Ski-Doo believes in creating safe experiences for all riders and embarks on its 14th year of backcountry rider education with free avalanche awareness and avoidance seminars for snowmobilers.
Riders of all brands, at all levels of experience, are welcomed and encouraged to attend the in-person events with their fellow back country explorers to increase or refresh their knowledge in a fun atmosphere. The leader in avalanche safety gear, Backcountry Access (BCA), will again join the effort to support these seminars with equipment and in-depth knowledge of backcountry recreation safety.
In line with parent company BRP’s Responsible Rider program and the role of global snowmobile market leader, Ski-Doo recognizes the importance of consistently renewing and advancing rider safety in backcountry use. The positive feedback from more than 23,000 snowmobilers that have attended over the years Ski-Doo-sponsored avalanche awareness seminars is testimony to their value and importance for the sled community. These attendee’s thirst for knowledge has also helped shape the curriculum and continually update course material to be relevant and entertaining for today’s rider.
Riders are encouraged to bring friends along, especially those with whom they ride most often. The benefit is more than clear – help raise group awareness of those you ride with and care about, to ensure you can all track the groups’ well-being and help each other if a situation ever occurs.
In addition to sponsoring in-person seminars, Ski-Doo and BCA collaborated on a useful video series which can be found in the Ski-Doo Owner Zone along with the wide ranging BCA safety videos available on their website to help advance knowledge remotely. Riders are also encouraged to use Backcountry Ascender, an online backcountry education platform. This free, self-directed program provides basic avalanche education and encourages traditional course attendance to advance to higher levels. Much of the course content can be completed online, and where needed, the program directs users to relevant in-person courses like the Ski-Doo/BCA-sponsored seminars.
“One of the key pillars of the BRP Responsible Rider Program is safety and awareness, which is something Ski-Doo has been actively promoting for many years now and this training, designed specifically for backcountry riders, addresses skills and knowledge riders need for safe travel in avalanche terrain,” said Anne-Marie LaBerge, Chief Marketing Officer at BRP. “The combination of expert trainers, skilled instruction, a fun and entertaining atmosphere and support from BCA lets us bring relevant snowmobile specific content to riders that raises the level of awareness and delivers on our commitment to increase safety.”
About the Seminars
Marshall Dempster, a recognized avalanche forecaster, Lead Instructor (AST1 and 2) and Backcountry Guide, leads the seminars in Canada. Dempster is a Professional Member of the Canadian Avalanche Association, professional avalanche forecaster and retired Canadian Avalanche Association Rescue dog handler. He has 21 years of mountain experience focused on safe travel and mountain rescue.
As one of the most recognized snowmobile trainers in North America, Mike Duffy of Avalanche1.com leads the US seminars. He’s a certified instructor, course provider and professional member of the American Avalanche Association. He also instructs at the American Avalanche Institute, Alaska Avalanche School and Silverton Avalanche School. Duffy has been giving snowmobile-specific avalanche classes since 1996. As rescue team leader in the Vail Mountain Rescue Group, he has more than 30 years of mountain riding and mountain rescue experience. He is also a Backcountry Guide and riding instructor.
Seminars are open to all levels of experience and owners of all brands of sleds. For up-to-date information on locations and times, or to register for a free avalanche awareness seminar, visit the Ski-Doo website (links below).
Participants are encouraged to register with the host dealership so they can plan meeting space accordingly and ensure a spot.