Safety and Survival Training for Snowcat Operators

On each assignment snowcat operators are faced with dynamic conditions and terrain, which constantly effect how a vehicle interacts with the snow pack. Slope angle, snow conditions, and the weight and footprint of the snowcat must be considered when selecting safe routes of travel. When mechanical failures occur operators and crew members are left vulnerable to the affects of the environment. Carrying appropriate emergency equipment and knowing how to use it is critical to survival. ETI has developed specific training programs for snow cat operators and those who travel in all terrain snow vehicles to remote locations as part of their work. These programs are a combination of snow cat instruction and cold weather survival training. The courses are designed to provide field personnel with vital safe operating skills as well as cold weather survival skills. Our experience with industry has given us valuable insights into the difficult conditions under which these operators must work.

Our programs are fast moving and interactive, providing plenty of practical experience for participants. Snowcat training can also be combined with other ETI courses. Advanced training is custom designed and tailored for the specific needs of the organization. The major concepts of the training are listed below.

Check Out Procedures

  • Preventative maintenance
  • Pre-flight check list
  • The essential tool kit
  • Survival gear (never leave home without it)

Common Hazards

  • Securing and hauling snowcats
  • loading/Unloading
  • Door locks
  • Seat belts
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

Operating Skills

  • The conservative approach
  • Route selection
  • Terrain
  • Stability
  • Slope angle
  • Uphill driving
  • Downhill driving
  • Sidehill driving
  • Drop-offs
  • Avoiding slides
  • Regaining control during a slide
  • Changing snow conditions
  • Avalanche safety

Snow Cat Survival Skills

  • Stuck
  • Digging out
  • White out conditions
  • Throwing a track
  • Emergency track installation and repair

Cold Weather Survival Skills For Snow Cat Operators

General Survival Concepts

  • Anatomy of a survival situation
  • Psychology of survival
  • Survival leadership
  • Survival priorities
  • Planning vs Panic
  • Anticipating problems
  • The art of improvising

Man In A Cold Environment

  • Preparing for the unexpected cold weather emergency
  • Dressing for cold (the layering system)
  • layering for electrical linemen
  • Water requirements
  • Food and calorie requirements
  • Overview of cold injuries
  • Hypothermia
  • Frostbite
  • Fires and heat
  • High-Tech heat production
  • Snow shelters
  • Using vehicles, aircraft, and equipment as tools for survival


  • When to travel
  • Land navigation
  • Avalanche Safety
  • Snow Safety Equipment
  • GPS
  • High-tech communications in a remote environment
  • Emergency locator devices


  • Traditional signaling basics
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Signaling workshop
  • Search and rescue for remote locations
  • Self-rescue

Survival Kits

  • Essential items
  • Personal kits
  • Snowcat and vehicle kits
  • Aircraft kits
  • Special applications

Organizational Safety Protocols

  • Developing a safety and communications plan
  • Production vs. safety
  • Pre-planning for emergencies
  • Organizing available resources(know before you go)

Course Format

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The standard combination Snow Cat/Cold Weather Survival training program is a 24 hour course. The curriculum is presented over 3 consecutive days using a combination of classroom and field sessions. The majority of the program consist of hands on snowcat training in the field. Training scenarios are developed around the experience of the group and the available terrain. Participating organizations are required to provide the vehicles used during the program. The course is an intense and challenging program, customized to meet the needs of the participating organization. Custom courses can be designed to meet specific needs

Course Cost

Costs are variable depending upon the location, number of participants, and the services being provided. For a detailed training proposal contact our office.


Courses can be scheduled during the winter season in any location. Contact our office for details.


Enviro-Tech International
P.O. Box 2135
Montrose, CO 81402

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