Timberline Canadian Alpine Academy

Why choose 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, independent 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.

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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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
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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.
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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
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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)
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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


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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.

Professional Associations

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