If you’re planning to spend time in the mountains in the next couple of months, it’s a good idea to take an avalanche safety training course. Whether you enjoy backcountry skiing or alpine climbing, it’s always better to be prepared when it comes to the dangers of the mountains. If the one thing holding you back from signing up for an avalanche course is the cost, read this article to discover why it will be worth it in the end.
What is Avalanche Training?
Before you make the decision to sign up, you should have an understanding of what avalanche training is. Most courses consist of one day of classroom learning and one day in the field. Look for courses specifically offered by CAA instructors. During the course, you’ll receive an education about what to do in the case of an avalanche as well as some hands-on guidance and practical application. You’ll also learn how to use the proper tools and equipment.
Avalanche Training Course Costs
According to the Avalanche Canada curriculum, there are 2 different levels of avalanche safety courses. If you are an avid backcountry skier, it’s recommended that you take both classes, you may even be eligible for a discount when you register for the level 1 and level 2 course at the same time.
Avalanche Safety Training Level 1
During AST 1, you’ll learn the basics of companion rescue, snowpack analysis, risk tolerance, terrain avoidance, and group management. While prices may vary depending on the length of the course and the time of year, you can expect to pay approximately $250 for the introductory course.
Avalanche Safety Training Level 2
AST 2 expands on the training in level 1, but you’ll also learn about deep burial situations, how to lead a group through challenging terrain, and how to understand the changing mountain weather. You can expect to pay more if a certain course is geared towards a higher difficulty, but generally, AST 2 courses cost between $600 and $800.
Keep in mind that most avalanche training courses do not include food, travel or accommodation. You’ll also need to ensure that you have the proper equipment to stay warm and protected from the elements while in the backcountry. If you’re working out a budget for avalanche training, don’t forget about these added costs.
Is Avalanche Safety Training Worth It?
If you’re still on the fence about registering for an AST 1 or AST 2 course, remember that avalanche training could save your life or the life of one of your friends. Isn’t that worth it? You may think you’re safe during a backcountry skiing excursion, but you never know what can happen in the mountains, and it’s always better to be prepared.
If you’re ready to try some new activities and get outside, Banff is the perfect place to start! At Alpine Air Adventures we pride ourselves on providing safe and fun mountaineering courses for all skill levels and abilities.
Ready to choose your next adventure? Contact us today!