AST 1 - Avalanche Skills Training Course Level 1

2019-2020 Courses Open! Book in Canmore, Calgary & Lethbridge


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.


Learn 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 have worked in avalanche terrain all over the world. Cloud Nine Guides Instructors also include Guides and Forecasters who contribute daily to the output of the Public Avalanche Bulletins provided by Parks Canada.

















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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