What do I bring on a field day?

Field days in the mountains will require a snowmobile and transportation to and from the staging area. We do not provide. Please look after your own needs. Travel safely and be prepared for mountain weather and road conditions.
CLICK HERE to check current and forecasted weather conditions.

Please CLICK HERE to view snowmobile rental companies located in the communities that Zac’s Tracs hosts avalanche classes.

This is not a big riding day. 
The snowmobiles are used to access deep snow for the snowpack and rescue exercises. While we will view avalanche terrain, our riding and work day will be contained to commonly used snowmobile trails and open meadows with minimal exposure to avalanche hazards. 

All levels of riding ability can be accommodated on the AST1 field sessions.

Although the comfort is dependent on the state of trail grooming… traveling with a passenger is usually not a problem. AST1 courses are completed on forest service roads/main snowmobile trails.

Participants must be physically fit to perform activities such as:

  • digging in loose and hardpacked snow
  • walking in deep snow
  • running and walking across uneven terrain
  • trail riding on rough and rutted trails (trail are not always groomed)
  • some off trail (powder) riding may be required depending on snow conditions
  • physical exertion, circulation and respiratory functions in winter weather conditions
  • physical activity at altitude

Please ensure that Zac’s Tracs is aware of all medical conditions and medications that may affect your health and safety during these activities. It is your responsibility to consult your physician to confirm that these activities are acceptable considering your personal state of health.

A Waiver of Liability is required to all participants taking part in field activities.
CLICK HERE to download a copy of the Waiver.

While riding please take caution regarding:

  • other riders, drivers, machines, and equipment
  • icy and rutted areas
  • open creeks and other natural and man-made hazards
  • unsafe trail speeds and general conduct on trails (please park off the trail or well to the right)
  • no stopping in avalanche paths
  • overheating snowmobiles (please use scratchers or pack snow on cooling elements when trail conditions icy or well packed)


Zac’s will provide snowstudy gear for use in the snowpits and demonstration rescue gear for the search scenarios.

All participants need an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel.
Always check that you have fresh batteries.

Consider labeling your gear. Probes and shovels can sometimes be hard to identify following the rescue scenarios!

If you do not yet own avalanche rescue gear, we encourage you NOT to buy. We have demo models from each of the manufacturers available for student use. Learn how they work and test them out before you buy.

Don’t forget:

  • your AVALUATOR card (you will get this card in the classroom session)
  • headlamp or Trailfinder for you modified guys with no headlights! Darkness comes early in December and January.
  • cash to purchase a trail pass, usually $20-25/sled
  • lunch, snacks and water/juice/hot drinks
  • We will have a ‘walking lunch’. 
    Please bring a lunch that does not require a fire or the cabin.

Everyone should be prepared for winter weather conditions and temperaturesCLICK HERE for recommendations.
Courses are not weather dependent. Non attendance due to weather is considered a cancellation and full fee will be charged.

Are you prepared for backcountry winter emergencies? Follow this link to see a long list of recommended gear. CLICK HERE


Safe habits will be practiced during the day
including parking with an escape route.
Please angle park on the trails and park in the
‘Feather Pattern’ for lunch and afternoon exercises.