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. Our industry costs have risen dramatically this year with insurance fees and increased administrative requirements from our professional governing bodies.


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

January 13 -14, 2023





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. Course is 4 full days.

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  Feb 9-12, 2023  or Feb 28 – Mar 3, 2023



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.

Check out the UPCOMING COURSES page »

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: TBD

Price: $185.00/person + GST

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 as a stand alone course, if you already have completed a previous AST 1.

Dates: TBD


Courses 2023 - 2024


AST 1 : Nov 24, 25 or 26


AST 2:  Dec 10-14, Dezaiko Lodge

More courses to come....


Guided Trips

Day Trips : Contact Me


Burnie Glacier Chalet

The Galleon

This spring classic goes deep into the Babine Mountains Park. Conditions dependent, if conditions allow, we ski one of the classic couloirs visible from town.Trip participants must be very fit, and able to travel a long day of @ 30km & 1800m ascent.

 Dates: Various dates available through March & April

Smithers, BC

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The 7000

The complex alpine tour starts from the ski area, through Big Simpsons Gulch, and down the Kathlyn Face. Participants must be strong and fit skiers. Early starts are required for this tour. This trip is very condition and weather dependent.

 Dates: Various dates available through March & April. Please contact me.

Smithers, BC

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Rocher Deboule Range Spring Traverse

We will fly into the rugged Rocher Deboule Range and ski for 3-4 days. Participants will need to provide their own winter camping equipment, and should have previous experience with spring ski camping. We will ski out to the highway at the end of the trip.

Dates: Various dates through April are available.

Smithers, BC

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Spring Basecamp

There are a variety of options available to us near Smithers or travel to the big mountains near Stewart, BC. If you have a group that is interested in this type of trip, please give me a call to discuss some options.

Dates: Various dates through April are available.

Smithers, BC

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Spring Helicopter Assisted Trips

On occasion, with good weather, we can utilize an aircraft to fly us into a remote, seldom visited area for a day of skiing. The longer, brighter days of spring make this an awesome day in the mountains, and can allow us to access some incredibly rugged, and excellent ski venues - and no slog out at the end of the day.

Dates: Various dates through April are available.

Smithers, BC

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