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


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 format for this year

  • Classroom session will be Virtual, with 2 weekday evening sessions on Zoom.
  • Field Day will be on Saturday
  • Additional courses Managing Avalanche Terrain or Companion Rescue Course can be added will be Sundays
  • Private courses for families or cohorts are encouraged, with custom dates 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

Course Duration

  • AST 1 Class: Evenings 1800-2100 hrs
  • AST 1 Field: Saturday 0800-1600 hrs


  • December 2 ,4 & 5,2020
  • December 9,11 & 12, 2020
  • January 14,15,& 16, 2021
  • February 4,5 & 6, 2021

 Price: $275 + GST


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. Check out the UPCOMING COURSES page, or

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 21-24, 2021 (FULL); January 28-31, 2021;  March 11-14,2021

Group Size: Minimum 4 students / Maximum 8

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

Price: $675.00/ person + 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: December 6, 2020; January 15,2021

Price: $175.00/person + GST

CONTACT US to book a custom group course »


Managing Avalanche Terrain (MAT)

Find your way! You have taken your AST 1 and you travel through many kilometers of avalanche terrain on your backcountry trips—the Managing Avalanche Terrain (MAT) course is for you.

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, or tag it on to an AST 1 course, as the AST 1 Plus ( if offered)

Dates: December 13, 28, 2020

Price:$175.00 + GST

Courses 2020


Intro to Navigation - Nov 28


AST 1 - Dec 2,4,5  ( Full)

AST Companion Rescue - Dec 6

AST 1 - Dec 9,11,12

AST Managing Terrain - Dec 13

Intro to Backcountry Skills - Dec 19-20

Guided Trips

Early Season Powder

Private bookings are available, please contact me for more information.

The Galleon 

This spring classic goes deep into the Babine Mountains Park. Conditions dependent, we will 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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