Camp Highlights

  • Avalanche course tailored for backcountry skiers/snowshoers 
  • Custom learning materials developed by our Lead Winter Guide
  • 2 classroom sessions online in the evenings and 1 outside field day
  • Lower guide ratios to allow for COVID protocols to be followed

Dates & price

    Course dates:

    •  Nov 26&27 (online evenings) - Nov 28 (field day) 2020
    •  Nov 26&27 (online evenings) - Nov 29 (field day) 2020
    •  Dec 7 (online) - Dec 8 (field day) 2020
    •  Dec 10&11 (online evenings) Dec 12 (field day) 2020
    •  Dec 10&11 (online evenings) - Dec 13 (field day) 2020
    •  Feb 4&5 (online evenings) - Feb 6 (field day) 2021
    •  Feb 4&5 (online evenings) - Feb 7 (field day) 2021
    •  Feb 25&26 (online evenings) - Feb 27 (field day) 2021
    •  Feb 25&26 (online evenings) - Feb 28 (field day) 2021
    •  Mar 11&12 (online evenings) - Mar 13 (field day) 2021
    •  Mar 11&12 (online evenings) - Mar 14 (field day) 2021
    • $250 per person

Learn Backcountry Avalanche Safety Essentials from an Expert

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 and completing an AST1 course is now considered almost a mandatory requirement before venturing into the backcountry. 

Our 2-day course gives 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 online in two evening sessions during the week before your course. For the field day you can choose either Saturday or Sunday. This means that you still get a day off while doing the classroom portion at a more convenient time! If you click the "Register Now" button you will see more details on when the online portions are being offered. 

Camp Objectives

The ultimate goal of our avalanche training program is for you to come home safe at the end of your future winter excursions. Our AST1 course lays the foundations by focussing 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 the 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 to where conditions offer the best learning experience. As well as 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 

*you do not need your avalanche gear for the zoom sessions

Evening 1:
Participants meet online at 6:00pm (zoom link will be sent out to students 1-2 weeks before course starts). Session ends around 9:00pm. 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, snow metamorphism
Evening 2:
Participants meet online 6:00pm. Session ends around 9:00pm.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 2 in the field
Day 2
Meet at the Black Prince parking lot in Kananaskis at 9:00am. Today you will be making real-life observations and gaining hands-on experience. Curriculum topics which will be covered on this day include:
  • Re-group 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
  • 4:30pm 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!

Is this Camp For Me?
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!)

Food, Accommodation and Guiding

Food

Food is not provided as part of the course. Please bring along a packed lunch and some snacks for both days.

Accommodation

Accommodation is not included in this course.

Guiding

We have a dedicated team of instructors (below) 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 2, we bring in an extra guide/instructor where necessary to keep participant-to-guide ratios below a maximum of 6:1.  

  • The course overall is set up in a fantastic way and includes all essential knowledge and basic skills that every person who is heading out into the mountains should learn. The content of the course and the manner of our instructors to present the information is remarkable. Great course and great guides! Thank you so much!
  • The guides consistently asked us to make our own decisions and build our own measure of the snowpack. We were repeatedly asked what we would do given these circumstances.The AST 1 course was an excellent and very enjoyable experience for both myself and my son.
- 2019 AST Course Participants -

Popular AST 1 Locations

More Information

- Please try to register online before calling. If you are having issues please try to have your emergency contact information and course questionnaire filled out before calling.

  Email us
  403 678 3200 ext. 213


Course Documents

Gear List   

ACC Liability Waiver (En)   

ACC Liability Waiver (Fr)  

Covid Health and Exposure Declaration    

ACC Model Release  

ACC Covid Protocols  

 


Cancellation policy and travel Insurance

Please be sure to review our cancellation policy before registering for ACC Adventures:
 
Cancellation Policy
We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips

Travel Insurance


Included WITH YOUR CAMP FEE

  • 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
  • COVID adapted online classroom day

Participants Must Provide

  • Transportation to and from the field location on Day 2
  • Accommodation
  • Meals and lunches
  • Personal gear (see gear list)

Organizing Fantastic ACC Adventures For Over 100 Years

  • Local Knowledge - based out of Canmore, AB, we know the Rockies region and the best local caterers, guides and porters
  • Dedicated resources - full-time office staff, ACMG guides and group equipment on-hand to ensure your trip runs smoothly
  • Not-for-profit - any money we make on camps and courses is reinvested into providing services for our members and the mountain community

Your Guides

Doug Latimer

Doug has 20 years of guiding experience behind him as an ACMG ski guide and an ACMG apprentice rock guide. As well as his private guiding he has spent a number of years working for the UoC where he taught a range of instructional programs in avalanche training, crevasse rescue and backcountry ski and ski mountaineering. He also somehow finds time to run a multimedia production company! In 2019, we are excited to announce Doug will be joining us as our on-staff winter guide; the perfect guy to take care of our Intro To, avalanche safety and other ski courses. 


Phil Wilhelm

Phil grew up at the foot of the Rockies in Calgary, but that wasn’t enough, he had to move closer. He has now resided in the Bow Valley for the past 20 years pursuing his passions. As an assistant ski and rock guide he is often guiding ski trips or rock climbs. On his days off you can find him skiing or climbing for fun, or maybe fly fishing to satisfy his zen side. Safety oriented, an eye for a good line, a sly sense of humour, and being an all round good guy makes Phil a great choice to guide your next adventure.


Sean Prockter

Sean is a certified ski & climbing instructor and former ski patroller who has been sharing his passion for the outdoors with members of the ACC for many years. When he is not skiing or teaching in the winter, you'll find him in Maligne Canyon guiding ice walks under his new company called Jasper Hikes & Tours. He lives in Jasper, AB with his wife and Dog, Suka.