Avalanche Skills Training – Level 1

Endorsed by Avalanche Canada

Hey folks, the winter season will be upon us before we know it. Need a safer ride? Want to #KnowBeforeYouGo? Take one of our AST 1 courses.

Please note, all courses will be delivered with Covid-19 protocols in mind. Please review our Covid-19 “Best Practices” procedures here.

Classroom sessions will be provided virtually, in the comfort and safety of your home or office.

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 2 virtual classroom sessions & 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 2020 – 2021 (classroom sessions are held in the evening)
Virtual Classroom (eve)     Field Days  StatusLocation
Course 1Dec 2nd & 3rdDec 5th & 6thcomplete Kamloops Region   
Course 2Dec 9th & 10thDec 12th & 13thcomplete  Kamloops Region
Course 3Dec 16th & 17thDec 19th & 20thcompleteKamloops Region
Course 4Dec 28th & 29th Jan 2nd & 3rdcompleteKamloops Region
Course 5Jan 6th & 7thJan 9th & 10thcompleteKamloops Region
Course 6Jan 13th & 14th Jan 16th & 17thcompleteKamloops Region
Course 7Jan 20th & 21stJan 23rd & 24thcompleteHope Region
Course 8Feb 10 & 11Feb 13 & 14completeKamloops Region
Course 9Feb 24 & 25Feb 27 & 28waitlistKamloops Region
Course 10Mar 2 & 4Mar 6 & 7waitlistKamloops Region
Have your own group, need CUSTOMIZED course dates? Feel free to contact us

Interested? Contact Brad Harrison at colwest@shaw.ca.

Your Instructors:

Brad Harrison & Terry Palechuk

Together, Brad and Terry have over 50 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 Committee
  • Contact Brad at colwest@shaw.ca or call 250-819-9774

Terry Palechuk

  • ACMG Ski Guide
  • Instructor, Adventure Guide Program, TRU
  • CAA Professional Member / Chair, Avalanche Canada’s Education Committee
  • Contact Terry at tpalechuk@tru.ca or call 250-573-4697

I wanted to thank you again for a great course! The information is very serious but it was delivered in a fantastic way that allowed us to have fun but still take in the proper knowledge! Very professional! Stay DEEP! Thx!

Oronge Boardshop
Kent Thiessen

Thanks so much for everything Brad, you truly set an amazing tone that let everyone feel comfortable and at ease. I learned so much!!


Hi Brad

Cannot thank you enough for the excellent course. I refreshed lots from past learnings and experiences and more importantly learned a tremendous amount. You, Terry, and Linus were all great instructors, fun to both learn from and travel with, and extremely knowledgeable. Great to learn and laugh along he way. Feeling much better about my re-entry into the back country skiing world. Have a great winter.


You have really put on an amazing course and I am really happy with the knowledge that I’ve learned. I really believe you are the best or one of the very best in our province at what you do. Your course was enjoyable and also really challenged me – I had a friend that took a similar course stateside and I must’ve learned about three times as much in yours.


Hi Brad,

Thank you for delivering such an amazing AST course! I have learned so much and feel very elevated and empowered by the whole experience. Both you and Terry are incredible instructors! It was an honor and true pleasure meeting you and learning from you both.


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.


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