Camp Highlights

  • Course tailored to backcountry skiers and climbers 
  • Specially-designed course materials created by ACC staff and guides 
  • Classroom day in the ACC Clubhouse's beautiful Heritage Room 
  • ACC Clubhouse accommodation available for a small additional fee

Dates & price

    7 course dates

    •  Nov 24 - 25
    •  Dec 1 - 2 
    •  Dec 15 - 16 
    •  Jan 5 - 6 
    • Jan 19 - 20
    •  Feb 16 - 17 
    •  March 9 - 10 
    • $225 + Tax / Person

Learn backcountry avalanche safety essentials in a weekend course


Winter backcountry travel is exploding in popularity. People are skiing and riding steeper lines, climbing more waterfall ice and enjoying what the winter mountain environment has to offer. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are also allowing winter backcountry beginners to access more challenging terrain than ever before. Proper education and awareness of avalanche hazard is key to safety in this type of environment. This 2-day course gives a thorough introduction to avalanche resources and decision-making, as well as a framework from which to make real-life decisions in the field. The AST 1 course is essential to keep yourself and your partners safe before embarking on your backcountry career. 

Why do your course with the ACC? We cover the standardized curriculum (as outlined by the Canadian Avalanche Centre). With an on-staff ACMG ski guide as well as a CAA professional license holder, we've gone much further to create a program that caters to the current trends in winter recreation in avalanche terrain. As well as creating our own course materials, we have a heavier focus on backcountry skiing , splitboarding and climbing in avalanche terrain, and the unique hazards that are associated with each sport.

Taking your course with the ACC will also see you enjoying a classroom day in the ACC Clubhouse's Heritage room with beautiful views over the Bow Valley. Our field day will be in nearby Kananaskis or Bow Summit - the perfect learning environments. For those coming from further afield we also have on-site, award-winning accommodation in our hostel available for a modest additional fee. 

Camp Objectives

This 2-day course introduces the basics of avalanche science, familiarizes you with the resources available (how to understand and use avalanche forecasts), and gives you a framework from which to make decisions in the field. The goal is always to come home safe at the end of your winter excursions.

Unlike some other 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, and is sometimes required by some organizations for future backcountry camps and courses.
Day by Day Adventure Itinerary 
  •  
  • Day 1
  • Introductions, course goals, agenda, waivers
  • Understanding avalanches: formation and characteristics
  • Avalanche terrain recognition
  • Introduction to the ATES (Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale)
  • Changes in the mountain snowpack, snow metamorphism
  • Lunch break from 12:00-1:00pm
  • Assessing and reducing risk
  • Accessing public avalanche bulletins
  • Using the AVALATOR
  • Safe travel choices and proper route planning
  • Companion rescue techniques
  • Discuss program for Day 2 in the field 

Day 2 

  • Re-group at the parking area, sign-out gear
  • 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
Is this Camp For Me?
Entry Level

The Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 Course will provide an entry-level decision-making framework that is based on the most advanced knowledge available. It is suitable for use by people with basic training and little experience.

Food, Accommodation and Guiding

Food

To keep the cost of this course as low as possible for participants, food will not be provided as part of the course. Please brink along your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (or favourite alternative), a packed lunch and some snacks for both days.

Accommodation

As this course is offered out of the ACC Clubhouse in Canmore, we invite all out-of-town participants to stay with us and enjoy the remote atmosphere that surrounds us. Located on a high bench overlooking the Three Sisters, Ha Ling and Mount Rundle, the ACC Clubhouse is the perfect place to relax while completing your course. You can reserve your room while completing your booking or by using the contact details at the top of this page.

Guiding

Our dedicated on-staff ACC guide Doug Latimer oversees our AST programs. Doug has almost 20 years of experience in teaching AST and other winter instructional courses, as well as in developing course materials and winter guiding. We are extremely excited to have him on board for our 2018/19 season, and believe it will make our courses better than ever in terms of standardization and professionalism. 

  • The guide was an excellent teacher and his very practical transitions from theory into the field were very much appreciated.
  • An over-all excellent learning experience
  • The guides instruction brought everything together into a package that will give me much needed confidence in the backcountry.
  • The guide did an excellent job ensuring each person was getting as much out of it as they needed/wanted to. He kept the environment open for comments and was not afraid to challenge your thinking.
  • A highlight was making group decisions and having group discussions in absolutely live scenarios.
- Past ACC AST Course Participants-

Adventure Map

Contact Us

  Email
   403 678 3200 ext. 213

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

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
  • Pre course learning materials provided by ACC lead ski guide Doug Latimer
  • Official Avalanche Canada course materials
  • Official Avalanche Canada course certificate
  • Classroom space at the ACC Clubhouse

Participants Must Provide

  • Transportation to and from the field location on Day 2
  • Accommodation is available at the ACC Clubhouse for an additional $30 per night
  • Meals and lunches
  • Personal gear (see gear list)

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. 

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