Ski-Doo Once Again Offers Free Avi Awareness Classes

Free avalanche awareness training is once again being spread across much of the North American Snowbelt by Ski-Doo and its sponsoring partners, building on more than a decade of educating riders of all brands of snowmobiles of how to ride smartly in the mountains.

The training schedule includes dozens of stops. Admittedly, most are focused in the West, where mountain riding is most prevelant. However, knowing that many from the Upper Midwest also travel to to ride in high altitude areas, the tour includes stops as far east as Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Saskatchewan in October and November. Check the schedules below to find out when training is coming to your area.

Here’s the full press release from Ski-Doo:

Ski-Doo offers free avalanche awareness seminars for all riders – continuing a 10+ Year commitment

Ski-Doo snowmobiles will again be supporting backcountry rider education with free avalanche awareness and avoidance seminars for snowmobilers – for all riders of all brands at all levels of experience – with a return to in-person events. The brand’s support has been consistent since 2009 and  Backcountry Access (BCA), a widely respected avalanche safety equipment manufacturer, joined the effort in 2015 supporting these seminars with equipment and in-depth knowledge of backcountry recreation safety.

As the global snowmobile market leader, Ski-Doo recognizes the importance of continuing its role to advance rider safety in backcountry use. More than 20,000 snowmobilers have attended Ski-Doo-sponsored avalanche awareness seminars, with extremely positive feedback from the sled community. This year, there are ongoing challenges with COVID social distancing and large group gathering regulations that will vary by location, but Ski-Doo dealers and seminar instructors are working together to meet local rules and expectations.

Riders are encouraged to bring friends along, especially those with whom they ride most often. The core benefit is 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.

Along with sponsoring in-person seminars, Ski-Doo and BCA created a useful video series which can be found in the Ski-Doo Owner Zone to 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.

“Keeping backcountry riders safe has been a focus at Ski-Doo for over a decade, and training like this can be a huge first step or a great refresher on the skills riders need to know for safe travel in avalanche terrain,” said Annick Lauzon, Global Ski-Doo and Sea-Doo Marketing Director. “Our trainers provide expert instruction, and by teaming up with BCA and Backcountry Ascender, we’re bringing relevant and specific snowmobile content to our riders in a fun environment that raises the levels of awareness and education in the interest of safety.”

About the Seminars

Seminars in Canada are led by Marshall Dempster, a recognized avalanche forecaster, 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 20 years of mountain experience focused on safe travel and mountain rescue.

Mike Duffy of is one of the most recognized snowmobile trainers in North America. He’s a certified instructor, course provider and professional member of the American Avalanche Association. He leads the seminars in the United States, instructing 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 29 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) and be sure to follow Ski-Doo on Facebook and Instagram



Because there may be COVID restrictions in place, participants are encouraged to register with the host dealer so they can plan meeting space accordingly and ensure a spot.

About Backcountry Access

Backcountry Access (BCA) is a leading manufacturer of snow safety equipment, including BCA TrackerTM avalanche transceivers, FloatTM avalanche airbags, BC LinkTM radios, MtnProTM snowmobile gear, StashTM backpacks, avalanche probes and shovels. BCA’s mission is to save lives, not just sell products. BCA considers education to be as important as its equipment and delivers all its products with consumer education and knowledgeable customer service. BCA is North America’s most trusted name in backcountry safety.

About Backcountry Ascender


Backcountry Ascender is a free and simple backcountry and avalanche educator. The platform uses educational gamification and good-natured competition to encourage rider awareness and improve their backcountry knowledge, skills and practical experience.

The engaging and competitive platform is comprised of industry- and peer-reviewed curriculum of self-directed lessons and in-person courses. Riders earn points for completing lessons and courses to increase their rank as well as their associated club, state/provincial association, dealer and snowmobile brand.

Backcountry Ascender is endorsed by ISMA, its member OEM manufacturers, top pro riders, Avalanche Canada and the American Avalanche Association.

For information on the Backcountry Ascender program visit:

Training DateCityStateDealershipHours
4-Oct-21HoneyvilleUTFrank May6pm-9pm
5-Oct-21Idaho FallsIDBott Yamaha6pm-9pm
6-Oct-21RexburgIDRexburg Motorsports6pm-9pm
8-Oct-21SLCUTKarl Malone Powersports SLC6pm-9pm
10-Oct-21KamasUTWeller Recreation6pm-9pm
12-Oct-21GilletteWYAction Motorsports6pm-9pm
13-Oct-21DickinsonNDPlatinum Motorsports6pm-9pm
14-Oct-21Sioux FallsSDVern Eide Motoplex6pm-9pm
18-Oct-21DuluthMNDuluth Lawn and Sport6pm-9pm
19-Oct-21MarquetteMIMarquette Powersports6pm-9pm
20-Oct-21OshkoshWIHexco Motorsports6pm-9pm
21-Oct-21GrimesIAHicklin Powersports6pm-9pm
22-Oct-21MinneapolisMNMinneapolis Motor Sports6pm-9pm
25-Oct-21Grand JunctionCOAll-Terrain Motorsports6pm-9pm
26-Oct-21BoiseIDDennis Dillon Powersports6pm-9pm
27-Oct-21Coeur d’ AleneIDSpecialty Recreation6pm-9pm
28-Oct-21Great FallsMTPaulsen’s Powersports*7pm-9:30pm
29-Oct-21MissoulaMTGull Boats and RV*6pm-9pm
30-Oct-21BillingsMTElevated Powersports6pm-9pm
3-Nov-21OgdenUTA.D. Triple S Motrosports6pm-9pm
5-Nov-21Mason CityIAMason City Powersports6pm-9pm
6-Nov-21GranbyCOPower World2pm-5pm
9-Nov-21VancouverWAPro Caliber Motorsports6pm-9pm
10-Nov-21IssaquahWAI-90 Motorsports6pm-9pm
11-Nov-21EnumclawWAClem’s Enumclaw Powersports6pm-9pm
12-Nov-21AnchorageAKAlaska Mining and Diving Supply6pm-9pm
   * Offsite class – contact dealer 
12-OctRegina/SKRegina Powersports6:30 PM
13-OctSaskatoon/SKFunn Motorsports6:30 PM
15-octLloydminster/ABRec-Tech Power Products6:30 PM
19-octLethbridge/ABBanner Recreation & Marine6:30 PM
20-octBrooks/ABA&E Racing & Marine6:30 PM
22-octCalgary/ABBasecamp Motor Sports6:30 PM
26-octEdmonton/ABMartin Motorsports6:00 PM
27-octEdmonton/ABMartin Motorsports6:00 PM
28-octEdson/ABRiderz6:30 PM
1-novDawson Creek/BCTrail Blazin Power6:00 PM
4-novPrince George/BCForest Power Sports6:30 PM
9-novWinnipeg/MBEnns Brothers6:30 PM
16-novSquamish/BCNo Limit Motorsports6:30 PM
17-novLangley/BCGreater Vancouver Powersports6:30 PM
18-novKamloops/BCRTR Performance6:30 PM
23-novKelowna/BCBanner Recreation6:30 PM
24-novVernon/BCBanner Recreation6:30 PM

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