Testimonials from our AST Alumni
"Pursued the AST-1 course with KBG based on recommendations from a few friends and they exceeded my expectations. The online training course was excellent preparation before two full days in the field. It allows you to learn the basics of avalanche safety at your own pace while using real-world examples of situations you may encounter in the field..."
"Incredible AST I course! Hayden's delivery was fun, informative, and professional. There was just the right mix of information and experiential learning, tossed with a smattering of bad dad jokes and epic snow. This was a fantastic introduction course on avalanche safety. I began analyzing terrain and got used to properly using my avalanche tools and equipment. I came out feeling like I can be a part of decision-making in the backcountry, rather than follow along blindly. THANK YOU!"
"I recently took the AST-1 course with KBG. It was a very professional and informative course with lots of time in the field and a well designed online primer. Would highly recommend this outfit for anybody thinking of getting their AST-1."
"I redid my AST-1 with Judson and KBG and am so glad I did! The knowledge that the guides have and how they present the material made for an extremely educational and fun weekend! It was such a pleasure to learn from guides with so much experience and such willingness to share. I would most certainly recommend working with KBG in any capacity. Their professionalism, knowledge, attention to detail, and passion make them exceptional guides, and the backcountry experts you want to learn from!"
Do you venture out of bounds, off the trails, or into the backcountry? An AST 1 is your place to start. You don't need any experience to take this course, but it is a must for everyone recreating in the backcountry. Whether you are taking your first steps into the backcountry or looking to increase your knowledge base, the Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 program is for you. Our professional guides will teach you how to plan and carry out a safe backcountry trip, read and use the avalanche bulletin, utilize the vast array of online resources at your disposal, and carry out a proficient rescue in the event of an accident.
Our AST-1 course is designed to get you the skills you need to get up to speed quickly so you can maximize your fun and safety in the backcountry.
What you will learn:
- Avalanche formation and release.
- How to identify avalanche terrain.
- The basics of trip planning.
- How to use the avalanche forecast to mitigate your avalanche risk.
- Using appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain.
- Intro to companion rescue.
The KBG Method: Online pre-learning combined with TWO field days.
We have moved our classrooms to online with no mandatory zoom meetings! We understand that everyone has busy lives and commitments, so we made our online self-paced where you can set your own schedule and take your time to absorb all the information to apply to your field days. All material must be completed before your first field day (about 6-8 hours).
Will be spent learning the fundamentals, getting familiar with your safety equipment, and going on a short tour. You will learn all the necessary information to safely carry out a backcountry ski day trip and learn the latest companion rescue techniques.
We expand on your learning from day-one and carry out a full field day in either the Whitewater Ski Resort or Kootenay Pass Backcountry. You will put everything we learned on day-one into practice.
Fitness & Skill Requirements:
Fitness Skills (Up Hill)
Arctic Fox are new to ski touring; they are looking for a mellow day or unsure of how much vertical they can do in a day. However, they can confidently hike 6km (4 Miles) with a pack.
If you are not confident you are at the Arctic Fox level, you should consider booking a Private Guided Tour or our Ski/Splitboarding 101 course, where we can cater to your speed.
Ski Skills (Downhill)
Arctic Foxes might be new to ski touring/splitboarding but are not new to skiing and snowboarding. They are confident on a blue square in bounds and can ride the occasional black diamond but take their time. Arctic Foxes are welcome on AST-1 courses, Backcountry 101 courses and Private Guided Tours. If booking or joining a private guided tour with other participants, Arctic Foxes should inform their group of their skills, so the rest of the group is aware of their preferences. If you are below the Arctic Fox level, you should be booking a Private Guided Tour or a Backcountry 101 and reach out to let us know.
Dates & Costs:
Courses may be held at either Kootenay Pass or Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry. We may use the ski lifts to access the backcountry for courses hosted in the Whitewater Ski Resort Backcountry. If you are not a season pass holder, single-ride tickets must be purchased on the day of your tour.
Two full 8-hours days of field-based instruction with our fun and professional guides.
The Avaluator™ tool, used to trip-plan and make on-mountain decisions.
The new Avalanche Handbook by James Floyer and Keith Robine.
Our 5 Rules to Stay Safe in Avalanche Terrain and gear checklist card.
Self-paced online primer (no mandatory zoom meetings or classroom lectures) PLUS you'll have to the material for life
Booking & Cancelation Policy:
- November 25-26 2023
- December 2-3 2023
- December 9-10 2023
- December 16-17 2023
- December 23-24 2023
- December 30-31 2023
- January 13-14 2024
- January 27-28 2024
- February 17-18 2024
- Spring Dates TBD
Join our waitlist!
Last-minute cancelations happen all the time. If the dates you were hoping to join are sold out fill out the waitlist and be notified when spots become available.