Avalanche Skills Training Courses Banff, Canmore
Avalanche Training

Making decisions in Complex avalanche terrain in the Rockies
Making Decisions in Complex Avalanche Terrain.

Scoping the descent
Scoping the descent.

Polar Circus - a classic ice climb in Complex avalanche terrain
Polar Circus - a classic ice climb in Complex Avalanche Terrain.

Do you and your friends or family spend time in the backcountry? If so, you might consider taking a certified Avalanche Skills Training (AST) course. It is important to me to show others how to travel safely in the mountains so I have enjoyed teaching Avalanche Skills Training (AST) courses based out of Banff, Canmore and Rogers Pass for the past 15 years. Last winter I collaborated with Avalanche Canada to run the first ever AST2 for Ice Climbers.

This winter I am running private AST courses only. So if you have a group of 4-8 friends and family who want to learn Avalanche Skills Training then please contact me to arrange a course.

Avalanche Canada Course Provider

Avalanches claim the lives of many every year. Take your safety into your own hands. This course is essential for anyone venturing into the backcountry. Be prepared and learn the basics of avalanche safety. Skills covered include using avalanche rescue equipment (transceiver, shovel and probe), understanding the snowpack, recognizing avalanche terrain, safe travel techniques and more.
Day 1 will be in the classroom (or Zoom), day 2 in the field (Icefields Parkway).

Course cost is dependant on group size. Min group size 4, max is 8.
Students need to provide their own avalanche rescue equipment and backcountry ski/board/snowshoes.

AVALANCHE SKILLS TRAINING Level 2 for Skiers and Snowboarders
Designed for skiers and snowboarders who already have some experience in the backcountry but want to increase their skills, the AST2 is a 4-day program that covers decision making, advanced companion rescue, snowpack problems, weather forecasting, route-finding in avalanche terrain, trip-planning, safe travel techniques and, my personal favourite, human factors.

Day 1 is in the classroom (or on Zoom), days 2-4 are in the field on backcountry tours practicing companion rescue skills, snowpack tests and rotuefinding. On days 3 & 4 students will be required to chose trips approopriate to the current conditions and make decisions throughout the day.

Course cost is dependant on group size. Min group size 4, max is 8.
Students need to provide their own avalanche rescue equipment and backcountry skis/board.

Ice climbs are often in very serious avalanche terrain and ice climbing is becoming more and more mainstream. In the past the AST2 had to be done on skis but I felt it was necessary for ice climbers to have thier own AST2 course on foot that focuses on problems most likely experieced as a climber. So I've developed a new program with Avalanche Canada starting in 2020. This 4-day program features one day of classroom theory and 3 days of extensive practical field experience. The course covers the same curriculum as the AST2 for skiers but is climber specific:

Day 1: (in the classroom) avalanche problems, weather forecasting - in advance and in the field, avalanche terrain, trip-planning - choosing a climb appropriate to the conditions, safe travel techniques, human factors.
Day 2: Companion rescue practice & snowpack tests - snowpack tests that are appropriate for climbers on foot. Companion rescue practice explores situations that are more likely to be experieced as a climber - e.g. deep burials, close burials.
Days 3 & 4: multi-pitch ice climbing - choosing an appropriate climb for the conditions, assessing the snowpack above the climb (temperature, wind etc) as well as the snowpack on the approach (snowpack tests), safe travel techniques, and actually climbing too.

Click here to read the "Waterfall Ice Climbing and Avalanches in Canada's National Parks" brochure.

Course cost is dependant on group size. Min group size 2, max is 4.
Students need to provide their own avalanche rescue equipment and climbing gear.

Click on the image below to see the Colorado Avalanche Centre's research on "Avalanche Fatalaties by Primary Activity":

Avalanche Fatalities by Activity

Contact me to arrange a course and get a quote.


Erica Roles
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