Avalanche Skills Training

Categories: Avalanche Skills Training |
Avalanche Skills Training Courses

Avalanche Skills Training Courses

These courses are based on the curriculum provided by the Avalanche Canada.

I have a broad range of experience in the avalanche industry and have been teaching avalanche courses since 1994. In addition to over 15 years spent ski guiding, I also worked as an avalanche forecaster at the Lake Louise Ski Area for seven seasons and wrote public avalanche bulletins for the Avalanche Canada for two winters.

The AST 1 is a course for those who have little or no experience in winter backcountry travel. It is also a good overview for people who have some experience but no formal training. The AST 2 is a more advanced course that is an excellent resource for more experienced skiers, snowboarders and climbers. It is the recreational user’s equivalent to the Canadian Avalanche Association’s Level 1 professional level course.


Avalanche Skills Training 1

Categories: Avalanche Skills Training, Avalanche Skills Training 1 | Tags: , , ,
A slab avalanche

A slab avalanche

This is what Michael said about our AST course:

“I got a lot out of the AST course and I think my boys did as well. I can see now that backcountry skiing should involve continuous learning and we hopefully have a good base to embark on that journey. Mark is a great guide and instructor…it’s great to have such accomplished professionals accessible to us. My older son in particular benefits from having a mountain guide as a mentor / instructor as he aspires to much of the same adventure in the alpine on rock, snow and ice as Mark has spent a career chasing.”

This course will provide an entry-level decision-making framework that is based on the most advanced knowledge available. It is suitable for use by people with basic training and little experience. At the end of the course, participants should be able to:

Understand the basics of avalanche formation and release

Identify avalanche terrain

Know the steps required to plan and carry out a trip

Use the Avaluator™ as a decision-making tool

Find resources for obtaining Avalanche Danger Ratings

Use appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain

Carry out a companion rescue

Understand the limits of their training

Dates: Available for private bookings

Location: Banff/Rockies

Price: C$225 plus GST. Includes Avaluator, textbook and use of safety equipment if required.

Prerequisites: Intermediate skiing/snowboarding ability. If you can get down a blue run at the ski hill you are ready to take this course!

Contact me for details on this course or to organize a private course for your group.

If you are a young adult living in the Bow Valley you may be eligible for one of the AST courses we teach for BanffLife. For more info email Christine at BanffLife.


Avalanche Skills Training 2 January 2016

Categories: Avalanche Skills Training | Tags: , ,
Snow profile lesson

Snow profile lesson

This is what Dean said about our AST 2 course:

“Thank you…it was a winter highlight. I have found myself thinking about the course content almost daily…regularly following weather models have become part of my routine. The tools the course provided have proven exceptionally useful. I feel much better prepared for terrain evaluation and risk assessment and am therefore feeling far more comfortable travelling in the back-country than I ever have.”

The Avalanche Skills Training 2 course will provide an intermediate level decision-making framework that is based on the most advanced knowledge available. If you are a strong intermediate backcountry skier or split-boarder and have some previous winter backcountry experience where you have traveled in avalanche terrain, followed the avalanche bulletins for part of a winter or more, and have either taken an AST 1 or have some self-directed training (e.g. done some reading on the subject) then this is the course for you.

The subjects we focus on are:

Understanding the components of risk

How terrain affects the formation and nature of avalanches

Using terrain to reduce your risk to avalanches

Forming a coherent decision making process based on an unbiased assessment of the facts contained in the Avalanche Bulletins, weather, snowpack and terrain

Recognizing human factors that contribute to decision-making errors

2016 Dates:

Course #2: January 2-3 (classroom/Rockies field trip), January 9-10 (Rogers Pass field trips).

Location: Rockies and Rogers Pass

Price: C$550 plus GST. Includes the AST Field Book and the use of safety equipment if required.

Prerequisites: Intermediate skiing/snowboarding ability, some previous avalanche education (AST 1 or self-directed learning), about 20 days previous experience traveling in avalanche terrain in the winter.

Contact me for details on this course or to organize a private course for your group.


Banff Life Avalanche Skills Training Courses

Categories: Avalanche Skills Training |

If you are a young adult living in the Banff, Canmore or Lake Louise you may be eligible for one of the AST avalanche courses we teach for Banff LifeClick here for dates and prices. For more info email Christine at Banff Life.

For other AST courses click here.