Pilsener Pillar, Mount Dennis, AST1, Avalanche Skills Training 1, Canadian Rockies, IceLines, PeakStratagem, avalanche skills training 1

Avalanche Skills Training 1 (AST1) Course

Student to Guide Ratio — 8:1

Schedule a date that suits you

Schedule a date that suits you (2 days)

225 / Person
Canmore, AB

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Avalanche Skills Training 1(AST1) teaches you how to recognize avalanche terrain and how to self rescue. It is designed for skiiers, snowboarders, climber or scramblers who want to travel in the backcountry around snow. This course is the beginning of your avalanche and snowpack education. To be a safe backcountry user, it is important to gain and master these skills. PeakStratagem is an approved avalanche skills training course provider for Avalanche Canada.

Expect to Learn

At PeakStratagem our mission is to teach you the skills to be competent, confident and independent in the backcountry. Our detailed curriculums break down complex skill sets into individual building blocks for progressive learning. After learning the building blocks, you will practice the skill sets with your course team while being coached by our guides.

PeakStratagem’s standard Avalanche Skills Training 1 consists of a classroom day and a field day. During the classroom day, we introduce the theory behind the snowpack, terrain and conditions that create avalanches, concepts for route planning and safe travel, public resources, and personal protective equipment for travelling in avalanche terrain.


Develop snowpack, terrain and weather awareness to make informed decisions about travelling safely in avalanche terrain.


Confident identifying avalanche terrain and using the avalanche terrain exposure scale (ATES).
Confident using companion rescue equipment.
Comfortable identifying inputs that cause avalanches.
Comfortable interpreting the public avalanche bulletin.
Comfortable using the Avaluator 2.0 as a decision making tool.
Understand how to conduct terrain analysis using Google Earth and route photos.
Understand Peak Planning ProcedureTM and debriefing.
Understand identifying and locating persistent weak layers in snowpack structure.
Understand how the inputs that cause avalanches change the snowpack throughout the season.


Comfortable skiing/snowboarding intermediate(blue) terrain at a ski resort if participating on skis / splitboard.

No prerequisites for participation on snowshoes.

*Prerequisites are recommended for an optimum learning opportunity.
If you have questions about how your experience relates to the prerequisites,
please contact us at info@peakstratagem.com

Gear List:

Personal Clothing and Equipment
PeakStratagem recommends the following clothing:
Base Layers
Fleece/Wool Hat (that can be worn under a climbing helmet)
Synthetic/Wool Baselayer (like OR Sequence), Synthetic/Wool Midlayer (like OR Radiant)
Synthetic/Wool Baselayer (like OR Sequence), Synthetic/Wool Socks (like Icebreaker Mountaineer)
Outer Layers
Softshell Jacket (like OR Iceline) or Hardshell Jacket (like OR Furio)
Softshell Ski/Board Pants (like OR Iceline) or Hardshell Ski Pants (like OR Furio)
Insulating Layers
Medium Insulated Jacket (like OR Uberlayer or OR Cathode)
Heavy Insulated Jacket (like OR Diode) – for when we aren’t moving
Light Gloves (like the OR Lodestar or Contact), Medium Gloves (like OR Warrant or Alibi II)
Heavy Gloves (like OR Extravert)
The following personal climbing gear is required:
Daypack 30-40L (like BD Epic 35 or Osprey Variant 37)*
Skis/splitboard w touring bindings (like G3 Ions), touring boots, poles, skins, ski strap**
Beacon w fresh batteries, Shovel, Probe**
Sunglasses, Goggles, Sunscreen, Thermos or Water Bottle w insulated sleeve
Lunch and snacks for an 8h day on 4 December 2016.
Small first aid kit with blister kit
Optional: Camera, GPS or Smartphone
*These items can be coordinated through PeakStratagem.
** These items are available in Calgary or Canmore for rent.
Please contact us in advance if you do not have your own.

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