Highly recommended! Like many of us, I had spent years traipsing around in the side and backcountry, both here in Australia and overseas, with little real understanding of the dynamics of snowpack and the terrain on which it sits.
After completing the two day AST level 1, I really saw the mountain in front of me through new eyes. Now my approach is more ordered, less hasty, and more analytical. Introducing better awareness and communication within the tour group has definitely made me feel able to plan a safe trip out into the backcountry, and a safe trip back down at the end of the day.
I would recommend doing the AST1 course with your touring partners, so that next time you hit the skin track, you are all seeing the mountain through those new eyes! So do yourself a favour, and book an AST1 course now!