AST 1 - Avalanche Skills Training Course Level 1

2021-2022 Courses Open! Online Classroom Days & Field Days in Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise & Lethbridge

Watch for our New Website Launching October 2021




The AST 1 Course is a 2 Day Avalanche Education Course designed as an introductory look at how to approach your winter adventures in avalanche terrain. The goal of the program is to give students an entry level decision making framework that can be applied pre-trip and in the field to increase safety margins and maximize fun while starting to explore the winter backcountry environment on their own.


$190.00 Course Fee for Bow Valley Residents / Subsidized AST Course Info:
Back this season are our subsidized AST Course offerings for Bow Valley Residents between the ages of 18-30. In season's past a condition of eligibility has been ongoing employment in either Canmore, Banff or Lake Louise. In consideration of C19 and it's impacts on employment in the local community, for the coming season, this subsidy will be available to any local resident with a permanent, physical address. For more information contact our office at to apply, and to receive your promo code for use at time of booking.



COVID 19 - 21/22 Season:
In consideration of COVID 19, Cloud Nine will be providing a modified AST 1 program with indoor, classroom days held remotely via Zoom Meeting. Private Groups, booking as a minimum of 4 participants, and consisting of quarantine or cohort groups will have the option of booking in class, in person sessions, on request.

IIMPORTANT: All students will be required to provide their Vaccination Passport along with Government Issued Photo ID upon arrival on our field days this season.

All Field Days, Day 2 of our AST 1 Canmore Courses will continue to be held, based from Lake Louise and the Bow Summit area on the Icefields Parkway, HWY 93N. 


Key curriculum focuses on how to access and interpret the Public Avalanche Bulletin, assess avalanche hazard, recognize avalanche terrain and give yourself the tools to come home safe and psyched at the end of your winter excursions in avalanche country. 


Curriculum on this course is standardized by the Avalanche Canada which we use as a baseline. Our students are often interested in freeride skiing & splitboarding as well as waterfall ice climbing and summer alpinism - our courses cater to each of these. Our AST 1 addresses each of these unique mountain sports, and the differences in our approach to avalanche terrain therein.


AST Course Instructors at Cloud Nine Guides are a group of Internationally Certified Mountain Guides (IFMGA & ACMG Certified Mountain & Ski Guides) as well as CAA Operations Level 2 Avalanche Forecasters. Many come from deep backgrounds in the Helicopter and Cat Ski Industries and who consistently run adventure ski and split trips for our Guests around the world.


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Is The AST 1 Course For You? 


This course is an introductory course and open to anyone, kids and families included*. The first day is spent in the classroom learning the theory and mechanics of avalanche formation, while the second day is spent in the field. The goal of the field day is to travel only so far as to facilitate the groups educational goals. The goal is not to have a big travel day. Students should be prepared to travel up to 4km and not gain more than 300m in elevation on the field day. We will be traveling on either alpine touring skis, splitboards, and/or snowshoes. It is up to you which you arrive with for the course.





AST 1 Photo Gallery