If you are planning to travel in the backcountry for skiing, snowboarding, and or snowshoeing this winter please take the time to get educated on how to best minimize your risks and maximize your enjoyment of winter time in the Canadian Rockies, Purcells, Selkirks and Monashees.
First step is to take an Avalanche Safety Training Course (AST #1) at the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre. The University of Calgary Outdoor Centre has classes running almost every weekend throughout the winter and they have an incredible team in place of ACMG certified Mountain Guides who provide first class training.
If you are new to the sport it is best to rent your gear first at the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre as this will give you a chance to try out a beacon, shovel and probe. I found the Backcountry Access Tracker 2 beacon that they provide to be a great choice as it is very easy to use and quick to find signals on search mode.
Next steps vary but after you have taken the AST #1 class you can then take the next steps with their AST #2 course and as well it is time to get out in the mountains and stay safe.
1. Stay Smart- continue your Avalanche Safety education and go out with friends who have lots of experience, practice and know how to use your gear. Make proper terrain and route selection and better to start out on very limited or no avalanche risk slopes so you can gain years of experience first before making next steps
2. Get the Forecasts and Heed them- Visit Canadian Avalanche Centre
Getting outside in winter is real treat and done with proper care is one of the best experiences possible!
Enjoy the mountains safely!