Avalanche Skills Training

Avalanche Training Saves Lives!

In BC’s northwest, we have some of the world’s finest opportunities for winter backcountry recreation. If you are going to play in the mountains – you have a responsibility – to yourself, your friends and your family to get avalanche training. Hyland Backcountry Services Ltd is one of the largest providers of avalanche courses in Northwest BC, with regular scheduled courses or custom private courses .We offer a variety of Avalanche Safety Courses that will fit your needs.

Avalanche Skills Training (AST)…Ski or Sled

Our courses are taught by senior industry professionals with over 20 years experience, that hold certification in both the CAA & ACMG.


By far our most popular course, it fills up fast each year.Developed by Avalanche Canada, this course is for people new to backcountry travel, or those who have not taken any avalanche safety training. Courses are specific for skiers or sledders. Courses are based in Smithers, giving us quick access to quality field trip locations with no long drives. 

Course formats for this year

1. Classroom: Regular in person 7 Hr class

2. Online Class: Login to an online course, and complete the lessons on your own time, prior to field day

3. Zoom Class: Two evening sessions, 1800-2100, on Zoom, prior to field day.

  • Field Days are 0830-1630
  • Private courses are available
CONTACT US to book a custom group course »

Students will learn to

  • Understand avalanche formation
  • Identify avalanche terrain.
  • Trip planning.
  • Use of the Avaluator™
  • Use ATES terrain ratings
  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain
  • Rescue training

All courses include

  • Avalanche Handbook
  • Avaluator 2
  • Certificate of completion
  • Professional instruction

Prices: $350+GST

Dates: AST 1 Ski

November 24, 2024: Classroom, November 25 or 26 Field Trip (FULL)

December 28, 2024: Fieldtrip . Classroom: Online thru December with an evening Zoom on December 27. (FULL)





REGISTER here »  



AST  2

This is the course if you want to take the next step from the AST 1 or you have previous training or experience.Expect a full 4 days of training, including a few evening sessions.

CONTACT US to book a custom group course »

Students will learn:

  • Advanced use of the Avaluator
  • In depth look at Terrain Management
  • Travel Techniques applied to Avalanche Hazard
  • Introduction to Snow Study & Specific Avalanche Problems
  • Introduction to Group Leadership
  • Group Rescue

Course Includes:

  • Course Handbook
  • Avaluator
  • Fieldbook
  • Professional Instruction
  • Certificate

Dates :

January 25-28, 2024, Smithers – Bulkley Valley FULL

February 15-18, 2024, Smithers – Bulkley Valley FULL

Group Size: Minimum 4 students / Maximum 8

Prerequisites: Students must have an AST 1 or previous related skills.

Price: $750+GST


AST Companion Rescue

This one day course goes beyond what is taught on the AST 1, and is a great refresher or eye opener for beginner or experienced travelers.


Students will learn:

  • Single, multiple, & deep burial techniques
  • Understand advanced digital transceiver functions w new demo gear from local retailers
  • Maximize your equipment
  • Variety of mock rescue scenarios
  • Post rescue victim care & evacuation w demo rescue toboggans
  • Incident debriefs

Dates: This course is by private group booking only.

Price: Call for pricing

CONTACT US to book a custom group course »


Managing Avalanche Terrain (MAT)

The MAT is a very focused field-based course designed to expand on the terrain management taught in the AST 1 course, and to develop more advanced winter backcountry travel skills. This course will help you mitigate your risk by honing your terrain evaluation and travel skills.

This 1 day course can be taken after your AST 1, or as a refresher for past students

Dates: This course is by private group booking only

Price: Call for pricing


December 15-22: Guided Trip, Dezaiko Lodge (FULL)

December 27(Eve) -28: AST 1 Ski, Smithers, BC (FULL)

January 25-28: AST 2 Ski, Smithers, BC (FULL)

February 1: AST 1 Ski Smithers,BC

February 2-9: Guided Trip, Burnie Glacier Chalet (FULL)

February 15-18: AST 2 Ski, Smithers, BC (FULL)

March 5-6: Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue Course