Alpine Access Australia is an accredited Avalanche Canada AST Provider and we run AST1 courses in NSW and Victoria. Avalanche Canada sets the global standard for providing avalanche awareness programs. Participants acquire new skills and knowledge to help them keep safe in the backcountry. Yes avalanches do happen in Australia, and AST1 is also essential if you and your friends venture into the side or backcountry when skiing or snowboarding overseas. We believe learning should be stimulating and fun – our courses have an inclusive, communal vibe where you’ll be given the best chance of success in your future backcountry touring adventures.


For 2024 we will be running AST1 courses on multiple weekends and some weekdays in both NSW and Victoria, from July through to September. Courses will be held at Jindabyne, NSW & Mt Hotham, VIC. To book, click the green buttons NSW / VIC.


AST1 is a two day course – 1 day in the classroom, and 1 day out in the backcountry.
What you will learn in an AST 1 course:

  • avalanche formation and release
  • identify avalanche terrain
  • the basics of trip planning
  • optimal use of tools and resources like the avalanche forecasts to mitigate your avalanche risk
  • use appropriate travel techniques in avalanche terrain
  • companion rescue using beacon, shovel, probe.

We also incorporate into the field day of our course an emphasis on backcountry touring technique, safe touring in the Australian backcountry and touring etiquette.

The participants on our courses are always a diverse group with one main thing in common, a passion for the mountains and a desire to learn the skills and knowledge to be safe in the backcountry. This makes for a fun, stimulating & challenging two days.


Avalanche Canada’s AST 2 course is probably the best recreational course you will ever get to do! 4 days with an Avalanche Canada “Professional Member Level 2” Instructor.

In other alpine areas of the world this course comes into its own and we recommend doing your AST 2 as part of an overseas trip to Japan or North America where you will gain all the skills and experience in varied terrain and snowpack that this course is supposed to offer. If you would like information on AST2 course providers overseas please feel free to get in touch.

Avalanche Canada AST2:

An AST 2 course comprises a minimum of 9.5 hours of classroom instruction with a minimum of three days in the field. Participants should have completed AST1, have a minimum of 20 days of touring experience and moderate fitness (can tour uphill 1000m in a day). Curriculum includes:

  • Progressive planning and travel techniques required to travel safely through various types of terrain
  • Key techniques for using the danger rating on a local scale
  • Key techniques for applying the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) technical model to develop personal, local terrain ratings.
  • How to proficiently carry out a companion rescue.