Avalanche Skills Training

Join Mark Klassen, one of Canada’s most experienced instructors, to learn about avalanche safety. Our courses use the Avalanche Canada curriculum and are based in Banff, Lake Louise, and Rogers Pass in the Canadian Rockies and Selkirk Mountains. These programmes are designed for ski tourers, splitboarders and ice climbers.

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Avalanche Skills Training 2

The AST 2 is an advanced course that is an excellent resource for more experienced skiers, snowboarders and climbers. It is the recreational user’s equivalent to the Canadian Avalanche Association Level 1 professional level programme. Multiple dates are available and you can get $40 off your course here.

In the past 30 years I have gained a broad range of experience in the avalanche industry, including work as an avalanche forecaster, heli-ski and ski touring guide, and as an avalanche educator. I have been teaching avalanche courses at the recreational and professional level since 1994. 

Track setting practice

I focus on students creating a decision-making framework for themselves that is based on correctly interpreting avalanche bulletins, understanding weather, making fact-based weather and snow observations while in the field, and working together as a team. Finally, we learn about risk - how to determine what risk you are exposing yourself to, whether that risk falls within levels acceptable to you, and how to reduce risk through the terrain you select for your routes both on ascent and descent.

If you are a strong intermediate backcountry skier or split-boarder, have at least 2 seasons of backcountry experience where you have traveled in avalanche terrain, and read the avalanche bulletin regularly, then this is the course for you!

These courses start with a classroom day in Banff where we will review the basics and introduce some advanced concepts in weather, snowpack, terrain, and decision making.

On day 2 we will begin by having a pre-trip meeting to review weather and conditions, then go on a field trip in the Rockies (usually on the Icefields Parkway north of Lake Louise). In the evening we will move on to Golden where we will stay the night to ensure an early start for our Rogers Pass field days.

Sampling the goods!

On days 3 and 4 we will go on ski tours in Rogers Pass, a 45 minute drive from Golden. Every morning we will review the weather and conditions before deciding on a trip objective. emphasis in the field will be placed on using appropriate weather and snowpack observations, and how to use terrain to manage your risk.

The price includes classroom and field instruction as well as the Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain Field Book.

Thank you, it was a winter highlight. I have found myself thinking about the course content daily, regularly following weather models have become part of my routine. The tools the course provided have proven exceptionally useful. I feel much better prepared for terrain evaluation and risk assessment and am therefore feeling far more comfortable travelling in the back-country than I ever have.
— Dean, AST 2 participant

ast 2 dates, locations, and pricing

Small group price - maximum group size of 7 students

Date: December 12-15, 2019

Location: Rockies/Rogers Pass

Price: $675 plus 5% GST

Price includes 1 day classroom instruction and 3 days in the field, and Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain Field Book

Save $40!

Split weekend course

Date: December 21-22 / January 4-5 (two weekends)

Location: Rockies/Rogers Pass

Price: $635 plus 5% GST

Price includes 1 day classroom instruction and 3 days in the field, and Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain Field Book

Courses based on Avalanche Canada curriculum

Courses based on Avalanche Canada curriculum