CSGI Level 1


  • WHISTLER level one course applications should be submitted no later than September 1. Notice of application status will be sent by September 15th. 
  • MEADOW CREEK & KEEFER LAKE LODGE Level 1 course applications should be submitted no later than January 1. Notice if applications status will be sent by January 15th. 


To have candidates attain a basic understanding of mountain awareness and guiding principles. To become proficient with the technical and practical skills needed to work as apprentice ski guides within a mechanized backcountry operation.


  • Canadian Avalanche Association Level 1 course
  • Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance Level 1 course or equivalent
  • Current 80 hour First Aid Certificate
  • Resume showing previous industry or related experience
  • Back country ski touring resume or trip log documenting experience

evaluation criteria

These are the criteria that participants will be evaluated on for successful completion of this program.

  • Basic proficiency demonstrated by finding 4 transceivers buried 60 cm deep in a 30m x 30m area within ten minutes. Transceivers can be turned off. Probe targets are to be used. The targets can measure up to 30cm x 30cm.
  • Demonstrate ability to build anchors, perform a lower, rappel a fixed line and ascend it.
  • Understand the fundamentals of a crevasse rescue system and be able to assist in an organized rescue. To be able to demonstrate a single rope system in the field within a timed period. The timed period will be at the discretion of the instructor/examiner depending on the site.
  • Understanding the fundamentals of a self rescue and be able to take charge, organize and participate in a search.
  • To be able to interpret basic terrain features in the field onto a map and from the map into the field.
  • To use a compass to shoot bearings for resection and route planning
  • To dig snow profiles and make observations within the time constraints of a mechanized skiing operation.
  • To adequately assess significant terrain features.
  • To identify hazards and hazard potential.
  • To route-find through terrain identifying safe and suitable routes.
  • To identify the safest routes in any given piece of terrain
  • To understand the fundamentals of guest management and be able to effectively communicate directions.
  • To understand the application of specialized guiding techniques.
  • Document daily observations and activities for reference and liability using a blank paged field book.
  • Demonstrate back-country awareness and the fundamentals of safe decision making.
  • Ability to work on a team, be open to new concepts, strategies, and demonstrate good leadership qualities.

Example of Level 1 schedule

The present outline is dependent on the weather and specific local details. Some changes will be necessary; the Instructors will announce daily scheduling.

Arrival, 5:00pm
Introductions and Overview
Course Outline, Manuals, Evaluation Criteria
Field Books (observations & info)
Transceiver Orientation and Practice
Helicopter Orientation

Morning Meeting
Navigation Basics
Terrain & Hazards
Review Day
Discussion – Snowpack Observation

Morning Meeting
Snowpack Observation
Information Gathering
Avalanche rescue – Demo
Review Day
Discussion – Decision Making 3×3

Morning Meeting
Rope Rescue;
Equipment and Knots
Crevasse Rescue
Avalanche rescue
Review Day
Discussion – Introduction tMechanized Skiing

Morning Meeting
Mechanized Ski Guiding;
Route Selection
Guest Instruction
Avalanche Rescue
Review Day
Discussion – Mechanized Ski Guiding

Morning Meeting
Mechanized Ski Guiding / Tail Guiding;
Route Selection
Group Management
Hazard Evaluation
Review Day
Practice Session – Skill Development
Mid-course Evaluation

Morning Meeting
Ski Tour
Terrain Assessment
Hazard Evaluation
Avalanche Rescue
Review Day
Discussion – Avalanche Case Study

Morning Meeting
Mechanized Ski Guiding
Tail Guiding
Group Management
Client Care
Avalanche Rescue
Discussion – Mountain Sense

Morning Meeting
Rescue Practice
Lost Skiers
Injured Skier Evacuation
Bivi Sac
Improvised Sled
Review Challenging Concepts


Morning Meeting
Transceiver Scenario
Rope Rescue Scenario
Avalanche Rescue
Review Day
Discussion – Rescue Gear

Course Evaluation Questionnaires
Candidate Evaluations

Example Level 1 Equipment List

Please note that this is an example only. There are changes to the list according to the course location. You will receive an equipment list for your course location once the course fee has been paid. 

  • Touring Gear IE: Ski’s/Split Board, Boots, Skins
  • Transceiver
  • Adequate clothing for backcountry skiing
  • Casual clothing for classroom lectures
  • Guide’s pack 35-55 liters
  • Shovel
  • Avalanche Probe
  • Snow study kit
  • Snow saw
  • First Aid kit
  • Repair kit
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Water bottle
  • Compass, Silva Ranger or one with mirror, North American or Universal
  • Altimeter
  • Swiss Army knife or ‘Leatherman’ type tool
  • Goggles, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Harness
  • 7 Carabiners (4 locking and 3 non-locking)
  • 2 Guide’s slings (6 or 7mm perlon cord, 5m in length)
  • 2 Personal prusik (7mm perlon cord, 1.75m in length)
  • 2 Anchor Slings (19-26mm webbing, 7m in length)
  • Climbing Rope (10-11mm, 40-60m length)
  • Climbing/Skiing helmet
  • Waterproof field note book (write in the rain/snow)
  • Topographic Maps 1:50,000 scale
  • Improvised Toboggan/Rescue Shelter,
  • Micro/Mini-traxion or similar mechanical braking device,
  • Tiblocs,
  • Programmable VHF radio.

For Maps contact:

ITMB Publishing Ltd. 
12300 Bridgeport Road, Richmond, BC, V6V 1J5
Telephone: (604) 273-1400
Fax: (604) 273-1488
E-mail: itmb@itmb.com
Web Site: http://www.itmb.com/