Fernie AST1 Field Sessions

Fernie AST1 Field Training – 8hrs Hands-On Mountain Course

Meeting Time – ~8:00am unload, sign out gear, purchase trail passes ~$25 cash  (You can pre-purchase online if you want.)
8:30 am – Class start. Please be geared up and ready to ride for this time.
Return Time ~ 5:30 pm MST (Be prepared to return in the dark!)

Meeting Location –  Morrissey Staging Area – MAIN (UPPER) parking lot (Scroll down for driving and parking directions). When traveling from your home or hotel please allow enough time to account for road conditions, closures due to road maintenance, avalanche control and vehicle accidents. Class will still run if the highways are closed! Please plan accordingly.

CLICK HERE to view available field dates Choose ONE field day for the practical exercises. All field classes will run with a maximum of 8 students per instructor. Field days may be added or cancelled depending on the number of registered students and instructor availability.

Book asap as these Fernie dates fill quickly.

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

The AST1 Classroom session must be completed before attending this field session.

CLICK HERE to register for a classroom session

Morrissey Road Staging Area – Fernie, BC

Travel south of Fernie on Hwy #3 west approximately 10 km to Morrissey Road and turn left (east). (i.e. The turn off to Morrissey Road is 7km past the Fernie Ski Hill turn off.) Follow the signs for the snowmobile staging area and Fernie Wilderness Adventures (FWA) Cat Ski Operation. Cross a single lane bridge and railway tracks and turn right at the ‘T’ onto Cokato Road and follow approx 6km as road veers left into Morrissey FSR (Forest Service Road).   You will turn right into the Fernie Snowmobile Association’s parking lot when you see a yellow snowmobile sign. (The km signs might indicate ~18-19km at this point). Park in the appropriate lot.  The Trailer Parking lot is before the Main Parking Lot.  (Google links are below).  You may also see signs for Fernie Wilderness Adventures (Cat Ski Lodge) which is located a small distance past the Main snowmobile parking lot. The lots are of good size but please park efficiently in order that our students and public can all fit without too much stress.  Once parked and organized please meet the instructors in the upper/main parking lot.  We will gather here and travel as a group to the trail booth.

Fernie Snowmobile Staging areas

Snowmobile areas near Fernie, BC

Call Lori at 403-850-3042 if you have any questions. CLICK HERE for a Google Map to the Trailer Parking Lot CLICK HERE for a Google Map to the Upper/Main Parking Lot

NOTE:  If you are looking for areas to ride on the days following your avalanche course consider following these links:



Zacs Tracs avalanche field session COVID Pre-Screening questions

Complete Questionnaire the MORNING of your field session

Please be prepared for the following Zacs Tracs COVID Safety Protocols in order to participate in your training session.

  • Multiple Balaclavas / Buff face coverings for general use throughout the outdoor day.  Please bring multiple so that you have a DRY one at all times. 
    Face masks that are damp or wet are not effective.
  • AHS approved face mask with 2 or 3 layersCLICK HERE for info related to approved masks and instructions on how to wear a mask properly.  An approved facemask will be required should there be any close contact working activities or a First Aid emergency.
  • Hand sanitizer (Minimum 60% alcohol content) must be used prior to class start, before and after eating, following any personal breaks and after touching any shared equipment. 
  • Complete the COVID pre-screening questions AS SOON AS YOU AWAKE in the morning of your field day.  It is important that we received completed questionnaires from all students early so that this information can be confirmed by the field instructors BEFORE they are out of cellular reception.  These questions will be TEXTED to you the evening before your field day or early the morning of.  Please ensure that EVERYONE in your group, including youth, complete a separate questionnaire.  The link can be used multiple times.  The instructors will  have paper copies of the questions if you forget. CLICK HERE for a copy of the Pre-Screening questions and information. 
  • No sharing of personal equipment.  Please handle training equipment with clean winter gloves.  Students may handle transceiver pelican cases, however, students should not open or manipulate the transceivers themselves.
  • Maintain a minimum distance of 2m (6’6″) between instructors and students outside your family or cohort whenever possible.



  • AVALUATOR – slope evaluation card (received in the classroom – $15 if you forget)

  • Companion Rescue Card (received in the classroom)

  • Warm clothes, thick soled boots for standing on the snow all day

  • Any emergency gear that you would normally bring on a day of riding

  • Lunch, thermos with hot beverage. NO ALCOHOL (Expect a ‘working lunch’. Eat while listening, snack between exercises. We will not access the cabin or a fire for lunch.)

  • Review any recent MIN (Mountain Information Network) posts for the area.  These posts are available by clicking the pin drops/location pointers on the Avalanche Canada bulletin map.
    Fernie Snowmobile Association logo

    Purchase your Fernie Snowmobile Club memberships to support local sled trails.


  • Fernie Trail Passes and Memberships can be purchased online or $25 cash in the staging area
  • We will be completing NEW waivers in the parking lot. We recommend that you tear out the waiver from your classroom workbook or download a copy by CLICKING HERE If you print, read and fill out your contact details beforehand you can bring the completed waiver to the staging area and one of your instructors will act as your witness. We will bring copies of the waiver to the staging area however it is a bit nicer for you to complete the paperwork ahead of time rather than in the snow!

CLICK HERE for the minimum gear we suggest for a field training day
CLICK HERE for recommended backcountry gear for riding days

HOST HOTEL – Best Western Fernie Mountain Lodge

Email: info@bestwesternfernie.com includes full hot breakfast, wireless internet, indoor swimming pool, indoor & outdoor hot tub, fitness room and ample parking (overflow parking in Extra Foods Parking lot). CLICK HERE for map at www.bestwesternfernie.com

To Register