• backcountry skiing

Whistler Avalanche Course – Avalanche Skills Training 1

Get the gear, learn how to use it. The Whistler Avalanche Skills Training (AST) 1 course is your first step in winter backcountry education.Following the nationally recognized Avalanche Skills Training curriculum designed by Avalanche Canada, our entry-level Whistler avalanche course instructs participants on the fundamentals of snowpack, efficient companion rescue techniques and how to safely navigate avalanche terrain.

  • avalanche training

Program Details

LOCATION: Whistler, BC
DATES: Dec 17-18 2016
PRICE: $200.00


During the 2-day Whistler Avalanche Skills Training course participants will spend majority of their time in the Whistler backcountry exercising and reinforcing their skills. Evening theory sessions will explore the basics of trip planning, understanding Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) ratings and utilizing tools such as the Avaluator 2.0 to assist with the critical decision-making process in the backcountry. Learning how to effectively interpret resources such as local avalanche  bulletins ensures participants are adequately prepared for trips before they even set foot on snow. Course participants will learn how to identify critical weak layers in the snowpack as well as the basic influences of mountain weather conditions such as wind and solar heating. The Avalanche Skills Training course emphasizes applied field skills, in particularly the safe travel techniques required to safely navigate hazardous terrain.

Conveniently located in Whistler with the easily accessible backcountry adjacent to Whistler Blackcomb, this course serves as a stepping stone for all professional and recreational courses endorsed by Avalanche Canada and the Canadian Avalanche Association.

By the end of the Whistler  Avalanche Skills Training 1 course, participants will be required to:

  • Understand the basics of how avalanches occur
  • Identify avalanche terrain
  • Be familiar with the steps required to plan and safely execute a trip
  • Evaluate avalanche danger ratings through resources such as bulletins
  • Identify travel techniques and how to apply them in different types of terrain
  • Carry out a companion rescue using a transceiver, probe and shovel
  • Use the Avaluator 2.0 to assist with decision-making in the field

After completing the Whistler Avalanche  Course AST 1, participants are encouraged to find a suitable mentor for backcountry travel in order to safely gain experience as they hone their skills and techniques. If it has been a few years since you took your first avalanche course then we recommend retaking the AST 1, taking a Companion Rescue Skills course or taking the next step in avalanche safety by enrolling in our 4-day Whistler Avalanche Skills Training 2 course.

At Powder Guides we believe in training people to become responsible backcountry travellers. By letting us guide you through your first steps beyond the boundary, we hope you can enjoy a lifetime of riding powder in the mountains, safely.

Course Info


Our Avalanche Skills Training courses are taught by professional guides who are certified through the ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) and are professional members of the Canadian Avalanche Association.

This far exceeds the minimum requirements for an Avalanche Skills Training course instructor. We feel the added benefit from learning from an highly experienced guide will give you best learning outcome available.

LOCATION: The Avalanche Skills Training AST 1 course is based out of Whistler with field days in Whistler Backcountry.

COST: $235.00 plus HST

Participants must be at least intermediate skiers or boarders.

RATIO: Maximum of eight students per instructor.


Backcountry Avalanche Awareness booklet 7th ed., Avaluator™, Avalanche Danger Descriptor card, resource information and list and completion certificate.

Not Included

Food, accommodation, transportation, personal clothing and equipment, Backcountry lift passes (Are needed to reach course locations, an additional $48.00). Note: Rental equipment is available in Whistler or MEC in Vancouver. Contact us to make reservations.

Equipment & Terms

Whistler Avalanche Course – Avalanche Skills Training 1

Click here to review the Equipment List.

The policies and the fine print can be be viewed on our Booking Policy Page.

To book a trip or if you have any questions please Contact Us.

Why Book

A unique team of professional ski guides who utilize their immense experience and knowledge to coordinate and guide clients on the best backcountry skiing adventures around the world. We specialize in ski-touring, heli skiing, and avalanche skills training, with preferred Operators across the globe, including locations like Canada, Japan, Iceland, and South America.

A unique team of professional ski guides who utilize their immense experience and knowledge to coordinate and guide clients on the best backcountry skiing adventures around the world.