AST 1 Course IN lethbridge? Grab a Seat.

Book your seat today on our Lethbridge AST 1 Courses. Taught by senior industry instructors, we offer course dates in our South Rockies Locations starting in January, hosted in Lethbridge, Waterton National Park, and Fernie.

Supporting our The Southern Alberta Mountain Community: 
10% for the Southern Alberta Section of the ACC & Get Hook ups at Alpenland Ski and Sports. 

Cloud Nine Guides has its roots in Southern Alberta. We grew up learning playing and exploring in the mountains of the South Rockies, and we're proud to work with our supporting partners, the membership of the Alpine Club of Canada Southern Alberta Section, and Alpenland Ski and Sports. Members of the Southern Alberta ACC Section can grab 10% off all Lethbridge AST 1 Courses.
With our partners at Alpenland Ski & Sports, book a course with us and get 10% off your purchase of Avalanche Beacon, Probe and Shovel in store. Or, buy the gear and get 10% off your AST 1 here at Cloud Nine. Easy!

Group Discounts & Private Courses:

Want to book your AST 1 with friends or family on one of our public courses? Drop us a line to pick up a promo code for reduced rates on booking groups of 3 or more. Get 10-20% off when you lock in with your crew on our AST 1 Courses in Lethbridge. Private Courses are available all winter long for groups of 5+, pick your dates, line up your crew and we'll be there to meet you on course - contact us for more details and how to book this season.


Day 1 – Theory 7.5hrs

Hosted via Zoom Meeting

  • 0830hrs - Zoom Meeting Waiting Room Opens
  • 0900hrs - Zoom Meeting Opens
  • 0900-0915hrs - Instructor Introductions, Course Goals, Agendas, Review Timings & Schedule, Presentation of Waiver of Liability Document.
  • 0915 - 1200hrs - Curriculum (Theory)
    • Understanding Avalanches: Their Formation & Characteristics
    • Avalanche Terrain Recognition
    • Introduction to the ATES (Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale)
    • Introduction to Terrain Traps
  • 1200 - 1300hrs - Lunch
  • 1300 - 1630hrs - Curriculum (Theory)
    • Learn how to unpack and use, The Public Avalanche Bulletin.
    • Introduction to Decision Making Competence, Decision Making Quality.
    • Learn how Human Factors & Human Bias can impact risk levels in the Backcountry.
    • Learn the primary support structures to aid you in your decision making.
    • Intro to the AVALUATOR.   
    • Introduction to Google Earth as a pre-trip planning tool.
    • Introduction to technical weather models, and creating your own forecast.
    • Introduction to Good Travel Habits in the Backcountry.
    • Introduction to Avalanche Rescue Techniques (theory). 
    • Gear and Equipment Review
    • Discuss Student Groups for Field Day & Review Meeting Location and Timing for Field Day


Day 2 – Field Day. 7-8hrs.

Location will be Condition Dependant, but can include the Cameron Lake Road Area in Waterton National Park. Middle Kootenay Pass Area / Castle Mountain Resort or The Lizard Range in Fernie. Our aim is to keep the field day location as close to Lethbridge as possible, but will depend on current snowpack conditions.

Meeting Time TBA. Start Times vary based on location - 0700-0830hrs.

  • Meet Your Field Guides / Instructors
  • AM - Hazard Evaluation Meeting. Group Exercise.
    • Discuss changes to your weather forecast overnight with your Guide, and assess impacts on Avalanche Hazard Ratings.
    • Review General Plan for the Field Day. Including essential equipment required, and emergency response procedures.
    • Review inputs in the Public Avalanche Bulletin, and relate information in this product directly to our proposed trip plan.
    • Guides to present Waiver of Liability Form for Students.
    • Companion / Avalanche Rescue Gear student sign out.
    • Depart for Field Day
  • Session One - Avalanche Transceiver Basics
    • Introduction of Basic Functions - ON/OFF + Search, Send and Group Check Modes. 
    • Wearing your beacon. Pro's and Con's of wearing in the harness vs. a garment pocket.
    • Learn about transceiver interference, and how tech devices, magnets and other objects can interfere with your transceivers transmitting signal.
    • Learn to complete a "Range Function Check", ensuring your transceiver is functional at a minimum range of 40m.
    • Learn to complete a "Transmit Function Check", ensuring all group members are emitting a transmitting signal as they leave the trailhead and enter the field.
  • Session Two - Terrain Recognition & Verification. The ATES Rating Scale. Developing your Information Set
    • During this session, we'll begin to put into context the terrain principles learned in your Day 1 Theory session.
    • Learn to recognize the difference between avalanche, and non-avalanche terrain. 
    • Learn to recognize evidence of past avalanches to gauge your exposure to potential avalanche hazard.
    • Learn the basics of verifying your position on the terrain, using natural and environmental indicators.
    • Learn Slope Angle Verification.
    • Learn to recognize how snow is redistributed by wind in the terrain, creating areas of increased stress in the snowpack.
    • Learn to recognize how slope aspect and sun exposure can impact the snowpack. 
    • Apply key terrain terminology to features in the field.
    • Learn the basics of gathering snowpack information during travel.
    • Correlate information provided in the Public Avalanche Bulletin and begin to verify the presence of Avalanche Problems in the snowpack during travel.
  • Session Three - Using Your AVALUATOR Card. 
    • Learn to use your AVALUATOR Card in the field to aid in decision making and risk management. 
  • Session Four - Introduction to Snow Profiles
    • Guides demonstrate how to choose a Snow Profile (Pit) location



Logistics to consider ahead of your AST 1 Lethbridge Course:

    • Waterton NP Field Days:
      Limited options exist in Waterton during the winter months and it's best to call ahead for availability. Check out for winter accommodation options.
    • Fernie, BC Field Days: 
      There are a myriad of options available to you for accommodation in Fernie. From shared accommodation at the Raging Elk Hostel to our Guides personal favourite: The Lizard Creek Lodge.
    • Castle Mountain / Middle Kootenay Pass Field Days:
      We suggest sourcing accommodation the night prior to your field day either in Pincher Creek or The Castle Mountain Ski Lodge at CMR.
    • Students are responsible for their own meals.
    • Students are responsible for their own transportation on course.
    • Students are responsible for obtaining a National Park entry pass for their field days if required.



Students will require one of the following travel equipment kits to join us on course:

  • Alpine Touring Skis
  • Splitboard
  • Snowshoes

In addition students will require the following:

  • Climbing Skins - trimmed to fit your specific equipment
  • Ski Poles
  • 1 of the following: Alpine Touring Ski Boots / Snowboard Boots / Winter Boots for Snowshoers.
  • Daypack - IMPORTANT: You will require at minimum a 30L backpack. Anything smaller will not be sufficient to hold essential safety equipment. 
  • Sunglasses (for the uptrack)
  • Ski Goggles (for the decent)
  • Lunch 
  • Water
  • Thermos with Hot Drink
  • Sun Screen
  • Small Blister Kit or Personal 1st Aid Kit
  • Small Repair Kit (optional)

Avalanche Rescue (Companion Rescue) Equipment: 
If you have your own beacon, probe and shovel, it's best to arrive with your own equipment. For those requiring this essential equipment, we stock *new rescue equipment replaced yearly, for your use on course, at no extra cost. Our avalanche beacons undergo weekly diagnostic testing to ensure proper function. 

  • Avalanche Beacon (3 antennae unit, must have been purchased new in past 4 years)
  • Avalanche Probe
  • Avalanche Shovel (metal blades only)


On our AST 1, this essential clothing list is provided firstly to help support a better quality educational environment for you while on course. On the field day, there will be 20-30 min blocks where our Guides are demonstrating skill sets such as snow profiles, and companion rescue where the group comes to a stop for longer periods. Having the right technical clothing that will keep you warm and dry, serves to provide you with a better quality learning environment. 

  • Base Layers - Either wool or synthetic, or a polypro base layer are the best options. DO NOT wear cotton base layers. 
  • Mid Layers - Again, wool, synthetic or polypro is are best
  • Softshell Jacket or Goretex Jacket
  • Softshell Pants or Goretex Pants
  • Insulated Jacket - Large Parka style jackets are very important for the moments we're stopped during the field day. Down Parka's or Synthetic Down Parka's are a very important addition to your clothing systems for the course.
  • Socks - Wool blend, no cotton.


Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance

The AST Level 1 & 2 Courses are non-refundable. The best method to protect your investment with us should unforeseen arise requiring you cancel your booking, is to purchase a Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance Policy. 

Lifestyle Insurance has covered many of Cloud Nine Guests on trips all over the world, and we have first hand experience seeing these policies activated by our Guests. 

Safeguard your trip costs and investment with us. Request a Quote from Lifestyle Financial.

Is this coverage required?

  • For Canadian Residents, coverage is suggested by not required to register.
  • For Non-Canadian Citizens, coverage is suggested but not required. It is strongly suggested that your policy includes Emergency Medical Coverage, unless you carry alternative policy which will respond in the event of medical emergency.


WAIVER - Release of Liability & Indemnity Agreement

Prior to booking you will be required to acknowledge that you have been provided a copy of our Waiver of Liability Agreement for your review. All participants, or their legal guardians wishing to participate on any Cloud Nine Programs, must acknowledge that they have been presented this document, have read it in its entirety, and understand the agreement being entered into by signing. While there is no obligation to enter into this agreement with us, it is a condition of our service provision. 



Booking TErms & Conditions

Before you book your course, please review our Booking Terms & Conditions. We do not accept bookings without your voluntary acceptance of these terms. Please read carefully as these terms outline specific policies and guidance for both our staff and clients with respect to refunds, cancellations, rescheduling etc.


Please note before booking: The AST Level 1 & 2 Courses are non-refundable programs. 
Those wishing to reschedule their course dates, may only do so pending our course availability. Rescheduling or order changes will incur a $25 admin fee per occurrence.



For those who prefer our smallest and most focused learning environments. Groups of 4+ can book a Private Group AST 1 on course dates that suit you and your crew best, and one of our ACMG / IFMGA Mountain Guides will join you on your terms. You pick the Group Size, and pick a Field Day venue and date outside those available on our Public Courses. 

Private Rates for our Lethbridge AST 1 start at $375/person. Group Discounts available for teams of 8+

How Do We Book It?

Contact our office to confirm availability for your preferred dates. We'll provide you with a private booking link for you and your group, and register either together or individually.

Check out our full Line of AST 1 Courses



Cloud Nine Guides AST CONNECT+


You've got your AST 1. Bridge the gap between the AST 2 with our AST CONNECT+ Ski and Split Backcountry Touring & Education Days.
Seats from $175.00 per day.

Canmore & Banff AST 1 Avalanche Courses


Ready for your AST 1 Course this season? Seats available November to February every weekend, or book a private course with your crew! Starting at $230 per seat.


Private Group AST 1 Courses available for you and your crew of 4 or more. 
Courses start at $295.00 / student.


Private Group AST 1 Avalanche Courses available this season in Golden BC for you and your crew of 4 or more. 
Starting at $320.00 / student.




Cloud Nine Guides AST CONNECT+


You've got your AST 1. Bridge the gap between the AST 2 with our AST CONNECT+ Ski and Split Backcountry Touring & Education Days.
Seats from $175.00 per day.


Ready to explore the challenging and complex tours along the Icefields Parkway South and Lake Louise Group? Have a C9G AST 1 Certificate - Courses start at $645 per student.


An AST 2 Course for our friends in Southern Alberta? You bet. Save the drive, beat the crowds and explore and learn in your home ranges this season. Rates from $1049.00.


The Holy Grail of AST 2 Courses. Add two parts Selkirks, a dash of the Purcells... and a helicopter to taste. Game on. Seats from $1175.00 (heli) or $925.00 (self-propelled).

Black Diamond Equipment is an Affiliate Supporting Partner of Cloud Nine Guides
Cloud Nine Mountain Guides are IFMGA Internationally Certified
Cloud Nine Guides is a Avalanche Canada Licensed Provider of the AST Curriculum