Camp Highlights

  • Avalanche course tailored for backcountry skiers/snowshoers 
  • Custom learning materials developed by our Lead Winter Guide
  • 2 online sessions means learning from the comfort of your home
  • Only one weekend day means time for you to still have a weekend

Dates & price

    Course dates:

    •  November 24th & 25th, 2021 (online evenings) / November 27th, 2021 (field day)
    •  November 24th & 25th, 2021 (online evenings) / November 28th, 2021 (field day
    •  December 6th, 2021 (online evening session) / December 7th, 2021 (field day
    •  December 9th & 10th, 2021 (online evenings) / December 11th, 2021 (field day
    •  December 9th & 10th, 2021 (online evenings) / December 12th, 2021(field day
    •  January 5th & 6th, 2022 (online evenings) / January 8th, 2022 (field day
    •  January 5th & 6th, 2022 (online evenings) / January 9th, 2022 (field day
    •  February 2nd & 3rd, 2022 (online evenings) / February 5th, 2022 (field day
    •  February 2nd & 3rd, 2022 (online evenings) / February 6th, 2022 (field day)  
    •  February 19th & 20th, 2022 [BIPOC Only]
    • $250 + Tax / 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. 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. 

Camp Objectives

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 

*NOTE: You do not need your avalanche gear for the zoom sessions

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)
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
Day 2
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!

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 for field day.

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 3, we bring in an extra guide/instructor where necessary to keep participant-to-guide ratios below a maximum of 6:1. 

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

  • 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 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   

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

  • 3 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 evening sessions

PARTICIPANTS MUST PROVIDE

  • Transportation to and from the field location on Day 3
  • 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.