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 2017 - 2018

Interested? Contact Brad Harrison at

Course 1: Nov 23 (classroom)    Nov 25 & 26 (field)    Sold-out (waitlist available) Kamloops   
Course 2: Dec   1 (classroom) Dec   2 &   3 (field) Sold-out (waitlist available)     Hope
Course 3: Dec   7 (classroom) Dec   9 & 10 (field) Sold-out (waitlist available) Kamloops
Course 4: Dec 14  (classroom) Dec  16 &17 (field) Sold-out (waitlist available) Kamloops
Course 5: Dec 18  (classroom) Dec  19 & 20 (field) Sold-out (waitlist available) Kamloops
Course 7: Jan   5  (classroom) Jan    6  &  7  (field) Sold-out (waitlist available) Merritt
Course 8: Feb 23  (classroom) Feb  24 & 25 (field) 2 spots open Sun Peaks
Course 9: Feb 27  (classroom) Feb 28 / Mar 1 (field) 2 spots open Kamloops
Course 10: Mar  15 (classroom) Mar  17 &  18 (field) 4 spots open Kamloops


Course Dates - Southwest Coast - Contact Nick Zupan at

Course 1:     Dec 11 & 14 (classroom)    Dec 16 & 17 (field)    Sold-out   Vancouver  
Course 2: Dec 18 & 19 (classroom) Dec 23 & 24 (field) Sold-out Vancouver
Course 3: Feb 19 & 20 (classroom) Feb 24 & 25 (field) Sold-out Vancouver

*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

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

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!