Zacs Tracs Avalanche Rescue Workshop

“… at first I thought that the Rescue Workshop would be a good refresher
but turns out that it’s just another chapter to an ongoing learning experience.”
– Ron Charawich

The Avalanche Rescue Workshop is a hands-on session with avalanche search equipment and includes group exercises to recover deeply buried snowmobilers.

You have got the gear… Learn how to use it!

Tools are only as good as the operator…

Could you locate someone? …quickly?!
Could your friends find you? …in time?!

If you should ever find yourself in the situation to need it, the transceiver search should be second nature, freeing your mind up for more complicated rescue needs.

Digital or analog….what is the best? One antennae, two, three…?
What is the difference? Marking features? Are they worth the extra cost?


This is a hands on session with transceivers, shovels, probes, and backpacks. Bring your own or learn about the options available using our equipment to experiment with. This evening session includes a video, discussion and indoor practice of strategies for the recovery of deeply buried riders. As well, small groups strategize by delegating riders and resources during complex search scenarios using Zac’s Tracs magnetic rescue training boards.

Avalanche probes and shovels look pretty simple, but there are still important techniques to get the best performance out of the gear without destroying it. Avalanche snow can be brutal.

Finally, put this all together in a group scenario to discover 5 key questions that must be asked before any avy rescue.

Avalanche rescue is not a skill that you want to learn as you go.

Attending an Avalanche Rescue Workshop can give you the tools to save a life!

We encourage everyone to attend these workshops. These sessions will put you a step ahead of others during your AST 1 Mountain Field session. Rather than working on the basic functions of the gear in the practical rescue session at the mountains your mind will be more open and ready to work on more team work functions that equate to real time savings during an actual emergency.

The 3 hour Rescue Workshops (RW) presentation will cover all makes and models of transceivers commonly available in North America.


This will be an indoor / outdoor presentation. If you already down avalanche rescue gear please bring your personal transceiver, probe, shovel, backpack (airbag not necessary) and a set of winter gloves.  If you don’t have access to rescue gear, please bring a backpack and set of winter gloves.  Demo equipment will be available for you to borrow. Please dress for the weather as we may take the opportunity to go outdoors for part of the program.
It is recommended that you label all personal gear with your name to prevent loss.


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Testimonials from our Students

  • The AST1 classroom session was very informative and a real eye opener of what can happen on the mountain. Really looking forward to the field session. The rescue workshop was very good to get familiar with your safety gear and a good refresher before the season starts.
  • "The real life stories and video stories were an eye opener to show what can happen and how fast disaster can strike. I liked the part where we had to breath through a slurpy straw after getting buried by snow for four minutes.. really good example of what it is like to be buried and struggle for air! ( i had to cheat a bit ) I would definitely recommend the course to beginners as well as anyone that has mountain experience and has not yet informed themselves on mountain safety. . 2017 is my seventh year of mountain riding and I am a little ashamed to say that this is my first step towards Avalanche Training. I wish I would have taken this course long ago! There are lots of tools... beacons, probes, shovels, etc. 
    But if you are buried and relying on someone to save you that has NO training.... then good luck sucking air through that slurpy blow-hole!! Thank You!" -Jamie S. Regina, SK
  • Hi Lori, Just wanted to drop you a line and say thanks for coming up and putting on the classes for us up here. Before taking the class, I never knew what 'gorillas' looked like, and certainly didn't realize how many were out there. With being fairly new to the sport, I was very much blinded by the expert halo. Putting 100% faith in my group, simply because I didn't know any different; they had all the experience, not me. There were so many key points that really hit home for me and made me really think about some of the situations we have been in. Did the other guys ('experts') already know that slope was stable? Or did we not die just by pure dumb luck? Since I entered the sport 2 years ago, I always thought that an avy course would be a good thing to have. Now after taking it, I have realized it's a really dumb, stupid, and irresponsible NOT to have! I will be pushing hard for the others in our group to get trained as well, and now that I know how much I DON'T know, I'll be watching for more opportunities for training for myself as well. If you're considering coming back up here, I sincerely hope you do. I would be interested in taking some more advanced or supplemental courses here, obviously whatever you can do in a classroom setting. As far as your course evaluation goes, there wasn't one minute that I was wishing to be somewhere else. I have to sit through an unbelievable amount of safety training for work, and I can tell you I've never taken a class where I've been that engaged and had my attention kept so well. Excellent job. Thanks again, Matt A, Fort McMurray
  • My vision on retrieving a victim was very inefficient compared to the techniques shown in class. I now have a clue! I also recognized some of my equipment is sub par. My riding partners equipment is poor too and will be making suggestions to improve this as he may have to save me. Great course! -Jason, Red Deer
  • "Course was real eye opener, I will no longer ride in the mountains with friends or family that do not have proper training and proper gear. Lori was a great instructor, great sense of humor kept the course interesting and kept people involved. Great introductory to using equipment properly, amazing how long it takes people to get gear ready when they don't practice. Moving forward I will always have a couple of gear and beacon tests on my trips." -Bradley, Sturgeon County
  • "Hi Lori. 

    Thanks for the amazing course.  I admit I was actually dreading it but wanted to support my husband in his passion.  I absolutely sat in judgement of anyone selling the sport after our tragedy two years ago.  A very close friend was lost to an avalanche and it has been hard to move  through.

    I want to say that your knowledge and passion were undeniable and your assessment of real risk admirable.  At no point in twelve hours of AST Class and Rescue Workshop did I fade out or tire of the information even if I wasn’t always a “positive receiver”.  That in itself should tell you your presentation is great.

    The discussions about overnighting and other non-avalanche backcountry emergencies reinforced our own ideas about what it takes to be prepared and responsible mountain riders and we definitely are making changes to the gear we are carrying.

    Thanks again for the day.  I would like to let you know that I am feeling much better about the sport and we are both looking forward to our field sessions in December."

    Carmen K, Bentley AST Class

  • Explained the pros and cons of some equipment. Helped become more familiar with my equipment functions. Recommended as it helps you understand the fundamentals for when you do the field session. - Chris, St Albert
  • It was worth every penny! The amount of knowledge and awareness you get from that short class is unreal. Completely changed my mentality for mountain riding. I only attended the 3 hour outdoor one but It was great! I always rented the safety gear but had no idea how to use it... This short workshop was perfect because it showed me the proper and most efficient way to locate! Derek, Anzac, AB
  • Thank you for teaching a terrific class on Sunday.  It was an eye opener for my boys and I.  We are excited about the field class. The Rescue Workshop is a great hands on class. Using our equipment with gloves on. Understanding what is good equipment and what's not. Being taught proper use of beacons. This is a tremendous way to start the season and was a terrific course. Your teaching was very well done. Thank you so much.  - John, St Albert
  • I gained equipment knowledge and now I know what to look for in good and reliable gear. The best part was seeing exactly how the transceivers worked and be able to practice with them. I would like to see more information and demonstration on the air packs. It was worth the extra time and money as I now have more confidence in the gear and equipment that I ride with  -Jaclynn, Swift Current
  • "I feel this was a good start before the field day! Got to see the pros and cons of multiple different companies shovels beacons and probes. Got to see the flaws in my own gear and got to see where I need to upgrade and what to upgrade to!" -Shane H., Saskatoon, SK
  • "Absolutely worth the time and money! So much great information. I enjoyed the hands on practice with the equipmen. We haven't purchased our own yet and it was a good way to test drive some transceivers, probes and shovels to see what would work best  for us."  - Lise Anne, Turner Valley, AB
  • "This was my 3rd AST 1 classroom course, 2nd with Zacs. The way that you present your info Lori, is amazing. You keep everyone engaged, and can read the room for when people are not really paying attention. There is so much to learn, and your quest to make sure everyone understands, and has their questions answered is amazing. I was amazed at how much I had forgotten in the few years I hadn't taken the course, but also amazed at what I have actually retained! I'm still blown away by the breathing through a straw demonstration that you do at the start of the class, it really puts it in perspective of what could happen. Thanks for your time on the weekend. The practice portion [Avalanche Rescue Workshop] with gloves on was great. It shows me that I need to practice more yet, always with the hopes of never having to use it." Dave, Lacomb, AB
  • "I took this course 5 years ago before I started riding in the mountains with my husband. This time I took it with my kids (11&13) who both can out ride me! So I knew it was important for them to go. They both learned a lot and they want to do every level of training. They are so excited about the on hill and just going this year to try the things they learned. Lori is an excellent trainer and keeps you engaged right till the end!  Highly, highly recommend this class for all who ride. Anything that you can learn to help save a life especially a life a someone you ride with (I ride with my husband and kids) is priceless. The workshop was awesome, learning key things that will help save a life is a no brainer. I took my 2 sons (11 & 13) who both snowmobile in the mountains and my one son said, "it was so much fun and we learned great techniques and I can’t wait to practice them!!" 
    Wasn’t sure how much they would like it but they both loved it. Lori is a great teacher and knows how to keep people engaged!" -Sherri, Spruce Grove AB