Canada's Leading Mountain School
Course AST 1 Skiers and Riders
Duration 2 Days
Ability Introductory
Prerequisites Skiing/Boarding Experience
  View All Avalanche Safety
Location Whistler/Blackcomb
Fitness Moderate
Course Cost $225

AST 1 (Avalanche Skills Training Level 1) for Skiers and Riders


Our two day industry-leading AST 1 course is an introduction to avalanche rescue skills and the principles of safe travel in the backcountry. After a day of class and a day in the field you will learn what gear you need and how to use it, how to read the terrain and conditions, and how to rescue a buried companion.

This course is tailored exclusively for skiers and snowboarders who want to venture outside of the ski-area boundary or who are interested in heading into the backcountry.

We will go further into more challenging terrain than in the general course, and learn ski and board specific skills.

Designed by IFMGA/ACMG certified Mountain Guides/CAA Level II Professionals, our Avalanche Training is well regarded as the industry's premier AST 1 course.

We are the inventors of the AST 1 for Skiers and Riders course, using the latest technology, avalanche equipment and ski and split-boarding equipment.

Setting the standard since 1992

 Course includes:

  • 2 day AST 1 course with certified instructors
  • AST 1 Certificate
  • CAC Backcountry Avalanche Awareness Book
  • CAC Avaluator 2 booklet and Avaluator 2 Slope Assessment Field Card
  • Companion Rescue Field Card
  • 30 minute Pre-Course Interactive Lesson and Video
  • Classroom day in a comfortable conference room
  • High End Power Point
  • Interactive modules
  • Animated slides
  • Video
  • Live online feeds
  • World Wide Web Resources
  • High resolution pictures
  • Student Handouts
  • Life-time free access to our online Avalanche Trip Planning Resource & Updates
  • Trip Planner Template
  • Use of Snow Study Kit with Thermometer, Crystal Screen and Loupe
  • Cool Stickers!

All students additionally receive life-time free access to our online Avalanche Trip Planning Resource & Updates

This course complies with  Avalanche Canada's AST 1 course curriculum guidelines and after successful completion you will be awarded an official AST 1 certificate of completion.

Please note that the course price includes a mandatory Avalanche Canada student fee of $6.25. For ease of payment processing, this fee is included in overall course cost.


Why choose Whistler Alpine Guides for AST 1?

Tailor-made course: Unlike many operations, we choose to run a separate AST 1 course for hikers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers. We recognise that different groups enjoy the backcountry in diverse ways and therefore believe we can provide more relevant and enjoyable training by tailoring our courses specifically to the needs of a single group.

Professionalism: All of our instructors are avalanche experts and are certified with either CAA Operations and/or are ACMG/IFMGA ski or mountain guides.

Low student to guide ratios: Our student to guide ratio is 8:1 - this ensures maximum safety and learning.

Comfort: The classroom day is taught in a comfortable conference room with all amenities.

Exceptional content: Our course structure and materials are state of the art, designed to be readily understood, interactive, informative and interesting.

Terrain: On the field day we choose a destination best suited to the current avalanche conditions and snow quality. We are not confined to just one place.

Those intending to backcountry ski or snowboard please refer to the AST 1 Skiers & Riders Course.


Join us for a Plus Day - a discounted day in the backcountry

We're extending a $30 discount to all of our past, present and future AST 1 guests on our our guided backcountry day trips for skiers and boarders. We've got trips tailored to every level - so whether you are a beginner or a seasoned shredder you can put your AST 1 skills to use hitting some of the Coast Mountain Range's famous backcountry powder!

*Please be aware these trips can only be taken on backcountry (alpine touring) skis or a splitboard.

Advanced skiers & snowboarders will have an awesome time on our Earn your Turns. Be prepared for a full day skinning up and skiing down some perfect powder.

For courses in the Rockies, please refer to Mountain Skills Academy