Association Profile​

In 1988, in response to a shortage of qualified guides with the skills necessary for the mechanized ski industry, the BC Heli Skiing and Snowcat Operators Association issued a mandate to start a guide training organization.

The first courses were run in 1990 and the Canadian Ski Guide Association (CSGA) was incorporated on Feb. 8, 1996.

The CSGA now consists of a training institute which exists to train professional guides for the mechanized skiing industry (CSGI) and a separate non-profit organisation representing guide and operating members (CSGA).

Mission Statement


Available CSGI Courses

Level 1

Designed as an introduction to the mechanized backcountry ski industry, this course focuses on skills necessary to travel safely through the mountain environment. This includes terrain assessment, navigation, hazard analysis and mountain sense, incorporating judgment and decision making.

Level 2

The Level 2 course is designed for individuals who have obtained work as an apprentice or trainee guide and have further developed their skills and experiences in back country terrain. The focus of the program is to prepare the candidates to lead groups under the direction of a Lead Guide.

Level 3

The Level 3 program is designed for people who have come up through the CSGA program and have been guiding in the mechanized ski industry for at least 2 years under the direction of a Lead Guide. The focus of this program is is to prepare candidates to lead groups without supervision.

Instructor Training

All prospective CSGA instructors are required to attend annual instructor training. These workshops will offer hands on exposure to the latest in mountain rescue techniques, provide new teaching methods and discuss risk management and loss prevention ideas​

recurrent training

The 1 day CSGI recurrent training program provides members with the opportunity to maintain and upgrade their skills with the latest guiding and rescue techniques.

Summer Glacier Skills Course

This is a skills development course for students engaged in the CSGI program. The course will include glacier travel, use of crampons and ice axe while travelling on snow and ice, rope techniques, protection, rescue techniques, navigation, route selction, trip preparation and mountaineering ethics.

Ski Touring Module

The CSGI Ski Touring Guide modules is a program design to allow CSGA Guides to work as ski touring guides at the industry standard.

within the industry


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The board of directors

President, CSGA

Erin Tierney

CSGA Member since 1999
CSGI Course Instructor & Examiner
Lead Guide and General Manager, Whistler Heli-Skiing
Director, CSGA

Mike Hainault

CSGA Member since 2000
CSGI Course Coordinator
CSGI Course Instructor & Examiner
Senior Lead Guide at MWHS
Director, CSGA

Mathew Devlin

aka “Pinto”
CSGA Member since 1999
CSGI Course Instructor & Examiner
Owner/Lead Guide Kingfisher Heli
Director, CSGA

Kevin Marr

CSGA Member since
CSGI Course Instructor & Examiner
Selkirk Snowcat Skiing
Vice President, CSGA

Dan Swearingin

CSGA Member since 2014, CSGI Instructor/Examiner, Lead Guide Eagle Pass Heli, Supervising Lead Guide Retallack Cat

Past President & Treasurer, CSGA

Bob Sayer

CSGA Founding Member
CSGI Course Instructor and Examiner
Senior Lead Guide at MWHS
Director, CSGA

Harrison Brickman

CSGA Member Since 2017 Lead Guide Stellar Heliskiing CSGI Instructor Mountain Rescue Professional
CSGA/CSGI Administrator

Monica Powell