This is the course where you’ll learn how to recognize avalanche terrain and how to self rescue. An AST 1 is a minimum of two days with both classroom and field components. You need to take this course first and so should your friends because just one person trained in a group is not enough. Everyone in your group should take an AST 1. Recognize an AST 1 course is only the beginning – the avalanche pros will tell you avalanche training is a life long process.

What you will learn in an AST 1:

  • avalanche formation and release
  • identify avalanche terrain
  • the basics of trip planning
  • optimal use of tools and resources like the avalanche forecasts to mitigate your avalanche risk
  • use appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain
  • intro to companion rescue

Many instructors will offer the AST 1 course packaged with a Companion Rescue Skills or the Managing Avalanche Terrain courses. Check out the course schedules to see what is right for you. Learn more about the Companion Rescue Skills and Managing Avalanche Terrain courses below.


You have taken your AST 1, you have solid experience in the backcountry and you dedicate most of your free time to recreating in the backcountry; this is a course for you.

An AST 2 course builds on the foundations of your AST 1, and provides a more advanced decision-making framework for travelling in avalanche terrain. An AST 2 course comprises a minimum of 9.5 hours of classroom instruction with a minimum of three days in the field.

What you will learn in an AST 2:

  • progressive planning and travel techniques are required to travel safely through various types of terrain
  • key techniques for using the Danger Rating on a local scale
  • key techniques for applying the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) technical model to develop personal, local terrain ratings
  • proficiently carry out a companion rescue


Hone your rescue skills – this is what keeps you and your partners alive! A Companion Rescue Skills (CRS) course is a must-have for all backcountry recreationists in any sport, because it teaches life-saving search and rescue techniques.

The CRS course is an important refresher for those with previous training or a great way to dial the rescue skills you learned in your AST 1.This hands-on, one-day CRS course takes place in the field.