Winter Travel 25

3 credit course

Course pre-requisite: Winter Travel 15


General Winter Travel 25 Course Information

  • Winter Travel 15 is a locally developed course offered by Canadian Rockies Public Schools
  • Winter Travel 15 is open to students in Grade 10-12 who have completed Winter Travel 15
  • This is a 3-credit course with approximately 75 hours of instruction.
  • Winter Travel 25 can accommodate up to 8 students (course numbers will increase in subsequent years)
  • The prerequisite course is Winter Travel 15 and the ability to downhill ski or snowboard a blue level run.  This course involves full days of activity in an outdoor environment so a basic level of physical fitness is also recommended.
  • Students are also expected to provide their own outdoor clothing and winter footwear suitable for the activity.

General Winter Travel 25 Learning Outcomes

This course capitalizes on existing and emerging technology and local expertise to deliver a high quality, practical skills program.  The program is intended to encourage youth to engage in winter travel and recreation in mountain environments as informed and aware individuals.  Through exposure to current best practices in avalanche awareness and public safety, this course will foster critical thinking through project-based inquiry and expose youth to exemplary role model organizations and career paths.

By means of personal experience and exposure to closely managed risk, students will appreciate the benefits and responsibilities of informed decision making and the many rewards an appreciation of the mountain environment can yield.  Through our close collaboration with our partners, students will have access to professional members of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and the Canadian Avalanche Association who are national leaders in their field.

This course takes advantage of the expertise, terrain, and resources afforded by our region - Kananaskis Country.  By focusing our course inside the provincial park, we operate within the oversight of a comprehensive public safety system with custodial group regulations ensuring the highest standards of due diligence and of care and providing a world class public safety response capacity.  The overarching aim of these programs is to provide gateway opportunities for youth--opportunities that stimulate life-long learning which allow students to connect in tangible ways to our landscape.

It is our intention that through this course students will:

  • Display a level of familiarity with techniques and technology that allows them to confidently respond to emergency situations
  • Demonstrate understanding of avalanche safety and complete the CAA Avalanche Safety Training Level 1 course
  • Develop familiarity with basic navigation and personal safety technology (ie. terrain observations, use of beacon/probe/shovel)
  • Develop informed decision making skills and build leadership capacity
  • Access and apply online risk management resources (ie. avalanche bulletins, weather reports, road conditions reports)

The aforementioned skills will be delivered in the context of the following:

  • Teach and model high quality best practice risk management skills across the outdoor education community
  • Foster and appreciation for terrain diversity
  • Appreciate the global nature of environmental issues
  • Demonstrate appropriate use of multiple technologies (map, compass, GPS, avalanche equipment, ski equipment)

Winter Travel

  • Technique development
  • Terrain evaluation
  • Assessment for avalanche risk
  • Emergency situations

Knowledge and Understanding

  • The Rocky Mountain Natural Region
  • Risk Management Process

Functional Fitness

  • Personal awareness
  • Nutrition

Leadership and Social Skills

  • Taking charge
  • Leadership styles, decision making, group dynamics
  • Proactive intervention
  • Self-reflection

Appreciation and Values

  • Stewardship
  • Role modeling
  • Active ambassadorship

Job Ready Credentials

These courses encourage and expose students to a variety of career and occupational paths.  Through connection with role models from avalanche specialist, public safety officers, to mountain guides and ski patrol, students will develop and understanding of a range of job options. Those students who successfully complete the full program will gain CAA Avalanche Safety Training Level 1 certification.  

Detailed Winter Travel 25 Course Outline

*exact program activities, locations and timings of course elements are subject to change.

There are five 1-2—hour online course work sessions delivered online using the CRPS Google Classroom course management system that will be completed before the immersion portion of the course.

Online Course Work



1 hour

Winter Travel Safety:  Know Before You Go, Basic Winter Safety and Emergency Response, Trip Planning

1 hour

History of Avalanche Equipment

1 hour

Navigation Technology:  Map Review, GPS Technology Review

1 hour

Leadership and Followership

1 hour

Ecological Issues and Winter Recreation

Day 1




Arrive at Canadian Rockies Outdoor Learning Centre 


Avalanche Skills Training Part 1 - classroom




Avalanche Skills Training Part 1 - classroom


Snow conditions and observations activity:  snowshoeing 


Gear Management



6:00 pm

Clean up and Group Game


Navigation Review

8:00 pm

Day 2 Trip Planning

9:00 pm

AST 1 test questions / The Fine Line DVD

9:30 pm

Free Time

10:00 pm

Students to rooms – lights out at 10:30pm

Day 2



8:00 am

Breakfast and gear packing

9:00 am

Avalanche Skills Training Part 2 - classroom

11:30 am

Bus to Canmore, lunch on bus

12:00 pm

Canmore Nordic Centre XC skiing and Orienteering Course


Bus to Gear Up for gear fitting

5:30pm Dinner

6:00 pm

Clean Up and Group Game

7:00 pm

Day 3 Trip Planning


The Fine Line DVD


Beacon Search Challenge

9:30 pm

Gear management / Free Time

10:00 pm

Students to rooms – lights out at 10:30pm

Day 3



8:00 am


9:00 am

Bus to Kananaskis Country

10:00 am

Avalanche Skills Training - field day Part 1 

12:00 pm

Bag Lunch

1:30 pm

Avalanche Skills Training - field day Part 2

4:00 pm

Return to CROLC

5:30pm Dinner
6:00pm Clean up and Group Game

6:30 pm

Day 4 Trip Planning


Case Study Activity

8:30 pm

AST 1 Test Questions

10:00 pm

Students to rooms – lights out at 10:30pm

Day 4




Students pack up rooms and bring all luggage down to lodge

8:00 am

Gear management


Bus to Kananskis Country


Movement in snow:  skiing

10:00 am

Application of field day studies


Bag Lunch


Movement in snow continued

2:30 pm

Bus to CROLC

3:30pm Clean Up, pack up
4:00pm Debrief and farewell


Depart for home

Winter Travel 25 Assessment

Students will engage in a variety of learning experiences throughout the Winter Travel 25 course.  These experiences may be in the form of a group task, assignment, journal questions, quiz, digital learning, etc.  Student work will be collected by the course administrator to be used to evaluate their learning. Some course work will be submitted using Google Classroom (online pre-course work), while other assignments (such as the Winter Travel Course Journal) will be completed on site.  Online course assessments are valued at 40% of the final grade.  Immersion participation, activities, and assignments are valued at 60% of the final grade.

Special resources, facilities or equipment necessary

Students will need access to a computer and sign in information for Google Classroom in order to complete the online course work. All trip transportation, accommodation, food, resources, and equipment (ie. avalanche safety equipment) is provided by the Canadian Rockies Outdoor Learning Centre.

*Students needing to rent mandatory specialized skiing equipment will do so from a pre-determined location at a pre-determined time.  Extra costs for rental fees apply.

Risk assessment and Safety

Training and Certification

Winter Travel 25 is facilitated by outdoor professionals who possess current industry standard training and certifications and experience working with groups in the outdoors. Canadian Rockies Outdoor Learning Centre (CROLC) teachers (employed by Canadian Rockies Public Schools (CRPS)), Association of Canadian Mountain Guides ski or mountain guides, Alberta Parks staff, and Canadian Avalanche Association instructors operate under strict guidelines and procedures in the outdoor environment.

CROLC Winter Travel course instructors possess the minimum training and certifications for leading these activities.  Certified ACMG guides will also be employed.

Terrain Guidelines

CROLC risk management policies and procedures will be reviewed and are to be followed by all Winter Travel 25 participants. Participants will be skiing / snowboarding on trails or areas which are classified as Class 1 - Simple terrain (by the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES))

All areas visited on course have been selected in consultation with Parks Canada Visitor Safety staff to ensure terrain access guidelines are being followed and have been visited and pre-assessed by CROLC teachers. All equipment used during the course is checked and maintained regularly to ensure it is proper working order.

Winter Environment

The winter environment can present challenges with outdoor activity and cold temperatures. Winter gear lists will be issued to students prior to the course and will be checked upon arrival. Extra clothing and gear will be on hand for students to borrow in case of inadequate preparation. Students will be briefed thoroughly on the appropriate dress and layering technique for outdoor winter clothing. Outdoor activity will be closely monitored during cold temperatures with a cut off temperature of -25 C with windchill.


Transportation to and from the course start and end locations are the responsibility of the visiting school or student unless arranged otherwise.  Canadian Rockies Public Schools manages all transportation from the Outdoor Learning Centre to all activity venues.