 3, we bring in an extra guide/instructor where necessary to keep participant-to-guide ratios below a maximum of 8:1.

The ACC hires guides certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). Visit the ACMG website to learn more about what they do!

*Guiding Staff for a trip sometimes have to swapped out due to unavoidable circumstances. In this event ACC staff with contact you as soon as possible to update you on any changes to trip staffing


The ultimate goal of our avalanche training program is for you to make it home safely at the end of your future winter excursions. Our AST1 course lays the foundations of travelling through avalanche terrain by focusing on the following topics:
  • Introductory snow science
  • Avalanche formation and release
  • Identifying avalanche terrain
  • Basics of trip planning
  • Optimal use of tools and resources, like avalanche forecasts, to mitigate your avalanche risk
  • Use of appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain
  • Introduction to companion rescue
Unlike some providers, we like to take our AST courses into the field where conditions offer the best learning experience. As well as to the ever-popular Bow Summit, this course could also see you doing your field day in various destinations in Kananaskis. At the end of the course you will receive an Avalanche Canada certificate signed off by your instructor. This is a formal recognition of your training.

Day-by-Day Adventure Itinerary

Evening 1:
Participants meet online at 6:00 pm MST via a zoom link sent out 1-2 weeks before course starts. Sessions will end around 9:00 pm MST. Curriculum topics which will be covered this day include:
  • Introductions, course goals, agenda
  • Understanding avalanches: Formation and characteristics
  • Avalanche terrain recognition
  • Introduction to the ATES (Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale)
  • Changes in the mountain snowpack (i.e. snow metamorphism)
*NOTE: You do not need your avalanche gear for the zoom sessions
Evening 2:
Participants meet online 6:00 pm MST. Sessions will end around 9:00 pm MST. Curriculum topics which will be covered this day include:
  • Assessing and reducing risk
  • Accessing public avalanche bulletins
  • Using the AVALUATOR
  • Safe travel choices and proper route planning
  • Companion rescue techniques
  • Discuss program for Day 3 in the field
Field Day
Meet at the Black Prince parking lot in Kananaskis at 9:00 am MST. Today you will be making real-life observations and gaining hands-on experience. Curriculum topics which will be covered on this day include:
  • Meet at the parking area, sign waivers
  • Field observations
  • Companion rescue techniques and practice
  • Managing risk in avalanche terrain
  • Route selection, track setting and terrain related hazard
  • Snow profiles and stability tests
  • Companion rescue scenario
  • 4:30 pm - Course debrief, presentation of certificates
Our field day will see a maximum participant-to-guide ratio of 6:1 to make for the best possible learning experience!

Food, Accommodation and Rentals


To keep the cost of this camp as low as possible for you, food is not provided on this camp. Be sure to bring along a packed lunch and your favourite snack to fuel the field day!


Accommodation is not included in this course.


If you don't have everything on the gear list and aren't ready to invest in your own, there are many awesome local businesses that rent out all of the equipment you will need. Be sure to reserve your rentals ahead of time to make sure everything you need is available for you when you need it.

Coming from the Bow Valley? Check out Gear Up in Canmore. ACC members get 10% off all gear rentals!
  • Coming from Calgary? We recommend renting your gear from MEC, the University of Calgary Outdoors Center, or the Norseman.
  • Coming from the Revelstoke? Give Revelstoke Powder Rentals a try.


  • 2 days instruction by ACMG certified ski guides
  • Audio-visual avalanche presentation created by Doug Latimer
  • Avalanche Canada course materials including textbook
  • Avalanche Canada course Certificate
  • online evening sessions

Not Included

  • Transportation to and from the field location
  • Accommodation
  • Meals and lunches
  • Personal gear (see gear list)


Adventure Hazards

Additional Adventure Resources

Learn more about Avalanche Canada

We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips

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