A couple of my pups went to avalanche SAR. IMO, one of the best jobs a dog can have as they get to spend all day with their owners on the hill, do training daily, and have the opportunity to really play a huge role in helping someone in trouble. Here's a photo of "Digger" in action:
He is 'ragging' which is what they call tug of war. They always use a piece of clothing for tugging with as the reward for a find.
I don't know a lot about the details of the training program but do know that they practice pretty much every day. A lot of time is spent conditioning the dog to do things like ride on the lift or a snowmobile, get dangled into and out of a helicopter, and learning to ski between the handlers legs as they go down the hill, in addition to the actual search work. Some of them are 'single purpose' avalanche dogs and others are crossed trained to do other types of searching during the non-winter season.