Inspiring Hearts and Minds

Winter Travel 15

Winter Travel 15

3 credit course; This course focuses on experiential learning and best practices for winter travel in mountain environments with an overarching goal of YOUTH ENGAGEMENT in STEWARDSHIP.

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General Winter Travel 15 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.
  • This is a 3-credit course with approximately 75 hours of instruction.
  • Winter Travel 15 can accommodate up to 30 students.
  • No prerequisite courses are necessary but please be aware that it is a prerequisite for this course that students be able to downhill ski or snowboard a green level run. Students without prior experience on downhill skis or snowboard should take a lesson(s) prior to the program. All students participating in the program will also take a lesson (included) with professional CSIA Ski Instructors on the first day of the program. 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 15 Learning Outcomes

The objective of this project are to build winter travel and navigation skills, an understanding of winter ecosystems and leadership in a context of critical thinking. We feel that this is particularly important as we strive to better educate youth for their own safety and as ambassadors of nature and our wild places. It also highlights a best practice method for inquiry research, problem solving, and analysis.

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
  • Develop familiarity with basic navigation and personal safety technology
  • Develop informed decision making skills and build leadership capacity
  • Access and apply online risk management resources

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

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
  • Proactive intervention
  • Self-reflection

Appreciation and Values

  • Stewardship
  • Role modeling
  • Active ambassadorship

Career Exposure and Mentoring

Through the Winter Travel 15 course, students will be exposed to and mentored by a variety of professionals in the outdoor field including: Parks Canada Staff - Education and Public Safety Specialists, CSIA certified ski instructors, Lake Louise Ski Patrol and Emergency Responders, Canadian Avalanche Association instructors, Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, and Professional Interpreters with the Interpretive Guide Association.

This course encourages and exposes students to a variety of career and occupational paths. Through connection with role models from avalanche and public safety specialists, to mountain guides and ski patrol, students will develop an understanding of a range of future career options.

Detailed Winter Travel 15 Course Outline

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

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

Online Course Work



1 hour

Trip Planning and Preparation

1 hour

Cultural and Ecological Considerations

1 hour

Ecological Impacts of Winter Recreation

1 hour

Ecological Integrity and Winter Recreation Debate Prep

1 hour

Historical Evolution for Winter Mountain Recreation

Day 1




Arrive Outdoor Learning Centre

  • Welcome
  • Expectations
  • Facility Layout / site tour
  • Gear to Rooms / Gear management: students move gear into rooms

9:00 am

Pre-trip planning - Snowshoeing

10:00 am

Navigation- Map (journal questions) & Compass (brief overview)


Pack for Snowshoe Trip 

11:45 am

Depart for Snowshoeing (with bag lunch from home)

12:00 pm


1:30 pm

Navigation - Orienteering practice 

2:00 pm

Emergency Situations / Games

2:45 pm

Pack up, Depart 

4:00 pm

Arrive OLC
Fire Lighting Competition

6:00 pm


7:00 pm

Group Game


Trip Planning XC Skiing

9:00 pm

Fire or Student Free Tim

10:00 pm

Students to rooms – lights out at 10:30pm

Day 2




Boot fitting
Pack day packs

8:00 am



Outdoor Experience Resume


Load bus

10:00 am

Depart for XC Ski

10:30 am

XC ski practice, relays, lesson

11.00 am

Journal - Navigation questions


XC Skiing
Bag Lunch
Physical Literacy questions


Cross Country ski - continued


Return to OLC




Debate prep

8:40 pm


9:30 pm

Campfire if time and weather permits

10:00 pm

Students to rooms – lights out at 10:30pm

Day 3






Arrive Lake Louise Ski Resort



Ski/snowboarding lesson



Lunch at Timing Shack



Ski Patrol Job Shadow and Emergency Scenarios



Skiing/snowboarding skill development



Store rental gear and pack up



Team Building/Ice Breakers


6:00 pm




Assessment Briefing


7:10 pm

Intro to Trip Planning – Ski hill


8:00 pm

Navigation Technology – GPS


8:30 pm

Campfire if time and weather permits


10:00 pm

Students to rooms – lights out at 10:30pm


Day 4



7:20 am

Depart for LLSR

7:50 am

Arrive at LLSR

8:00 am


8:30 am

Pick up rental gear

9:00 am

Skiing and Snowboarding Skill Development

10:00 am

Meet at Lake Louise Learning Center (Timing Shack)

10:15 am

Avalanche Awareness Part 1

12:00 pm

Lunch at Timing Shack


Avalanche Awareness Part II
Beacon Basin Activity


Free Ski


Return Rental Gear


Depart for home

Winter Travel 15 Assessment

Students will be given a variety of assignments throughout the Winter Travel 15 course. Student work will be collected by the course administrator to be used to evaluate their learning. Some course work will be submitted using the Winter Travel 15 Google Classroom (pre-course work), while other assignments (such as the Winter Travel Course Journal) will be completed on site.  Online course assessments are valued at 60% of the final grade.  Immersion participation, activities, and assignments are valued at 40% 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 accommodation, food, resources, and equipment is provided by the Canadian Rockies Outdoor Learning Centre and Lake Louise Ski Resort.

*Students are able to bring their own downhill skiing or snowboarding equipment provided that it is in good working order or can rent downhill skiing or snowboarding equipment from Lake Louise Ski Resort.

Risk assessment and Safety

Training and Certification

Winter Travel 15 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)), Lake Louise Ski Resort Ski Patrol and Emergency Responders, Parks Canada 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.

Terrain Guidelines

Lake Louise Ski Resort risk management policies and procedures will be reviewed and are to be followed by all Winter Travel 15 participants. Participants will be skiing / snowboarding on in-bounds controlled runs only. Snowshoeing and cross country skiing activities take place on designated trails listed by the Parks Canada - Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) as Class 1 - Simple Terrain.

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. The Canadian Rockies Public Schools manages all transportation from the Outdoor Learning Centre to all activity venues.