By Ken Lukawy, National Avalanche Program Coordinator (


With the enthusiasm for winter recreation ramping up, it is time to think about being safe in the mountains.

Being safe from avalanches in our winter playground applies not only to skiers and snowboarders, but also Nordic skiers, snowshoers, hikers and snowmobilers.

Do you know what avalanche safety is all about? Feeling a bit rusty on some aspects of avalanche safety? A good first place to go is Avalanche Canada’s “Online Avalanche Tutorial,” available in both English and French.

In addition, check out Avalanche Canada’s (AvCan) training feature video “Rescue at Cherry Bowl.” It is a powerful example of how your training can be used in a rescue situation.


Avalanche skills training


Interested in knowing more about Avalanche Skills Training (AST)? Avalanche Canada has a comprehensive webpage that describes the whole avalanche skills training curriculum.

AST 1:

There are a large number of organizations that are licensed by Avalanche Canada, (the CSP being one) to provide AST training. To find a course or provider in your area, check AvCan’s website for courses or providers. Note that not all providers will list all their courses.

AST 2:

For those that have taken an AST 1 course previously and want to ramp up their skills, CSP Mountain Division is organizing an AST 2 course. Dates are February 27 to March 1. The course instructor is an Association of Canadian Mountain Guides/Union Internationale des Associations de Guides De Montagnes-certified mountain guide.

The AST 2 course is four days – the first day is in-classroom, the second day is typically touring north of Lake Louise and days 3 and 4 are touring in Rogers Pass.

The cost for this course is $615. You can reserve your spot in this course with a $50 deposit, sent via Interac e-Transfer to



Any questions related to avalanche topics in general or training opportunities, contact Ken Lukawy (the CSP national avalanche program coordinator).

Avalanche training opportunities

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