The best way to avoid being in an avalanche is to avoid one…and that is the end goal of Ski-Doo’s Avalanche Awarness program which returns for another year of coast-t0-coast seminars. The free to all riders of all brands is perhaps one of the industry’s best known avalanche awareness and avoidance programs, and for 2018 Ski-Doo is joined by Backcountry Access and Backcountry Ascender in the 40-location tour.
More than 16,000 snowmobilers have taken part in Ski-Doo-sponsored avalanche awareness seminars since 2009. The in-person seminars offer engaging content for riders of all skill levels, and riders of all brands are welcome and encouraged to attend. Those attending are also encouraged to bring their friends and riding buddies to ensure people they ride with are also well informed.
In addition to sponsoring seminars, Ski-Doo and BCA also team up with Backcountry Ascender, an online backcountry education platform. It is a free, self-directed program that provides basic avalanche education and encourages traditional courses to advance to higher levels. Much of the course content can be completed online, and it will direct users to relevant in-person courses like the Ski-Doo/BCA-sponsored seminars. Backcountry Ascender is supported by the International Snowmobile Manufacturer’s Association (ISMA), of which Ski-Doo is an active member.
“Backcountry safety awareness and education is a priority for Ski-Doo, and this is why we are so involved in the promotion of avalanche training,” said Marc R. Lacroix, Global Ski-Doo and Sea-Doo Marketing Director. “We’ve partnered with experts to design snowmobile-specific seminars that are educational and entertaining for participants. With endorsement from Backcountry Ascender and BCA again this year, we continue in our commitment to raising the level of awareness and education even further.”
About the Seminars: Seminars in Canada are led by Marshall Dempster, a recognized avalanche forecaster, a Lead Instructor (AST1 and 2) and Backcountry Guide. Dempster is a Professional Member of the Canadian Avalanche Association, professional forecaster and certified Canadian Avalanche Rescue dog handler. He has 16 years of mountain experience focused on safe travel as well as mountain rescue and a passion to share his knowledge.
Mike Duffy of Avalanche1.com, a certified instructor and professional member of the American Avalanche Association leads the seminars in the United States. Duffy instructs at American Avalanche Institute, Colorado Mountain College and Silverton Avalanche School, and has been giving snowmobile-specific avalanche classes since 1996. As rescue team leader Vail Mountain Rescue Group, Duffy has more than 25 years of mountain riding and mountain rescue experience. He is also a Backcountry Guide/riding instructor.
Seminars are open to owners of all brands of sleds. For up-to-date information on locations and times, or to register for an avalanche awareness seminar, for US Avalanche tour stops click HERE; for events in Canada click HERE.
Most seminars are combined with an open house or mountain-riding event. Participants are encouraged to register with the host dealer so they can plan meeting space accordingly and ensure a spot.