• Canada
    • Banff
52+ weeks
General grants/scholarships, Work study, Work exchange, BIPOC funding

Program Details

Backpacking Camping Canoeing Cross-Country Skiing Hiking Ice Climbing Mountain Climbing Rafting Remote Exploring Rock Climbing Skiing Snowboarding
Fall Spring Winter
Primary Language
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details
- Local guidance and support
- Certifications
- Employment opportunity
- Training
- Accomodation
- Trips
- Local Timberline Advantage
- Social Events
- Airport Pickup
- Insurance
- Timberline Swag bag
- Equipment consultation
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Some Equipment Park Fees Tour Guide Transportation
Jun 04, 2023
May 14, 2024
23 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Timberline Canadian Alpine Academy is an outdoor adventure school based in Banff National Park, Alberta. We strive to deliver educational programming that will prepare our students to be both leaders and educators in the adventure tourism industry. We offer programs that range in length from 4 weeks to our 2 year Outdoor Adventure Guide Diploma. We also offer a variety of gap year ski & snowboard instructor courses and internships.

Additionally, we put a strong emphasis on independent and healthy living. As a result, our students are housed in fully furnished apartments and houses in the Banff town centre. We believe that our students should be able to cook, enjoy privacy and have a home while they’re with us here in Banff. No hostels and no hotels.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

We strongly believe in building a more inclusive outdoor community. Timberline Academy recognizes the range of unique experiences held by those who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour, in addition to backgrounds that vary by race, ethnicity, religion, and language. Timberline Academy is committed to culturally sensitive forms of support and counselling through tailored mentorship, resources, and cultural awareness initiatives that acknowledge the different experiences of BIPOC participants' wellbeing.

LGBTQIA+ Support

Timberline Academy promotes equal opportunity, respect and success for all participants regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. We understand the significance of providing an environment where everyone can thrive authentically and we strive to create a sense of belonging and empowerment within our programs. Community support systems and counselling services are in place at Timberline Academy to ensure participants feel safe and celebrated in their expression of personal identity.

Neurodivergent Support

We recognize that diverse learning styles and perspectives contribute to a rich and vibrant community. Through personalized support, open communication, and a commitment to accessibility, we aim to ensure that neurodivergent participants can thrive in our programs.



With stunning Banff National Park as our backdrop, our programs are rooted in sustainability. We integrate eco-friendly practices wherever we can and advocate for responsible mountain recreation. Through collaborative efforts, our programs promote environmental stewardship and community engagement ensuring the preservation of Banff's natural and cultural beauty for future generations.

Ethical Impact

We believe that our program participants aren't just participants - they're active community members aware of the role they play in Banff National Park. Timberline Academy prides itself in a program that emphasizes teamwork, community, and environmental stewardship with the ultimate goal of inspiring lifelong connections among participants. This ensures that our presence contributes positively to both individuals and the broader Banff community.

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Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 36 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.75
  • Support 4.95
  • Fun 5
  • Value 4.95
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 1 - 8 of 36 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent Experience

I had a great time in Banff with Timberline. I hadn't done a ton of skiing before in my life, but I've always loved exploring and the outdoor industry as a whole. I also had never been to Western Canada. When I arrived in Banff, James, the director of Timberline, greeted me personally and sent me to the hotel in Calgary where I met the rest of the staff. Timberline did a great job providing support and guidance, especially in the beginning stages of the program, while still allowing each student complete autonomy. By the end of my first 2 weeks in Banff, I left comfortable and very excited for what was to come. All in all, I can't imagine not having done this program. It was just as fun to ski all season as I had hoped, but the people in the program really made this experience great for me. The town of Banff is a lot of fun, the locals are welcoming and kind, and I will never forget it!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I fell off the chairlift on my first day at ski training... After that, I made sure to be very careful on the slopes!
  • Community
  • Excellent staff
  • Fun
  • Some housing issues
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


I had an incredible experience, the course was perfectly well co-ordinated. I learn a lot about myself on this experience whilst also put into an environment in which I could learn studies whilst gaining a work ethic and for that I think the experience was remarkable. I managed to make lifelong friends worldwide which I hope to keep in contact with. I tried new experiences which were life changing whilst still being in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I gained so many qualifications which I will be able to take worldwide whilst also improving my resume.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Living by myself for the first time, but that fear was quickly overcome with my amazing housemates.
  • Helps gain independence!
  • Allows to try new things and new experiences.
  • Helps gain friends with similar interests
  • The photography course was too in depth and wasn’t exiting enough for a beginner photographer.
  • The indigenous studies wasn’t very exiting.
2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

New home.

When I joined Timberline I didn't know that I'm going to love it that much. Every coordinator of the team treated me awesome and they made me feel like home even I'm 8000km away from my real one!
I made friends from all around the world and I'm really grateful you run this program.
I m travelling 3 years now and I was struggling to find what I really wanted to do, with Timberline I found a deeper connection with nature that I haven't found anywhere else from the places I have travelled. How can a bird go back to it's cage when it has tasted freedom for the first time? It's very difficult to leave this place and I would love it to make it my new home
From the bottom of my heart,
Thank you

  • Introduction to the community of Banff
  • Learn how to ski
  • Learn more about the history of the place we live in
  • A lot of people that there are at their early 20's can't still understand the beauty of this place
  • I didn't ski with everyone
  • Don't have anything else you guys were awesome
6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Coming to Canada, Timberline is the way to do

Timberline makes sure you feel like a local in Banff within a couple of weeks. From the supportive staff, to fun ski training, and accommodation that is not only close to the bus stop but also to town there is no other way to make your season in Banff the best it could possibility be. I would recommend to anyone that’s want to be a ski insuctor and get a head start in the canadian outdoor industry. Also you get a job at either Norquay and Lake Louise so you are working right away and teaching lessons.

What was your funniest moment?
Trip to Pano!
  • Accommodation in Banff (which is extremely hard to find on your own and won’t be as nice)
  • Community (about 45 new friends to make)
  • Ski training (get your level 1 and 2)
2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

130+ days on the snow!

What an amazing season with the Timberline crew! My fellow students were great to work and learn with, and we had so many memorable times on the snow. The highlight was definitely heli-skiing, but I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Kicking Horse, and all the great backcountry we got to do with the 2nd years and in AST 2 with Cloud Nine. Housing is great, but I know finding additional work for some of the other students was difficult. The staff and instructors are all amazingly helpful and knowledgeable, there isn't much they can't do. Definitely a great program if you want to get into the outdoor adventure industry or guiding. Really loving the whitewater program, and cant wait for another awesome season!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I think my most nerve wracking moment was probably skiing steep trees in deep pow for the first time while heli-skiing, definitely not something I will ever forget! I got through it with the encouragement of the other students and a staff member! What a day!
  • Individual training with industry professionals and guides
  • Industry certifications
  • Living in the bow valley
  • Risk of injury
  • High cost of living
2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Three month program

I had a blast with Timberline Academy over the course of three months. The trip will be something I will remember for the rest of my life. The snow was like nothing else in Australia and the team was very welcoming. Definitely the best snow season in my books so far! My skiing improved tremendously over the three months and I learn a lot more about a different culture and country along with all its wildlife and nature. I would recommend it highly for people who are outdoorsy and big into skiing.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
How close we were to the wild life
  • Creating friendships
  • Improving skiing
8 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best time of your life

From the very beginning getting in contact with the timberlime team about taking part in the program they were abolsutely amazing , the team they have put together is incredible some of the nicest people you will meet , the trainers for the level 1 were very good and guided us into our level 1 csia feeling very confident . The people you will meet on this course will most likely end up friends for life and the memories will be nothing less than incredible , for anyone thinking of this course I couldn’t recommend it enough

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Would stay longer !
  • Meeting people from all over the world
  • Supportive team
  • Will improve your skiing
  • Leaving
13 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Timberline was the best decision I made

Looking through options for gap year programs in Banff was difficult due to amount of programs there were, eventually I settled on the Timberline 12 week program and I can safely say its has been the best decision of my life and worth every penny. I have gain life long friends from all around the world, friends who I hope to visit in future. I have grown as a person as a result of the program, being able to independently live with some of the best roommates I could of asked for in accommodation that so much better than other programs. Timberline facilitates a locally operated program with staff that know you by name as soon as you meet them, the support team they have is fabulous and I can't thank them enough, they go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and enjoy your stay in Banff. The social aspects of the program are awesome, you meet like minded individuals who all have a passion for skiing and snowboarding, go out most nights or just spending time at others apartment for a movie night or steak dinner was so much fun. You ski almost everyday both with Timberline students on your off days for fun and with the trainings. I progressed so much as a skier learning to ski through trees and mogul terrain (we don't have that in New Zealand) from highly qualified instructors that's are friendly and passionate about what they do. For Skiers I would suggest to get the SkiBig3 pass as it allows you access to Sunshine and Norquay, with Sunshine being a big resort with great terrain and a park that is closer to Banff, and Norquay for park night skiing with your friends. In addition to the skiing trainings you also have trips to other resorts and activities such as a ice climbing, curling, bowling which are so much fun and a good laugh. Overall the experience I've had has been 11/10 and been the best spend of money, I'm sad to have left, but will hopefully be able to return and meet up with some of the great friends I made there. There are a lot of options available for winter program in Banff but Timberline is easily clear of any of the others with better accommodation, better staff who are all locals of the area, a better diversity of people from all over the world, and just in general a good program that is locally operated in Banff Canada. Chose Timberline you will NOT be disappointed.

Now with the level 1 and 2 CSIA qualification that I got during the Timberline program I've been able to get a job as a ski instructor in Australia this season which I'm looking forward too.

What was your funniest moment?
Going out one time to the Banff Ave brewery with several friends from Timberline, and rocking up a hefty tab only have I paid off by one of the friends there who had a little to much to drink. Thanks Charlie will get you back in the next one.
  • Everything
  • Timberline Staff are excellent, friendly, engaging, and very helpful
  • Accommodation is easily better than any other program
  • None
  • Literally none
14 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers