Custom AST Course

The first step to safe, efficient backcountry skiing

Work with us to create an Avalanche Skills Training (AST) that suits your group ability, experience, goals, and schedule.  Using the AST 1+ and AST 2 as a template we can create any sort of course for complete newbies to the backcountry or experienced skiers wanting to get comfortable making decisions in big steep alpine terrain.   Whatever your current level, this course will teach you everything you need to know – so you can start enjoying the backcountry safely and self-assured.

Courses are available for 1 or more days, accomodating groups up to 8 per guide.

The Goods

Length: 2 to 4 days

Locations: Whistler or Squamish BC

Prerequisites: Ability to hike up hill for 3 hours, Intermediate ski ability (black diamond runs)

Highlight Skills: Companion rescue, Snow assessment, Group management, Use of ski touring gear

Season: Scheduled dates all winter

Max Guide to Guest Ratio: 8:1 guest to guide

Price: Starting at $215 pp


What you get

Create your own course to cover the skills you want to learn, the duration you want and most importantly the dates that work for you!

We will provide the rest:

  • ACMG guides
  • Experienced avalanche skill instructors
  • Intimate local knowledge
  • Learning resources

Is this for you

The beauty of a custom course is that we can tailor the course to suit the needs of the group, whether you are completely new to the backcountry or have years and multi courses under your belt we can accommodate.  We do recommend however that if you are putting a group together, make sure they all fit together.

With all backcountry courses, we recommend coming with confident in powder skiing and fitness to at least walk up hill for 3 hours a day.



I contacted five companies about setting up a custom mountaineering trip and Altus immediately got back to me with all sorts of helpful, informative details. They were much easier and better to work with than all the other companies.

- Michele G

I felt safe and secure, and I learned a ton. Great objective, great weather, great food, and great company - it doesn't get any better than this! Can't wait to get back out there with the Altus guides - don't leave home without 'em!

- Nigel B

Custom courses available all winter

AST 1 $1500 / group

All listed prices are in CAD and subject to 5% sales tax.

AST 1+ $1700 / group

All listed prices are in CAD and subject to 5% sales tax.

AST 2 $2950 / group

All listed prices are in CAD and subject to 5% sales tax.

Build your own $700 / day

All listed prices are in CAD and subject to 5% sales tax.



$45 / course


$59 / day

What's Included
  • Course material (Avaluator card)
  • Instruction from CAA members and or ACMG guide
Not Included
  • Avalanche rescue equipment
  • Backcountry lift ticket
Gear list

Avalanche Safety Gear

  • Avalanche Transceiver
  • Shovel: Collapsible aluminum shovel.
  • Probe: Normal length probe somewhere from 220cm to 320cm. 

*Available for rent at check out*


  • Ski touring skis: bindings, skins, poles or split board+skins
  • Ski touring/snowboard boots
  • Snow saw (optional)
  • Suitable day pack 30 - 40L


  • Waterproof/breathable jacket and pants
  • Lightweight breathable jacket and pants (for uphill skinning/climbing)
  • Insulated jacket (synthetic insulated jacket is strongly recommended)
  • Lightweight gloves for climbing/skinning
  • Warm gloves
  • Warm hats
  • Balaclava or another type of neck warmer
  • Base layers


  • Sunglasses
  • Goggles
  • Sun screen
  • Sun hat
  • ski strap
  • small personal ski repair kit
  • personal first aid, medication
  • Camera
Booking policy

Greater than 14 days from start date

  • 20% deposit is required to secure your guides and or trip. Remaining trip cost is due 14 days

Less than 14 days from start date

  • Trip cost must be paid in full

*Subject to change based on particular trip

Forms of payment

Credit card: Visa, Mastercard

Email transfer:

Cheque: Only accepted 30 days prior to trip commencement


Greater than 30 days from start date

  • Deposit will be refunded in full

30 to 14 days prior to trip commencement

  • Deposit amount will be forfeited

Less than 14 days

  • Full trip amount will be forfeited

*Subject to change based on particular trip

*All cancellations must be received in writing

Cancellations by Altus Mountain Guides

Upon confirming your booking we guarantee the trip departure. If we cancel a trip for any reason prior to the start date a full refund will be provided. If we are forced to cancel a trip for any reason after the trip start date, a full refund for the unused portion of the trip will be provided.

Trip cancellation insurance

Upon confirmation of your trip Altus Mountain Guides enters into financial obligation and cannot refund payment or release you from your contractual obligation except for condition stated below in “Cancellations” Therefore in an effort to avoid unnecessary cancellation penalties, cancellation insurance is strongly recommended in the event you can not participate or if your trip is interrupted “for any reason”. This is available from most travel companies. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding our policy or obtaining insurance.

Cancellation insurance

  • Tugo

Medical/Evacuation Insurance

All participants must have personal internationally accepted medical insurance for all activities pertaining to your trip that also includes emergency rescue and evacuation. With your insurance please ensure you will be covered for “roped travel” if booking a technical trip.

*The required insurance depends on location


  • Insurance is free in entire country


  • Private insurance is recommended


  • Mountain climbing rescue is free

Switzerland, Italy, Austria

  • Privates or alpine club insurance is required.

*Europe: We recommend the following: Austrian alpine club membership, REGA

Additional fees

Longer & more involved routes may have additional premiums, driving, accommodation,& food costs are trip dependent.

Please contact us for details and a full quote.

Still have questions or concerns?

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns or requests on how we can make this the best trip ever!!!

About Ross Berg

Ross has guided, climbed and skied in the European Alps for the last several seasons. When he's at home he can be found working as a heli ski guide in winters and climbing alpine rock routes in summer.