BRP with its Ski-Doo snowmobile brand continues to be a leader in promoting avalanche awareness and avoidance for snowmobilers as they enter their eighth year of sponsoring more than 40 free seminars – to riders of all brands – across North America. Backcountry Access (BCA), one of the most well-known and respected manufacturers of avalanche safety equipment, will again support these seminars with equipment and their in-depth knowledge of recreation in the backcountry.
To date more than 19,000 snowmobilers have taken part in Ski-Doo-sponsored avalanche awareness seminars since 2009. The seminars offer a mix of classroom and interactive content for riders of all skill levels, and riders are encouraged to bring their friends along even if they ride other brands. The incentive is clear – bring friends and riding buddies to ensure the 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.
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 avalanche forecaster and retired Canadian Avalanche Association Rescue dog handler. He has 17 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, Alaska Avalanche School 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 26 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, click HERE