MountainLIFE

Connect, explore and play in Banff's MountainLIFE programs. MountainLIFE is designed for adults aged 30 and up that want to connect with their peers, get outdoors and enjoy mountain life to the fullest. To register for MountainLIFE programs, visit banff.ca/register.

Upcoming programs:

AST 1
The AST 1 will provide an entry-level decision-making framework. We focus on understanding avalanche bulletins, making good observations in the field, and recognizing avalanche terrain.

It is a course for those who have little experience in winter backcountry travel. It may also be a good overview for people who have some experience but no formal training.

This course requires an intermediate level skiing or snowboarding ability. If you can get down a blue run at the ski hill you are ready to take learn about avalanches! You will also need to have some basic backcountry travel skills, such as using touring skis and skins on an easy ski tour.

Via Ferrata at Mt Norquay

AST 2
The AST 2 is an advanced course that is an excellent resource for more experienced skiers, snowboarders and climbers. It is the recreational user’s equivalent to the Canadian Avalanche Association Level 1 professional level course.

These courses start with a classroom day in Banff where we will review the basics and introduce some advanced concepts in weather, snowpack, terrain, and decision making.

On day 2 we will begin by having a pre-trip meeting to review weather and conditions, then go on a field trip in the Rockies (usually on the Icefields Parkway north of Lake Louise). In the evening we will move on to Golden where we will stay the night to ensure an early start for our Rogers Pass field days.

On days 3 and 4 we will go on ski tours in Rogers Pass, a 45 minute drive from Golden. Every morning we will review the weather and conditions before deciding on a trip objective. In the field, emphasis will be placed on using appropriate weather and snowpack observations, and how to use terrain to manage your risk.

The price includes classroom and field instruction as well as the Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain Field Book.

Bow Hut Overnight April
Go for an overnight ski tour to the famous Bow Hut! This Alpine Club of Canada facility is perched on the edge of the Wapta Icefield. After a morning gear check in Banff, we drive to Bow Lake and start the tour. It will take about 6 hours to get to the hut (6.5 km, 525 m of elevation gain). You will need to carry your clothing, a sleeping bag, and your food. After a night in the comfortable hut, we will do a short tour up the Bow Glacier and onto the icefield before getting a run back down to the hut. We ski back to the road in the afternoon. Expect to return to Bow Lake by about 4 pm.

Some previous ski touring experience is required for this trip. You will need to have completed a couple of ski tours to feel comfortable with your equipment, and you need to have participated in at least one avalanche rescue practice. No glacier experience is required.

*transportation NOT provided

Ice Climbing Weekend January
Learn the basics of ice climbing at 2 different venues in the Canadian Rockies. We will spend an overnight on the beautiful Icefields Parkway at Rampart Creek Hostel.

Topics covered on Day 1:

  • Fitting your gear; helmet, harness, boots*, and crampons
  • Discussion of safety procedures and climbing area hazards
  • Basic ice movement; kicking and swinging
  • Basic rope work; tying in, belaying, and lowering on top rope climbs

Day 2:

Progression on to steeper ice for those that want to. Climb different ice flows in a new setting. Dial in what you learned on Day 1.

*all equipment included except for boots not included but can be rented for $18/day

*transportation & food not included

Into to Ice Climbing
You can learn how to ice climb in one day, and spend years mastering the sport!

Gain the skills and knowledge you need to have confidence to move forward with the sport of ice climbing. This program is good for beginners or anyone looking for a refresher.

In a small group lead by some of the best climbers/ACMG guides in the Bow Valley you will learn the basics of ice climbing.

Topics covered:

  • Fitting your gear; helmet, harness, boots*, and crampons
  • Discussion of safety procedures and climbing area hazards
  • Basic ice movement; kicking and swinging
  • Basic rope work; tying in, belaying, and lowering on top rope climbs         

Guide and most equipment provided.

*boots not included but can be rented for $18/day

*transportation NOT included