Top three reasons to upgrade your skills in the Canadian Rockies
Keep up with the latest in avalanche safety equipment and practices
Refresh your avalanche safety knowledge in a magnificent environment
Take in the breathtaking views of Canada’s majestic mountains, glaciers, and peaks
The stunningly long ski season, the insane number of massive mountains and glaciers, and the sheer amount of quality skiable terrain make backcountry skiing in the Canadian Rockies an unrivaled experience. And while the slopes may seem welcoming, you should approach them with caution—in Canada’s remote and wild backcountry, avalanche risks lurk around every corner. Even if you’ve already had your dose of avalanche safety education, it’s always wise to keep up-to-date with the most recent developments in companion rescue techniques and gear. After all, your life may one day depend on it. Up your avalanche safety game while dominating some of North America’s most breathtaking peaks!
November through January
Your course will take place near Banff, Alberta
Beginner to advanced
Book this adventure
AST Companion Rescue Refresher Course
Refresh your avalanche safety knowledge and master the latest avalanche safety practices with this AST course in the Canadian Rockies. Your experienced and AST-certified guide will take you through burial scenarios, first aid considerations, tree wells, and much more in order to get you up-to-date with the best in avalanche safety techniques!
The evening prior to the field day, you will partake in a Zoom session with your guide. You will discuss your prior knowledge of Companion Rescue techniques and assess areas that have either been forgotten or have changed so that the most can be made of the field day.
During the field day, you will work on practical skills and cover a multitude of situations including multiple burial scenarios, deep burials, tree wells, first aid considerations, preparing for moving an injured person, and assisting arriving resources which may include a helicopter.
This refresher course is all about making sure your awareness of how to assess and act in an avalanche scenario is in keeping with the current best practices and is an essential tool to have for any serious backcountry skier or snowboarder.
Meet your guide
Alpine Air Adventures
Fantastic AST Course! Small group, well-executed, and professionally run. Great content and relevance. Thanks for the rad weekend!
I’ve been sport rock, trad rock, ice climbing, crevasse coursing, and avalanche training through jeff for many years now. His knowledge of the Rockies is incredible and he brings a really light and fun atmosphere to a training environment every single time we are out. Jeff’s physical abilities and his “let’s do it” approach give me huge peace of mind. There is never anyone else I would want to contact first to head out on a mountain adventure with.
Things to know
Covid measures in the Canadian Rockies
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Canadian Rockies, please refer to Canada’s COVID-19 travel guidelines and the Alberta Health Service’s COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get in this adventure:
- An experienced, certified guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- A pre-course Zoom session with logistics and knowledge evaluation
- A full day in the field
What’s not included:
- Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
- Food and snacks
How fit do I need to be?
In order to get the most of this adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for a full day. You will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blue or black level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.
Students must be able to travel in the snow and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow to class. Skiers must be able to hike for several hours at a time while carrying a small pack. All participants should be comfortable traveling in the snow while carrying touring gear. There are no other prerequisites.
What equipment do I need to bring?
For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:
- Alpine touring skis, telemark skis, or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
- Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
- Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
- Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
- Lightweight snow shovel
- Avalanche probe
For personal items, we recommend bringing:
- Sunglasses or ski goggles
- Gloves and snow hat
- Extra gloves or mitts
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Down jacket or vest
- Extra warm synthetic or wool base layers, underwear, and socks
- One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
- Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
- Water bottle and 1L of water
- Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- First-aid kit
- Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
- Camera — optional
Can I rent equipment?
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
- Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel, and probe can be rented in Banff
- Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots, and poles can be rented in Banff
- Splitboards can be rented in Banff
Ski rental locations are in Banff, Alberta, and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and pricing:
- This course is not private. The max guest-to-guide ratio is 8:1.
- A minimum of 4 participants is required for the tour to operate.
- Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
Ski touring in the Canadian Rockies can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.
If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to the Canadian Rockies, most people fly into Calgary International Airport 1.5 hours east of Banff, Alberta. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to Banff.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop in Banff or a predetermined location. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ski ability of the group.