Guide Training Ski

Training is divided into three sections

  • (Part A) Alpine skills: Introduces rope applications and rope rescue techniques common to the ski guiding industry as well as common alpine travel techniques such as roped glacier travel, short roping, and cramponing. Note: This course is optional for students in the Alpine Guide Program.
  • (Part B) Mechanized: Introduces operational standards and ski guiding techniques common to HeliCat Canada members. These include job responsibilities and teamwork, operational hazard and terrain management, introducing clients to the mountain setting, downhill guiding techniques, backcountry ski technique, cliff rescue, and lost skier search. Specific skills such as companion avalanche rescue, snowpack observation, and ski skills are screened to ensure candidates are at the pre-requisite standard..
  • (Part C) Touring: This section reviews guides applications learned on the previous two courses and introduces guiding techniques common to ski touring and ski mountaineering operations; including uphill track setting, risk management, basic short roping, glacier travel, client care, pacing, and navigation.

To introduce the technical systems used by professional guides and to introduce the basic components of ski guiding. A secondary goal is to screen candidates to ensure that they meet the prerequisites as detailed in their resume, and to determine whether they have the skills to continue in the Ski Guide Program. A third goal is to assist the candidate with their plans with regards to the overall ACMG certification program.


During the three parts of Guide Training Ski, candidates learn through demonstration, instruction and coaching. Candidates learn and apply guiding skills and techniques in practical situations under the guidance of an expert instructional team. There are daily field sessions, night sessions, and group interactive learning.

Syllabus examples

Backcountry ski techniques, Wilderness ski teaching methodology, Mechanized downhill guiding techniques, Guides information exchange, CAA and international standards, Weather and snowpack observations, Navigation, Backcountry avalanche response, Crevasse rescue, Client care and catering in a winter camping environment, Glacier travel, Rope handling, Mountaineering as part of the ski touring objective.

Evaluation areas

General recreational skills are screened as indicated in resume; Demonstration of technical ski skills on and off- piste, CAA standard snow and weather observation skills, Avalanche Response and Transceiver Search, Written Exam.

Location and length
  • (Part A) Alpine skills: The five-day Alpine section is conducted in an appropriate location.
  • (Part B) Mechanized: The seven-day Mechanized section is conducted out of a commercial mechanized ski operation usually in the BC interior in December.
  • (Part C) Touring: The seven-day Touring section would be conducted out of locations such as Whistler, Rogers Pass, Field, Lake Louise, etc. in February.