Intro to Winter Travel

As low as:

$395.00 / person

(at 4:1 ratio)


Sleeping mat rental $20.00

Backpack rental $20.00

Avi Kit rental $30.00

Avalanche kit rental includes transceiver, shovel and probe. If you are bringing your own avi kit, this must include a modern, digital, 3-antenna transceiver, and a solid shovel and probe. If you do not have all three of these things then you must rent a kit from us to take part. Avi Kits once rented are non-refundable.

Tent rental $20.00

Island Turns and Tours Guidebook $69.00

Save on postage and have this indispensable trip planning guide delivered to you at your course. With well over 500 Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale rated Island tours, this guidebook allows you to apply the learning from your IAG/HVI course to doing real trips in the mountains.


Travelling in winter terrain presents its own unique joys and challenges. This introductory course covers the basics of travel and camp craft in mountainous, winter environments. Over two days and one overnight in the field, gain the necessary skills to make your winter travel both safe and enjoyable this winter.

Our standard courses begin at Mount Washington and utilize quickly accessible terrain around Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park. 

We offer separate courses for snowshoers and backcountry skiers/boarders. The mode of travel will be noted in the booking tab with the corresponding date.


  • Snow travel
  • Route finding
  • Use of map and compass
  • Uphill track setting
  • Downhill route choice and techniques 
  • Avalanche awareness
  • Improvised snow shelters
  • Winter camp craft 


  • 2 days of instruction with an ACMG-certified guide
  • Group gear

Not Included

  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Personal gear
  • Personal equipment 
  • Avi Kit (available as an add-on)

Questions? Check out our FAQ page for details about our booking and cancellation policy, and other commonly asked questions.


Our standard courses begin at Mount Washington and utilizes quickly accessible terrain around Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park.

If another location is chosen, it will be noted on the booking tab with the corresponding date. 


Exact delivery of curriculum is dependant on the group, the instructors, the weather and the conditions at the time, but below is a typical breakdown of what to expect: 

Day 1
8:30 – We will begin with a group meeting in the parking lot to ensure everyone is properly prepared, sign waivers, and distribute group gear. 

Teaching sessions will take place in appropriate locations as you go, with much of the basic travel information covered early on. Camp craft taking place on arrival at our camping location. 

Day 2
8:30 – We’ll continue with the curriculum, eventually making our way back, taking opportunities for teachable moments along the way.

16:00 – Finish at the parking lot where you started, where we will debrief, and return any group gear or rentals.

Questions? Check out our FAQ page, or send us an email. We will send out a pre-trip email one-week prior to the trip with exact meeting details.


This course is suitable for those who are new to winter travel. That said, having some previous hiking and outdoor experience in summer is an asset. 

Please be prepared to:

  • Spend two days and one night outside in variable conditions — our courses operate in all weather (see gear list)
  • Carry approximately 40 pounds, travelling approximately 5km over sections of rough terrain 
  • Drive on a mountainous, winter road (Mount Washington road can be subject to serious winter driving conditions. Vehicles should have snow tires and carry chains.)

Questions? Check out our FAQ page, or send us an email. We are always happy to help you find a suitable course or customize something to suit your needs.

Gear List

The equipment list provided aims to prepare you to be comfortable in the field regardless of the weather. Please ensure that all your gear is functioning and in proper repair. 


  • Ski/board touring skis, boots, skins, poles OR snowshoes with suitable winter hiking boots and poles (please ensure you are registered for the course appropriate for your mode of travel)
  • 60+ litre backpack (or something large enough to fit personal gear, group gear, and food)
  • Avalanche beacon, probe, shovel (available for rent and "avi kit")


  • Warm socks, 2 pairs
  • Base layers (top and bottom)
  • Mid-insulation layers 
  • Light wind shell jacket (windproof, water-resistant layer for high aerobic work)
  • Waterproof jacket and pants (Gore-Tex or other waterproof breathable material)
  • Warm outer jacket (down or synthetic)
  • Warm toque
  • Face warmer (scarf, neck tube, face mask, buff)
  • Light gloves, 2 pairs
  • Insulated gloves or mitts, 2 pairs 
  • Gaiters (if snowshoeing and pants do not secure over boots)

Camping gear

  • 4-season tent and ground sheet
  • Multi-purpose cord
  • Light tarp for sheltered cooking 
  • Winter sleeping bag (warm to -15 at minimum)
  • Sleeping pad (something that gets you off the ground and is rated for winter)
  • Fire starter
  • Lighters/matches
  • Pot, stove and fuel (available as a “cook kit” add-on)
  • Wash kit (scrub brush, soap, hand sanitizer)
  • Bowl, cutlery, thermos/water bottle
  • Food: 1 breakfast, 2 lunches (ready to eat), 1 dinner, and snacks. For tasty, nutritous and locally pre-made meals check out
  • Personal toiletries
  • Camp booties or shoes
  • Change of warm socks and clothes


  • Sun protection (sunscreen, glasses, and hat)
  • Goggles
  • Small general repair kit (e.g. for bindings, thermarest, stove, tent)
  • Small personal first aid (medication, blister kit, etc.)
  • Camera or phone
  • Headlamp
  • Water purification (and/or enough fuel to boil snow)
  • Map and compass (available as a rental add-on)

Your guide will bring communication and emergency devices and gear, a group first aid and repair kit, and navigation items.


Avalanche Kit: We offer rental transceivers, shovels and probes as an add-on kit when you book or by request pre-trip. If you do not have your own modern, digital, three antenna transceiver, collapsible shovel, and/or probe - please request a rental kit prior to your course/trip.

Touring Gear: 'Ski Tak Hut' in Courtenay ( offers backcountry gear rentals (skins, boots, and skis / split boards). Clients on IAG courses and trips are eligible to receive a unique 25% discount code towards their gear rentals from Ski Tak Hut - for the duration of their course/trip with us. Discount codes are distributed directly by IAG to our clients upon request. Rentals from Ski Tak Hut can be ordered online using the unique discount code. Note you will be asked to show the booking confirmation you received from us when you pick up your gear.

Winter 4x4 Vehicle(s): 'Far Out Wilderness' ( is a 4x4 vehicle rental service in Victoria that offers clients access to a fleet of rugged, reliable, and fully-equipped vehicles designed to conquer the most challenging winter terrain. Their vehicles come with snow tires with the 3 peak mountain symbol, chains, and ski racks. They also provide emergency equipment, including SOS, SPOT messenger systems, GPS, tire pump, toe rope, tire pressure gauge, a map to BC's backcountry roads, and a first aid kit. Everything you need to get safely to the ski slopes! Upon request, IAG clients can receive a 5% discount code towards their rentals from 'Far Out Wilderness'.

Questions? Check out our FAQ page for details or send us an email.


Absolutely loved the trip. First-class instructor. Marvin Kamenz, Comox, BC
The course was excellent. Full of the kind of information I was looking for. Lots of fun. Ken did a great job. I'm a happy customer! Paul Cooper, Victoria, BC
Sincere thanks to Ken, our instructor, and to Zoë for all the support and correspondence! What an awesome 2-day trip in the mountains. Stunning scenery and learnt heaps! Would definitely recommend IAG to anyone interested in experiencing the adventure of outdoors! Christopher Little, Auckland, New Zealand
The course was great. Graeme as a guide was wonderful. He was relaxed, friendly, comical and informative. I came away from the course with the confidence to go out winter camping on my own and look forward to next time. It was a great intro course. Exactly what I was hoping for when signing up for this course. Friendly group! Melinda Goetjen,