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AST 1 Avalanche training in Canada

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Avalanche training

Join certified ACMG/IFMGA guides on a comprehensive Avalanche Skills Training Course, level 1, in Banff, Canada. The course is divided into classroom theory and one field day practice to put skills to use. An ideal course for backcountry and ski touring enthusiasts.



2 Days

Jan, Feb, Dec




* Practice Avalanche safety skills in a controlled environment.

* Acquire theoretical and practical techniques for your backcountry adventures.

* Join certified guides on a 2-day comprehensive avalanche training course.


**Offered from November 1st to May 31st. You can rather join a weekend group or a midweek group. We depart every Tuesday and Saturday. **

Would you like to gain more autonomy and safety on your outdoor winter adventures? Then you can’t miss this Level 1 Avalanche Skills Training course in Canada.

The objective of this AST course is to enable people to travel in the backcountry safely. Additionally, this course will give you information and skills about obtaining current information, onsite snowpack dynamics, and terrain. It is split into a theoretical classroom setting and a field day at Bow Summit or Vermilion Pass to put the skills into practice. Our instructors have the highest level of accreditation in Canada and in the world.

Keep in mind that classroom sessions, which we recommend, will be online via ZOOM. Once the theoretical part of the course has been completed, we will move on to the practical aspects on a unique field day where we will put the skills that we have seen in the classroom to the test. You can find a detailed outline of the course below.

Attending this avalanche training course will give you the skills to keep you safe on your backcountry adventures. Ready to give it a shot? Then contact us now and sign up!

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Avalanche equipment

Price details


Pre-course logistics,

Avalanche Canada AvCan Curriculum with AvCan text and The Avaluator,

Avalanche Transceiver, shovel and probe,

ACMG/IFMGA Certified Ski & Mountain Guides,

CAA Certified Instructors,

AvCan Certificate of completion,

Spacious classroom to facilitate social distancing at Winsport or Ptarmigan Inn.


Pre/post accommodations,



Day 1: Classroom day

For the weekday course, the classroom session is on Tuesday, and on weekends it's on Saturday, either option starts at 09:00 am and will finish approx 3/4 pm, it will be via ZOOM. A detailed course package will be emailed 3 days prior to course commencement.


  • Root causes of avalanches
  • Basic weather concepts and patterns that contribute to avalanche hazards
  • Case studies
  • Group dynamics, risk tolerance, and personal mountain intuition
  • ATES (Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale )
  • Snow science
  • Avalanche Canada daily Avalanche Bulletin
  • Intro to companion rescue and avalanche gear
  • Open Q&A

Day 2: Practice

The field day will be held on Wednesday or Sunday at Bow Summit or Vermilion Pass. In some cases, due to conditions, the field day location may change, this will be discussed in class. The start and finish times will be similar to that of the classroom.


  • Companion Rescue
  • Snowpack analysis and weak layer recognition
  • Group dynamics and management
  • Risk tolerance and mountain intuition
  • Terrain use and avoidance
  • Understanding changing mountain weather conditions and the effects it has on the snow-pack
  • Skiing and riding


More info

All AST 1 Participants receive Avalanche Canada Curriculum and The Avaluator decision-making tool.

Students must have snowshoes, ski touring, or splitboard equipment for the field day. All avalanche safety equipment, shovel, probe, and transceivers are included in the cost if needed. AAA uses Mammut avalanche equipment. Maximum 8 students: 1 instructor on the field day.

Meeting point

Winsport Calgary, Alberta or Ptarmigan Inn, Banff.

Equipment you will need to bring

Skis, It is recommend to use a shorter (160 - 185cm) mid-fat to fat ski designed for powder and spring snow conditions Climbing skins 'Stick-on type' Ski Poles/ split boarders too Ski boots/ snowboard boots Snowshoes Avalanche beacon with fresh batteries Snow shovel Collapsible probe Daypack, 35-45 L Sunglasses and ski goggles Thermos flask and or water bottle Sun block & Lip Cream Pocket knife Headlamp with fresh batteries 1st-Aid Kit


Do I need to bring my own touring equipment?

You will need to bring your own touring equipment. This can be rented in Banff, Canmore, or Calgary.

Is avalanche gear included?

Yes, we will provide beacons, shovels, and probes if you do not have your own.

Is the classroom portion online?

Yes, the classroom session is online.

Will we do any skiing?

We generally include skiing in the day, but this will depend on the skillset of the entire group.

About the guide

Guide profile image




Mountain Guide

Alpine Air Adventures is an independent mountain guiding business run by Jeff Bullock. I am a fully certified IFMGA Mountain Guide, with my training and certification through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, and the Canadian Avalanche Association.

We specialize in outdoor Banff adventures including: rock climbing, ice climbing, alpine climbing, backcountry skiing and snowboarding, avalanche courses and improvised rope rescue courses.

Based out of Banff, Alberta, Canada in the heart of the rugged Canadian Rocky Mountains, Alpine Air offers everything mountain. My main emphasize is to offer safe and unforgettable Banff adventures to my guests. With the allure of the mountains right at my doorstep I am always keen to take on any adventure and I am excited to have you along. Contact me to begin organizing your dream mountain ascent or descent.


French | English



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What people are saying about Jeff



I had a superb time and Jerry my guide was brilliant with safety being always paramount.



Our guide was Jason (not Jeff) and although he was a great guy, he appeared to not be very familiar with the location in which we skied. I was also surprised by the fact that he never asked us about our skiing abilities or the type of terrain we hoped to ski. Due to the avalanche conditions and snow cover, we were in terrain where the trees were too tight to ski and so we skied down an avalanche path (with minimal hazard from above) that was quite steep with a lot of exposed vegetation and small cliff bands. For two of the three of us, this terrain was at the edge of our comfort zones and so the ski down was not very enjoyable. Afterwards, I couldn't help wondering if we had been asked about our interests and skiing level, if we might have found lower angle terrain with a less dense forest cover. Having said all this, once Jason realized I was in a place I was not happy about, he was very attentive to assisting me through the terrain. In summary, the three of us paid a lot of money for a ski tour that was not great and we wondered whether it should have been cancelled if this was the best terrain to be found given the conditions.



Wonderful expedition in the Rockies! My guide Brendan taught me loads on ice climbing technique and now I feel reasonably confident to ice climb again! Word of warning though, it's very hard and the guide will push you to your limits if you have only done little bits of ice climbing in the past. I climbed on the inside of a literal ice palace at one point! I am happy that I did this course and I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to really test what they are made of on the ice!



Jeff was a great teacher and learned way more than I expected. Will definitely go again.



Can someone please contact me regarding this tour. I have emailed explore-share and have also spoken to the tour guide regarding a refund. I have tried calling via a WhatsApp but couldn’t get through. Jeff Bullock has assured that you reply quickly and has also assured us a full refund due to extreme cold weather forecast. Please respond. Helen Pascoe

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