Timberline Canadian Alpine Academy


Timberline Academy is a full-service outdoor adventure college offering unique Gap Year experiences in Banff National Park. Timberline clients engage in skills training programs related to ski/snowboard instruction, mountain rescue, wilderness first aid, avalanche safety and are able to earn industry certifications all while working as paid interns in Banff. Timberline Academy is the only local provider of Gap Year programs in Banff National Park. As a result, Timberline is able to create a truly local experience for their clients that includes trips throughout the rockies, independant housing and industry internships. If you are looking for a unique Gap Year ski season experience choosing a local provider is where you will find the most value and knowledge.


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Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Gap Year Out There

I ended up on the Timberline website the summer before my gap year and registered without really knowing what to expect... the mountains alone had sold me on the experience, and to me that was enough. I never expected to end up with a program like Timberline, and count myself lucky for it every day. From the first day when I talked to James on the phone I felt like a part of a greater family already. I only went on to meet more people on the program where we all connected over our love for the Rockies and formed a bond that was deeper than any of us expected, I'm sure. Although my time with Timberline was cut short do to circumstances beyond their control, I can safely say that these were some of the best months I've ever spent. I can't recommend it enough, and will treasure every moment in Banff for years and decades to come.

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Yes, I recommend this program

All around good time!

I would absolutely recommend timberline to anybody; it was such a good experience.

When you are apart of timberline, you truly gain a family that you will be friends with for life. The timberline team is friendly and is always trying to make your time with them the best that It can be.

Your skiing and or snowboarding skills change so much throughout the season it is crazy! But I think that you also grow as a person immensely. I am still super close with the friends that I made on this program.

Banff is also such a beautiful place I would easily go back!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I were to go back and do it all over again, I would have probably appreciated every moment even more. I would have taken more risks and not wasted any time.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Timberline overall experience

Could not rate it high enough. Excellently run programme that I would recommend to literally anyone.
It is a well rounded programme that helps develop you as an athlete, a leader and a person. Everyone leaves timberlines programmes as a more well rounded individual.

There is an excellent support system and in the case of emergency there is always a maximum level of support. Lifts to hospital and help maintaining the house were very standard affairs.

The location is unbelievable. Banff is a heaven on earth and the house is 200 metres off the centre. Enough to have a quietness outside the house but still be seconds from everything you need

What would you improve about this program?
More evening classes so ski days aren’t spent in classrooms
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best program!! Timberline 2020

The programs that Timberline have are all once in a lifetime opportunities, whether it's a summer or winter program you are choosing they will meet and exceed your expectations making it almost impossible to have to leave at the end. Timberline is so unique because of the incredible friendly and personal nature surrounding the company, we had constant support and check-in's with all of the staff at Timberline, making it super easy to ask any questions and do everything we wanted. The other people on my course that I met and lived with were all the most amazing people who became some of my closest friends from almost every corner of the world. I met so many new people and tried so many new things, all thanks to the opportunity given to me by Timberline.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you're considering it even slightly, just do it. Everybody I met on my course came by themselves, we made the jump, but we all left having made the strongest bond and best memories together. Definitely an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Timberline 2020

I never experienced anything quite like it. It’s easily said it’s the best choice I’ve ever made. The people I’ve met and friendships I’ve made will last me forever. It’s such a great family atmosphere and even though your far from home I never felt like it. The course instructors never failed to communicate with everyone on the course. If there was ever an issue it was sorted within the day. I will return to Banff and work in seasons to come purely because of the amazing time I spent at Timberline l.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don’t hesitate to apply. I would do it all again tommrow. It’s communication before during and even after the trip is second to none I didn’t find anything close in the other companies I considered


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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Brett Knox

Job Title
General Manager
Brett was born and raised in Canada's nations capital, Ottawa, Ontario, spending most of his early days ski racing, mountain biking, and camping around eastern Canada. His move to the Rocky Mountains a few years ago was fueled by a childhood dream to live in a mountain town and seek out new adventures and untouched snow. He now is a member of the Timberline team in Banff, Alberta and is helping others around the world realize that same dream.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory has to be when I was around 11 years old and my parents decided to take my brothers and I on a cross Canada road trip starting in Ottawa and ending in Tofino, BC.

It was the first time I had spent a substantial amount of time away from my home town and was shocked to see how beautiful and different the rest of Canada is. We spent a few days riding our bikes around Fernie and I think it was then that I knew I wanted to live near mountains for the rest of my life.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have begun to realize that we have put something amazing out into the world that has the potential to have a profound impact on someones life for many years to come. This is what drives me to continuously work with Timberline to help enrich the quality of the programs and the overall experience.

Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?

I believe Kananaskis is probably one of the most underrated areas I have ever explored. There is so much untouched, natural beauty packed into such a small area and it rarely gets the credit that it deserves.

In terms of overrated destinations, I think anywhere you go has something to offer, you just have to be resourceful and dig a little deeper in some places more so then others.

What unique qualities does your company possess?

Timberline is locally owned and operated. The owners live in Banff year round and are the ones who pick you up from the airport, take you out for dinner to celebrate achievements throughout the season, and play pond hockey with you on your off days.

This kind of customer service cannot be replicated by other companies and creates a superior experience unparalleled to anything else.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

We recently took our students on a day trip to Kicking Horse Resort in British Columbia. They were immediately blown away by the stunning beauty of the area and one of our students proclaimed, "I am more excited right now then a kid on Christmas day!" It is little comments and reactions like this that reaffirms you are doing the right thing.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Forward thinking. Putting forth the best possible product and always finding new ways to make it better.

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