Participants will receive “AST Level 1” certification, which is recognized by Avalanche Canada.
Avalanche Canada’s “Avalanche Skills Training” (AST Level 1) course is a comprehensive program combining virtual classroom instruction and 2 days of field activity, for a total of 20 hours of direct instruction. The course focuses on understanding, recognizing & avoiding avalanche hazards. AST Level 1 will focus on terrain recognition, basic snow pack structure, weather, safe route finding & avalanche rescue techniques.
Who Should Take This Course?
Snowmobilers, skiers, snowshoers, search-and-rescue volunteers, and outdoor leaders. No previous avalanche training experience is required for the AST Level 1 course.
While the risk of virus transmission is relatively low in outdoor settings, we ask all participants to practice social distancing during our programs. Please bring a mask to wear during program registration or whenever circumstances bring you closer than 2 metres from someone outside your social bubble.
Comments from previous Avalanche Safety workshops:
“Enjoyable high quality instruction. Thank-You.”
“Super fun weekend and super glad I took the course!”
“Great organization and preparedness on behalf of Hope Mountain Centre.”
“The excellent instructors that Hope Mountain Centre was able to provide made the course 100% effective and worthwhile.”
“Considering the difference in skill levels on the team, I felt (the instructors) worked very patiently and systematically with all of us so we did not get left behind.”
“Excellent experience… Thank you all for your expertise.”
“The instructors were awesomely positive, skilled at what they were teaching and skilled teachers.”
$275 per person.
Snowshoes are also available for $15 extra, weekend rental.
- 20 hrs of direct instruction
- 6:1 student / instructor ratio (maximum)
- All Manuals as required by the Avalanche Canada, including the Avaluator
- Industry-recognized certificate of completion
- Use of safety equipment, including shovel, probe, and transceiver
Participants must be physically mobile and have at least moderate physical fitness and stamina. Field classes will take place in the mountains, requiring participants to ski or snowshoe approximately 2 km from a highway, gaining approximately 200 metres elevation.
Wednesday, January 20
19:00 PM to 21:00 PM – Virtual classroom session #1- online from the comfort of your home
Thursday, January 21
19:00 PM to 21:00 PM – Virtual classroom session #2
Saturday, January 23
10:00 AM to 15:00AM – Outdoor field session teaching companion rescue using electronic transceivers –
Location: Coquihalla Campground, 800 Kawkawa Lake Road, Hope, BC
Sunday, January 24
8:30 AM – Arrive at Falls Lake Exit 221, Coquihalla Summit or Manning Park depending on snow conditions
– Outdoor field session teaching snowpack analysis and recognizing terrain risks.
16:00 PM – Depart Coquihalla Summit for home
MEETING LOCATION MAP (Location could change depending on snow conditions)
**Please be aware that our programs run regardless of weather conditions, unless we determine that it will affect the safety of participants and/or equipment.
Participants may wish to stay in Hope on Friday and Saturday night, and enjoy our local restaurants, cafes, and movie theatre. A great selection of motels and B&Bs are available in the Hope area. Click HERE for the Hope Visitor Centre.
Participants must get to Hope with their own vehicles and travel to the field locations with their own vehicles. Field locations are accessible via paved highways.
- Lunch and high-energy snack food for Saturday and Sunday
- Water (at least 1 litre per person) for each day
- Skis or snowshoes for field activity (we can provide snowshoes if needed)
- Warm winter clothes
- COVID-19 face mask and hand sanitizer
- If you have a smart phone, bring it and Brad will show you how to access public avalanche bulletins.
Everyone age 19 & over must sign a liability waiver form in order to participate in this program. Please take the time to read this form because you must understand and agree to it when you sign it. By signing it you are waiving certain rights, including the right to sue. These forms will be available to sign when you check in. Please seek legal counsel if you have any questions.
Everyone age 18 & under must have an informed consent form signed by their parent or legal guardian in order to participate. Please contact us if you need this form prior to arrival at this program.
Brad Harrison biography
Brad has extensive experience travelling and working in the backcountry. He is a professional member of Avalanche Canada and is the Executive Director of the Backcountry Lodges of BC Association. Brad previously owned and operated Golden Alpine Holidays, a group of 3 backcountry lodges located in the Columbia Mountains. He is significantly involved in avalanche training, delivering all levels of AST programs for Avalanche Canada, as well as occupying the chair of the Canadian Avalanche Association’s InfoEx Advisory Committee.
Terry Palechuk biography
Terry has been a backcountry enthusiast for decades and is the Chair of the Adventure Guide department in the Faculty of Adventure, Culinary and Tourism at Thompson Rivers University. Terry is also Chair of Avalanche Canada’s Instructor Training Committee. He is a gifted teacher who can clearly explain both the science and the “human factor” in winter safety.
With consideration of COVID-19 global pandemic, our registration fee and equipment rental fee will be fully refunded for cancellations due to health reasons. We ask every participant to self assess for symptoms before participating and please stay home if you are feeling unwell.
A program may be cancelled at the discretion of HMCOL. If a program is cancelled, participants will receive a full refund of program and equipment fees.
Please be aware that our programs run regardless of weather conditions, unless we determine that it will affect the safety of participants and/or equipment.
Our outdoor programs
Hope Mountain Centre maintains an excellent safety record. Due to the nature of outdoor programs, these events do involve some personal risk. Hope Mountain Centre assumes no responsibility for personal injury or damage to personal property. We will require each participant to sign a liability release and assumption of risk form before participating in this program. Please be aware that activities typical of this program involve many risks, dangers and hazards including, but not limited to: accidents which occur during transportation or travel to and from events; slips and falls; loss of balance; impact, cold water immersion; repetitive strain injuries; dislocated shoulders; hypothermia, frostbite, sunburn; changing and inclement weather conditions including storms, blizzards, whiteouts and high wind; steepness of terrain, tree wells, crevasses; avalanches, cornices, landslides and falling ice, snow and objects; encounters with domestic or wild animals; negligence on the part of releasees and other participants.
While we love animals of all kinds, we ask that you please leave your pet at home.
Please register for this program online. For more information, call 604-869-1274 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org