The support of the snowmobile manufacturers of avalanche awareness, training, safety and education programs continues to expand, as the latest-and-greatest machines allow riders to get deeper into the backcountry and onto steeper slopes.
The latest: Arctic Cat and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) announced a new partnership (see full press release below). The press release mentions the tragic death in April 2020 of Cat ambassador Rob Kincaid in an avalanche as one impetus for the move. His loss sent shockwaves through the snowmobile world that reverberate to this day.
One of Cat’s competitors, Ski-Doo, has been a leader in avalanche training by sponsoring a traveling road show that has brought avalanche awareness and preparedness training to the masses for the last 13 years. It’s nice to see Cat also stepping up on this important issue for Western riders.
Here’s the press release from Cat and AIARE.
Arctic Cat and The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) Team to Advance Avalanche Safety Education
THIEF RIVER FALLS, MINN./VAIL, COLO. — Arctic Cat Inc., a Textron Inc. company, and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) announced today that AIARE has become Arctic Cat’s official avalanche safety education partner. This relationship will further promote avalanche safety education to a larger audience, so more snowmobile enthusiasts can share the ride safely.
AIARE makes a huge impact on avalanche safety in the snowmobile community, with more than 1,000 students per year attending its in-person avalanche safety courses. The agreement between AIARE and Arctic Cat will provide more support for AIARE’s current team of instructors, which spans eight states with 11 providers, streamline the process of training new instructors, and enable updates to curriculum tools – including offering more online courses to reach and educate more riders.
“Arctic Cat has stepped forward in the motorized industry with a vision to share avalanche awareness with everyone in the riding community,” said Jeff Hambelton of AIARE. “The impact of this partnership with AIARE will support the development of much needed motorized avalanche course instructors and improve the tools available to every backcountry rider to help reduce the number of riders involved in avalanche accidents.”
Avalanche safety awareness has always been an important focus for Arctic Cat, but with the tragic loss of one of its own, Rob Kincaid, avalanche safety, preparedness, and awareness became a top priority. Kincaid was an advocate of avalanche safety, and Arctic Cat continues to commemorate him by ensuring riders have the resources and information needed to enjoy mountain riding safely.
“Mountain riding is one of the largest segments of snowmobiling,” said Troy Halvorson, Director, Product Strategy for Arctic Cat. “The increase of new riders brings a significant educational challenge, and it is our responsibility to provide resources and information for a safe and enjoyable ride experience.”
According to the Colorado Avalanche and Information Center’s national statistics, multi-person avalanche accidents, and avalanche-related fatalities, have increased. More avalanche safety initiatives are needed to ensure riders are aware of the risks, understand how to ride safely, and know what to do if they or a member of their group is involved in an avalanche.
Arctic Cat looks forward to working with AIARE to continue to educate mountain riders on the importance of avalanche awareness and safety. To learn more about avalanche safety and the AIARE partnership, visit Arctic Cat’s snow safety page.
AIARE was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization to create a researched-based avalanche education model for backcountry users with the belief that avalanche education, research, and training can prevent injuries and fatalities due to avalanches. AIARE develops and disseminates research-based avalanche curriculum to over 115 Providers in the US, South America, and Europe. For more information, visit www.avtraining.org.
About Arctic Cat
The Arctic Cat brand is iconic in the powersports industry, representing 60 years of snowmobiles, side-by-sides and ATVs that are renowned the world over for their power and performance. Arctic Cat snowmobiles, side-by-sides, ATVs and affiliated products are designed and manufactured in Thief River Falls, Minn. by Arctic Cat Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company that operates as part of the Textron Specialized Vehicles business. For more information, visit: www.arcticcat.com.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.