AST 1 and Intro Backcountry Ski Touring Course – Hope and Coquihalla

This comprehensive 2.5 day combo course provides an introduction to backcountry skiing and AST 1 certification! We will set you up with a solid foundation of avalanche training and backcountry skiing skills to access the goods.

Who’s it for?

  • New backcountry skiers and splitboarders (No prior touring experience is required)
  • Can ski or ride a blue run inbounds confidently
  • Fitness for up to 2-3 hours of travel per day

Students will develop a knowledge base of avalanche formation and release, avalanche terrain identification, snowpack analysis, and companion rescue. The ski touring component of the course will further develop your backcountry skills with training in trip planning, safe travel techniques, uphill track setting, downhill techniques, terrain selection, navigation, and equipment.

The backcountry ski touring course content was developed through work with ACMG Ski Guides and SAR teams. The AST component is based on national course standards developed by Avalanche Canada.

The course is located in Hope and Coquihalla.


Scheduled Courses – 2019/2020

November 29 (Evening), 30, December 1 $325 CAD/person

Important: You will be required to sign a waiver at the beginning of your course or guided trip. Please ensure you have read and understood the waiver prior to the course start date.

Avalanche Course Waiver: AvalancheCanadaWaiver2019.pdf

Small group size (Maximum 8 students)
CAA Instructor or ACMG Guide
“Backcountry Avalanche Awareness” Book
Avaluator V.2 Manual and decision making card
Course student handouts and reference materials
50% off refresher Companion Rescue Skills courses
Avalanche Equipment (Free at MEC with AST1 cert)

Friday Evening Session: Hope, BC

  • 7pm to 9pm, Friday: Classroom Session
  • Meeting location: Hope, BC
  • Session Goals: Course introduction, equipment review, pack contents, current conditions, phone apps for course (avalanche and navigation), AST course material
  • What to bring: Pencil and notebook, any of your own touring/avalanche equipment you would like to ask instructor about

Saturday: Hope & Coquihalla Backcountry

  • 08:30am to 4:30pm: Ski touring and Companion Rescue Skills
  • Session Goals: Public bulletin interpretation, basic weather forecasts, ATES ratings, trip planning, companion rescue, trailhead procedures, efficient uphill track setting, avalanche terrain identification.
  • What to bring: Please arrive dressed and ready to go for a day in the field. Bring the equipment listed in “equipment” tab.

Sunday: Coquihalla Backcountry

  • 08:30am to 4:30pm: Ski touring and safe travel techniques
  • Session Goals: Safe travel techniques to minimize risk, avaluator slope assessment tool, downhill skiing, what to do if caught in an avalanche, intro to snowpack analysis
  • What to bring: Please arrive dressed and ready to go for a day in the field. Bring the equipment listed in “equipment” tab.

You will need the following gear for your day:

  • Alpine touring skis or split-board
  • Avalanche kit: transceiver (digital), probe, shovel
  • Medium sized backpack (20 to 30l)
  • Lunch, snacks, & water
  • Helmet is recommended
  • Ski googles
  • Sun glasses
  • Sun screeen