AST1 Field Sessions for Snowmobilers


AST1 Field Sessions
8:30am – 5:30pm  $200/p



Apply the theory from the AST1 Classroom session through a hands-on practical AST1 Field sessions in a mountain location.  Terrain identification, group management, snowpack tests, transceiver training and group rescue scenarios.  Completion of an AST1 Field session in the same season or the season immediately following the completion of the classroom session is required to receive an AST1 certification.

CLICK HERE for General Details related to AST1 classroom session (pre-requisite).

Discounts and Early Registration Credits from $20 to $140 are available when AST1 Class, Field and Rescue Workshops are packaged together, CLICK HERE to review.

Click on the Towns below to View Details about the Meeting Time and Place.

Scroll through the list below and please click on each community to view available Field Session options and details related to each event.

If your schedule allows, we recommend that you choose a Monday or a Friday for your field sessions as Saturdays and Sundays are typically our larger groups.

Field classes must have at least 6 students fully registered one week prior to run. Classes vary from 1 to 3 instructors depending on student enrollment. All field classes will never exceed a maximum of 8 students per instructor.

If you have a riding group with a particular date/location in mind for your field session, please contact Lori – 403-850-3042. We will be adding more field dates based on student interest.

Choose One Avalanche Field Date

To support comprehension and retention of course content Avalanche Canada recommends that the AST Class and Field training sessions be conducted over consecutive days.  In some cases schedules, logistics, and geography create situations where the student chooses to complete the Class and Field sessions on separate dates in separate locations.  AST1 courses can be purchased and completed separately however, to earn an AST1 certificate the Field session must be completed in the same season or the season immediately following the Classroom session.  Participants may take the Field session any day that fits their schedule, it is simply that they will not receive a certificate if too much time has elapsed.

Keep checking back as more dates will be added based on demand and instructor availability.

Difficult to dig snowmobile out of avalanche

Avalanche snow often sets up like concrete.

Fernie, BC

Click for Fernie Details

  • To Be Determined

Drive Time: 5hr 45min Fernie – Edmonton GOOGLE MAP

Drive Time: 3hr 4min Fernie – Calgary GOOGLE MAP

Drive Time: 7hr 53min Fernie – Lloydminster GOOGLE MAP

Drive Time: 4hr Fernie – Medicine Hat GOOGLE MAP

Avalanche along snowmobile trail

Pay attention to signs of instability and recent avalanches while traveling.

Golden, BC

Click for Golden Details

2021 – 2022 Season Dates

  • Dec 11, 2021
  • Dec 12
  • Dec 18
  • Dec 19
  • Dec 26
  • Jan 2, 2022
  • Jan 8
  • Jan 15
  • Jan 22
  • Jan 29
  • Feb 12
  • Feb 19
  • Feb 26
  • Mar 5
  • Mar 12
  • Contact us for custom dates

Drive Time:  5hr 24min Golden – Edmonton GOOGLE MAP

Drive Time: 2hr 52min Golden – Calgary GOOGLE MAP

Drive Time: 7hr 39min Golden – Lloydminster GOOGLE MAP

Drive Time: 5hr 39min Golden – Medicine Hat GOOGLE MAP

Testing for avalanche hazard

Storm snow avalanches are more likely when the upper layers of the snow pops apart like this.

Revelstoke, BC

Custom Revelstoke field sessions will have an additional $20 charge per person to cover instructor travel expenses

Click for Revelstoke Details

    2021 – 2022 Season Dates

    • Dec 4, 2021
    • Dec 18
    • Dec 31
    • Jan 15, 2022
    • Contact us for custom dates

    Drive Time:  7hr 0min Revelstoke – Edmonton GOOGLE MAP

    Drive Time: 4hr 30min Revelstoke – Calgary GOOGLE MAP

    Drive Time: 9hr 20min Revelstoke – Lloydminster GOOGLE MAP

    Drive Time: 7hr 22min Revelstoke – Medicine Hat GOOGLE MAP

    Tumbler, BC

    Click for Tumbler Ridge Details

    • Contact us for custom dates

    Drive Time:  6hr 48min Tumbler Ridge – Edmonton GOOGLE MAP

    Recent slab avalanche is a warning sign to be heeded.

    Avoid travelling on or under slopes that are similar to those that have recently avalanched.

    Valemount, BC

    Click for Valemount Details

    2021 – 2022 Season Dates

    • Dec 11, 2021
    • Dec 18
    • Dec 19
    • Dec 28
    • Jan 8, 2022
    • Jan 22
    • Jan 23
    • Feb 5
    • Feb 19
    • Mar 5
    • Mar 12
    • Contact us for custom dates

    Drive Time:  5hr 13min Valemount – Edmonton GOOGLE MAP

    Drive Time:  6hr 12min Valemount – Calgary GOOGLE MAP

    Drive Time: 7hr 25min Valemount – Lloydminster GOOGLE MAP

    Drive Time: 8hr 59min Valemount – Medicine Hat GOOGLE MAP

    LZ updated the available spaces as of Feb 19/21

    Instructors are available for custom classes in the following locations:

      • Invermere/Radium
      • Kakwa
      • Pine Pass
      • Tumbler Ridge

    Testimonials From Our Students

  • The AST1 is a key practical session that you need to take. It covers proper beacon search technique and use, how to locate multiple burials and properly dig them out. Having an actual scenario reinforces the skills you have learned and increases your confidence, allowing you to be a leader in an emergency situation. If you could only take this part of the course, do it. — Lindsay B. Edmonton, AB 
  • The AST1 Field session was the most beneficial part of the course. It is unfortunate that some people don’t follow up the classroom session with the second day. Riders that miss out on the field course MISS out on the value of the course all together. Step up to the plate guys and get ‘er done! — Lou M. Grovedale, AB
  • I learned more in a day at your class than so far sledding in the mountains. To motivate others to attend... explain that this class has real relevance to what we do and how it pertains to riding in the mountains. — AST1, Edmonton
  • Hey Lori, I just wanted to tell you that your field session in Valemount was awesome. We could of had some more snow, but both Mac and Dallas were great instructors and very knowledgeable. Looking forward to doing the 1.5 or possibly the AST2 course next year. Thanks again! — Jason F   
  • I would definitely recommend everyone takes this course. I plan on mountain sledding for the rest of my life, so its not a big deal to give up a couple riding days, for a course that could keep me riding for the rest of my life! It was very beneficial to practice with the beacons and do lots of scenarios, to sharpen your beacon skills. I was amazed at how many people in our field training class had no idea how to work their beacons. Practicing shoveling and proper techniques was also very beneficial, teaching how to efficiently shovel with a group and not to trample your victim. Taking the course is necessary for your whole riding group! I can go take the course, and all my riding buddies can be thankful that I have an idea of how to assess terrian, snow pack, and i have good skills on how to efficiently dig one of them out in a slide. But how fair is it to me when i pay the cash go spend a day learning the skills, when no one else does. Its like I have learned the skills which could save your life, I would appreciate the same courtesy and respect, that you should have the same skill to save me. Taking this course will do me no good if I am buried in an avalanche and all my riding buddies don’t know what to do! Taking the mountain practical session didn’t ‘waste’ a riding day… it actually gave me 2 extra days of riding that i would not have had. The wife wanted me to take the course, so when it was offered i got to take an extra trip this season that was not planned, once out there, after the course was complete we stayed for an extra 2 days and rode! Guys use this course to your advantage and get an extra trip out of the season, tell your ol lady you have to go for the safety and skills you will learn, then stay a couple extra days! — Jared B. Black Diamond, AB
  • Absolutely worth the time! Actually going over the terrain, working with beacons, probes and shovels. Understanding how to work as a group. All these things give you more confidence knowing you can use your gear in an emergency. The best part was that my son who is a very good rider has a better appreciation for avalanche dangers and when to change his riding plans based on the danger ratings. — Darlene G. High River, AB
  • Awesome experience! It certainly could be the difference between life and death. I wouldn’t want to be in the position of not knowing how to rescue my buddies in avalanche situation. This gave me the knowledge to get them out ASAP! But most importantly, avoiding the risk in the first place! Thanks gals and guys for your commitment in making sledding safer! — Darren S. Grande Prairie, AB
  • I ride snowmobiles in the back country with my soul mate. I am a strong female and I can deal well in crises situations, so I thought we were in good shape. After this weekend’s course with Zac’s Tracs, I realized just how wrong I have been. Within the 2 evening classroom sessions and the one field sessions I realized how much danger the one I love was truly in because I was so uninformed. I cant believe how much risk we were putting ourselves in by not doing avalanche training. After the weekend with Lori, Randy and Mac, it is amazing how different I look at things. I always knew there were risks, I just never knew how we close we were to them. Looking back, knowing what I do now, I cant say that I could have found and saved the most important person in my life if I needed to. If I was put to the test, I would have failed because what I thought I knew, I didnt. Because of this course, I am now able to make smart decisions before a ride and during, rather than guessing and thinking that I am reading the weather, snow and bulletins right. I am now more confident in my equipment as I know and understand it and used it in the course. The team at Zac’s Tracs opened my eyes. I learned so much! I am 100% sure that before this course I would not have responded well to a emergency, but reacted, and it could have very well cost me my soul mate! It is scary just how unprepared we really were and that we really had no idea. Thank you Lori, Randy and Mac for your knowledge, experience time, attention and fantastic classes. You and your entire Zac’s Tracs Team are truly saving lives and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Side note… friends of ours took a course in the area that we live. The course they took was less than 1/4 of the price of the course we took and we were looked at as if we were stupid for paying so much… till we started talking. They have no idea about most of the things we learned in our course. Lets just say that people I ride with, the people that could be the difference in my survival, I want them to be Zac’s Tracks Trained! Thank you everyone at Zac’s Tracs you are the best!!! — Dawn R  
  • Well worth it! I recommend it to everyone I talk to about riding in the mountains. I don’t think there is anything you can do to improve the field training, it was awesome! I feel a lot more confident now about riding in the mountains, thanks Lori and crew. — Doug R. Yorkton, SK
  • Learning is never a waste. Hands on using your rescue equipment. The rescue scene in the AST1 Field Session helps you understand what you're up against. — Dwight W. Stony Plain, AB
  • This was an awesome course. Almost to much to absorb in two days. Knowing what to look for has changed our whole group’s riding perspective. Very highly recommended, even to those who just ride cutblocks and rolling hills. You never know when and where these skills will come into play. These skills are proven to save lives. Thank you Zacstracs. — Keith T. Prince George, BC
  • Hi, I just completed the field session in Valemount and really enjoyed the course. It was great to get a lot of hands on experience with determining the snow conditions and using our equipment. I found that it was really an eye opener when it came to using my beacon, probe and shovel. It was nice to use/practice with my beacon for single and multiple burial situations. And it was great to learn about proper probing techniques. I realized that I need to purchase a new probe because mine is pretty light and flimsy and makes it more difficult to control while probing. It was also nice to learn the proper shovelling technique where I learned that as a group you can move a lot of snow in a short period of time. Mac did an excellent job instructing the field session and I really appreciated his honesty about what equipment isn’t as good as other equipment. Thanks for putting on an excellent course for the AST 1 classroom and field session. I am really looking forward to getting even more avalanche trading through Zac’s Tracs.
    -Michel Dumont, Valemount
  • Lori, I think you and Randy have done a great job of getting the information across in a manner that people can understand. Everybody should have this training. The best part is your mock avalanche, I couldn’t believe how much that opened my eyes to what we should prepare for and how in our riding group it has changed how we do things. One thing we gained was that after we left our avy packs on our sleds and you pointed it out, was that we now won’t take our packs off but rather have a buddy get our stuff out (if a buddy is present to help). We have now taken time to get to know each others packs. — Dean W. Kitscoty, AB 
  • Avy class…wasted money and missed out riding day?! NOT AT ALL. No money spent foolishly, only knowledge gained. Best part was seeing my buddies agree it was the best sledding money ever spent. — Keith T. Prince George, BC
  • The AST1 Course was awesome, well worth taking a weekend away from riding. Search, familiarity exercises with the beacons was very good. Awareness of terrain and surroundings good eye opener. I already plan to attend another avalanche class next year! — Terry S. Grande Prairie, AB 
  • I took AST 1 three years ago which was a huge eye opener for me, this January I took the course again to refresh my memory and sure glad I did, the beacon training was great to go over again and also refreshing the memory on snowpack and being aware of conditions will help me be safer in the backcountry, I strongly recommend taking this course if your new to mountain riding and also for those who have taken the course in the past to take it again, there is so much to learn from this course! Thanks ZACS TRACS! — Trevor Sonnenberg
  • I took the AST1 course for the second year, this time with my sons. Top notch instruction and would recommend everyone taking it again, keeps it fresh in the mind. Thanx Lori and Randy. — Darryl Bellwod