Course Hosting

“Course Hosts” will help Zac’s with details to register participants, promote the class, choose classroom facilities and field locations, recommend community services, hotels and help with other local details.

Benefits to Hosting an Avalanche Course

Avalanche safety training is suited for all mountain riders, no matter their skill level and experience in the sport. These classes are opportunities to bring together riders from all brands, riding styles and ages. The interactive nature of our classes mixes the participants and hosts together leading to new relationships and a greater camaraderie within our snowmobile community.
Zac’s classes promote responsible use of the backcountry which benefits the public image, not only of Zac’s hosts, but also for our snowmobile industry as a whole. Avalanche and backcountry injuries and fatalities are costly and debilitating to the individuals, families, friends, communities and businesses connected to these accidents. The life saving content covered in Zac’s classes is preventative. A small, upfront, investment in time and money leads to informed and prepared backcountry users and dramatically improves the odds of accident free riding for the snowmobilers in your community.

Hosting an AST1 Classroom Session or Indoor Rescue Workshop

Depending on the number of students the classroom exercises require:

  • 2-3 large tables for the instructor and display materials
  • 2 registration table/area
  • 2 tables to set out lunch and beverages
  • chairs arranged theater style for training
  • tables behind for lunch and group work
  • a lockable room
  • access to washroom facilities
  • blinds or curtains to darken the room for slide shows
  • high enough ceiling to assemble probes (10’+)
  • designated smoking area

It is not necessary, but convenient to have:

  • access to coffee
  • access to a refrigerator or cooler
  • open parking area or field location with overhead lighting (nearby the class facility)
  • second set of chairs to place at the rear tables for lunch/group work

If possible, we prefer to set up the evening prior to the class. We budget 90 minutes for set up plus any time necessary to arrange tables & chairs.

Zac’s will supply projectors, two 100” screens, and other audio-visual needs. Our audio system is suitable for a gymnasium.

7:00 am Set Up
8:30 am Doors open for Registration & Waivers
9:00 am Start
12:30 – 1:00 pm lunch – a course video will play over the lunch break
5:30 Finish
6:30 – 9:30 pm Indoor Rescue Workshop*
This evening session may be scheduled the evening before
10:45 pm Load Out / Lock up


Lunch is typically ordered in: Pizza, Chinese, Chili, Subway… along with fruit/veggie trays, cookies/squares. Morning and afternoon snacks and beverages will also be arranged. The cost for the days food/drink is paid by the participant during the morning registration. If the group would prefer an extended lunch-hour, the classroom finish time can be moved to 6:00pm.

Hosting a Field Based Rescue Scenarios and Transceiver Exercise Site

During the transceiver exercises it is necessary that the group is well spaced out, yet within visual distance of each other.

  • wide open meadows (size of a football field)
  • free from all avalanche hazards
  • free from electrical interference

Hosting a Mountain Field Program

The ‘host’ will choose the field location and needs to be very familiar with it. We will arrive prior to the course to scout the riding area in order to prepare for the practical exercises.

To fulfill the AST course objectives it is important that we can view a variety of slopes and avalanche terrain, however, our working areas must be on low angle slopes, well away from avalanche path runouts… you don’t know how to dig us out yet!
Snow depth is important for pits but also makes the transceiver searches and group rescue scenarios more realistic. The depth of burial and the angle of the transceiver really impacts the pinpoint search. We have probe targets and dummies that are buried for the rescue exercises and it is alway good if the snow is deep enough that we don’t find them by stepping on them!
Depending on the year and the location, a snowpit in November will likely not have many interesting layers. It is just a little too early to have built much of a history.

All participants must have transceivers, probes, and shovels for the field work. We have a variety of equipment from different manufacturers that may be borrowed for the day.
Please arrange this ahead of time in order that all requests are filled.

8:00 am Meet at staging area
8:30 am Registered, student equipment signed out, ready to ride
‘Walking lunch’
5:30 Finish
*Goal – To arrive at the trucks before dark. A little more difficult to do in the early season!

When Choosing a Staging Area

To maximize teaching time and effectiveness a field location should be:

  • close to town
  • less than ½ hr sled ride from staging area to the work areas
  • groomed trails are always appreciated!
  • adequate parking for group

Snow Study Site

  • short safe slope (just off groomed trail is fine)
  • undisturbed by sled tracks
  • snow depth over 1m or 4’
  • free from all avalanche hazards

Photo credit: Zac's Tracs

The Snow Study Site can be an area with wind blown snow. We have done a snowpit in only 10 inches of snow before! If the site allows, it is best to fit the entire group in one long pit across a single slope.


Students are responsible to supply their own food and beverage during the field day. Best to choose food options that are easy to snack on throughout the day. There is no time to stop at the cabin or light a fire. Yes….you did just hear a whip crack. 😉