Colwest Alpine Adventures

Avalanche Skills Training - Mountaineering / Hiking Camps

Hey folks, the winter season is inching closer everyday. Need a safer ride, take one of our ski touring '101' or avalanche courses.

Avalanche Skills Training – Learn skills that will help you play safer this winter!

Colwest Alpine Adventures specialize in Avalanche Safety Training Courses for climbers, mountaineers, skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers. We offer flexible scheduling for private groups. Let us know if you have a group of 6 or more and we will set up dates that are convenient for you.
Other custom courses available: Intro to Backcountry Travel (learn the basics of backcountry travel, getting the right equipment, choosing appropriate destinations, how to have more fun and feel safe!)

Avalanche Canada - Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 (AST 1)

Avalanche Canada's “Avalanche Skills Training” (AST 1) course is a comprehensive program consisting of 6 hours of class time spread over 1 night & 2 field days (8 hours each) for a total of 20 hours of direct instruction.
The course focuses on understanding, recognizing & avoiding avalanche hazards. We focus on terrain recognition, basic snow pack structure, weather, group management, safe route finding & avalanche rescue techniques.


  •    >  Basic skiing, snow boarding or snowshoeing ability.
  •    > Touring equipment or snow shoes required.
  •    > No previous avalanche experience is required for the AST 1 course.
  •    > Note: We will provide all the necessary snow safety equipment, no need for you to rent.

$250 AST 1 Course Fee Includes:

  •   > 20 hrs of Direct Instruction
  •   > 6:1 student—instructor ratio (maximum)
  •   > All Manuals as required by Avalanche Canada, including the Avaluator
  •   > Industry Recognized certificate of completion
  •   > Use of the following safety equipment (shovel, probe, transceiver)

AST 1 Courses Dates - BC Interior - Please note, all dates are 2016 - 2017

Contact Brad Harrison at

  •     Course 1:  November  24   (classroom) /  November 26, 27   (field) -    Sold-Out (Kamloops)
  •     Course 2:  December   2   (classroom) /   December    3, 4     (field) -    Sold-Out (Hope)
  •     Course 3:  December   8  (classroom) /     December   10, 11  (field) -   Sold-Out (Kamloops)
  •     Course 4:  December  15  (classroom) /   December   17, 18  (field) -    Sold-Out (Kamloops)
  •     Course 5:  December  19  (classroom) /   December   20, 21  (field) -    Sold-Out (Kamloops)
  •     Course 6:  December  27  (classroom) /   December   28, 29  (field) -    Sold-Out (Sun Peaks)
  •     Course 7:  February      2  (classroom) /   February       3,   4 (field) -     Sold-Out (Kelowna)
  •     Course 8:  February    19  (classroom) /   February     20, 21   (field) -   Open (Sun Peaks)
  •     Course 9:  February    23  (classroom) /   February     26, 27  (field) -    Sold-Out (Kamloops)
  •     Course 10: February   28  (classroom) /   March           1,  2   (field) -    Sold-Out (Kamloops)
  •     Course 11: March       13  (classroom) /   March        14, 15   (field)  -    Open (Merritt)
  •     Course 11: March       31  (classroom) /    April             1, 2    (field) -    Canceled (Kamloops)

Course Dates - Southwest Coast - Contact Nick Zupan at   

  •     Course 1:  December 12, 14 / (classroom) / December 17, 18 (Field) -    Open (Vancouver)
  •     Course 2:  January       4, 5     (classroom) / January       7,   8 (Field) -    Open (Vancouver)
  •     Course 3:  Dates - March                      (classroom) / March                     Dates TBD

*Lower Mainland based AST 2 Courses available on request*

Field days will be held at locations as convenient as possible for student groups while balancing appropriate terrain with current snow and weather conditions. Note, course fees on the coast are $360.00. They include all the items listed above as well lift access to Whistler.

Custom mid-week AST 1 and Companion Rescue Skills Courses available on request. Please contact Nick
Full details including personal equipment list included with your course confirmation.

*Have your own group, or need alternative course dates? Feel free to contact us*

Your Instuctors: Brad Harrison, Terry Palechuk & Nick Zupan

Together, Brad and Terry have over 30 years of guiding experience and work in the avalanche industry.

Brad Harrison

  > CAA Professional Member
  > Executive Director, Backcountry Lodges of BC Association
  > Chair, InfoEx Advisory Group
  > Contact Brad at or call 250-819-9774

Terry Palechuk

  > ACMG Ski Guide
  >  Instructor, Adventure Guide Program, TRU
  >  CAA Professional Member
  >  Contact Terry at or call 250-573-4697

Thanks Brad. You guys run a professional course that highlight the practical aspects of being out in avalanche terrain. I would recommend your course to anyone looking to get into the back-country experience. Hopefully I will be able to take another of your courses in the future.


Thanks for putting on a great course, I'm glad I made the drive to Kamloops. I'll definitely be recommending it.


Thank you Brad. A really good course, time well spent and I will continue to send staff, as well as recommend to others.


Hey Brad thanks for coming out! I heard nothing but great feedback on your knowledge and enthusiasm.


And thank you Brad and Terry both for a great course. LOTS of information to absorb, but it was a content-rich course, well presented, and in a great learning environment.

I hope to see you both again sometime in the not too distant future.

Jim Flom

Brad, thanks for the links and putting on the course. My son and I really enjoyed it and took away a lot.    


AST 1 held at the Sun Peaks Resort last December. Amazing conditions.

In December we ran an AST 1 at Manning Park for the Hope Mountain Centre.

A February AST 1 held at Mt Timothy, it was definitely winter.

Hi Brad,

Thanks again for the great course; you are a very inspirational instructor!