Ski Guide

This program is designed to develop the guiding and instructional skills needed to work in a backcountry ski and snowboard environment.

Ski Guides work in heliskiing, snowcat skiing, and in the many backcountry ski touring lodges in Canada.

ACMG Ski Guides also participate in hut to hut or tent based glacier traverses and ski mountaineering trips where ascents of non-technical peaks may be climbed as part of a ski trip.

The Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) professional Level I course is required for entry into the certificate program.

Requirements for entry

This is an absolute minimum. To demonstrate these skills in an exam setting requires a great deal of confidence, ability and fitness. Most candidates enter the program with a much higher personal standard than the minimum required.

Personal movement standard

You must demonstrate smoothly linked turns in all terrain, appropriate adjustment of style and technique to snow conditions, and stable, smooth, turns at all times in ungroomed, backcountry snow. It is strongly recommended that candidates complete a Level 2 ski/snowboard instructor course from the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance before applying.


Candidates are chosen from those applicants who can demonstrate that they have spent at least three years developing the hazard evaluation skills, leadership skills, and are comfortable in a winter environment. These applicants have communication skills, preferably teaching skills, and are motivated to accept the responsibility of being a professional ski guide.

Avalanche course

The CAA level 1 plus experience, is a minimum prerequisite for the training level of the Assistant Ski Guide Program. Experience shows those candidates who enter with the CAA Level 2 have an easier time with the decision making and hazard evaluation tasks.

Avalanche Seach and Rescue

The Avalanche Search and Rescue (AvSAR) - Theory certificate is a minimum prerequisite for the training level of the Assistant Ski Guide Program.  The theory certificate can be obtained through the Canadian Avalanche Association.

Advanced wilderness first aid course

With a minimum 80 hours is required. Courses from this partial list of providers have proven adequate in the past. Contact the ACMG if you are uncertain about other programs.


On the courses, you must be capable of guiding clients on skis showing efficient and confident movement while linking appropriate turns in variable backcountry snow. You must show that you are capable of guiding clients in alpine ski mountaineering terrain including glaciers, snow and ice, and simple short-roping terrain.

Ski guide chart

Advanced first aid
CAA Level 1
Guide Training Ski
Apprentice Ski Guide
CAA Level 2
Ski Guide Certificate