Ski shop owners point to rising equipment sales as a sign of growth in backcountry skiing and snowboarding, but an expert says more people are also getting proper avalanche training.

  • Watch CBC News' Dave Gilson report on the rise in the popular, but sometimes risky, outdoor pursuit of backcountry skiing. Click on the image above.

"There will be some people who behave recklessly – there always is in every sport. But my observation is that there is also an increase in the number of people taking avalanche courses," said Albi Sole, an avalanche safety coordinator at the University of Calgary’s Outdoor Centre.

The Canadian Avalanche Centre reports that backcountry use near Revelstoke, B.C., has increased 125 per cent since 2009, including guided and unguided trips.