Intro Ski Touring and AST Level 1 (Avalanche Safety Training) – North Vancouver

COVID Update Nov 20, 2020: AST Courses are proceeding under the new Nov 19 Health Order for BC. BC Ski Guides Ltd. COVID procedures will be followed by all students and instructors on courses. AST Courses deemed an essential educational service by Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Officer for Interior Health and Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer.

Looking to get into backcountry skiing or split-boarding this season? Or maybe you’ve already got a few trips under your belt and want to further develop your skills. This is THE course for you.

The course combines our popular introduction to ski touring and AST 1 certification. The AST 1 component is based on the world leading curriculum developed by Avalanche Canada. Through out the course we focus on practical application of AST course content for ski touring. Our goal is to set you up with a solid foundation of avalanche knowledge, tools, and the ability to pull it all together make make smart decisions in the backcountry!

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

What you’ll learn:

AST 1 Component:

  • Avalanche theory
  • Companion Rescue
  • Human Factors
  • Terrain Identification
  • Avalanche Danger Ratings
  • Snowpack Analysis

Ski Touring Component:

  • Equipment Selection and Usage
  • Trip planning
  • Safe Terrain Usage
  • Efficient Uphill Track Setting
  • Modern Navigation
  • Weather Tools


  • Day 0.5: Online avalanche theory course. Complete at your own pace before Day 1.
  • Day 1: 8AM – 4PM Field day. North Vancouver: Mount Seymour Park.
  • Day 2: 8AM – 4PM Field day. Whistler/Blackcomb.

Note: Due to COVID-19 reservation requirements at Whistler/Blackcomb, alternatively Coquihalla Summit or Manning Park maybe used instead. Will be announced prior to Day 1.

Why take a course with us? We are a small dedicated group of professional guides and instructors. Our core mission is to develop backcountry ski culture on the North Shore. We view taking the course as your gateway into a lifetime of backcountry skiing!


Scheduled Courses – 2020/2021 Season

Mar 26(FRI) to 27(SAT), 2021 $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
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
Access to our guides and instructors for post course questions!
Avalanche Equipment (Available for rent from us)
Backcountry lift ticket for Day 2

Day 0.5

  • 2 hour online training
  • Complete anywhere at your own schedule prior to Day 1 of course

Day 1

  • 8 AM Morning Session
  • 9 AM to 4PM Field Day: Cypress or Seymour Provincial Park

Day 2

  • 8 AM Morning Session
  • 9 AM to 4PM Field Day: Whistler/Blackcomb Backcountry

You will need the following gear for your course, contact us if you need any recommendations:

  • Alpine touring boots, skis or split-board, poles, skins
  • Avalanche kit: transceiver (digital), probe, shovel
  • Medium sized backpack (20 to 30l)
  • Lunch, snacks, & water
  • Helmet is recommended
  • Ski googles
  • Sun glasses
  • Sun screen
  • Headlamp
  • Warm clothing and down jacket for lunch break
  • Goretex Jacket & Pants
  • Extra gloves and touque
  • Smartphone with GPS mapping program installed (Gaia recommended)
  • Basic first aid and blister kit
Uphill Track Setting, Decker Lake, Blackcomb Backcountry
Backcountry Powder Skiing
Backcountry Skiing, Coast Range Mountains, British Columbia
Uphill Track Setting, Decker Lake, Blackcomb Backcountry
High Consequence Terrain
transceiver check Ski Touring Cypress Park, BC
Compression Test performed by BC Parks Ranger, Coast Range Mountains, BC
Backcountry Powder Skiing, Coast Range Mountains, British Columbia
Arcteryx Group AST-1 Mount Seymour