For the 12th straight year, Ski-Doo is providing snowmobilers with free avalanche awareness seminars. But for the first time you won’t have to go to a Ski-Doo dealership to participate.
Working again with Backcountry Access (BCA) and Avalanche 1/Mike Duffy, Ski-Doo’s seminars will be held online in a series of 16 short episodes, which will start in late September and be released on a two-per-week schedule. With the difficulty in attracting crowds in this era, moving online seems to make sense, and it’s clear that Ski-Doo and its partners have a well-thought-out plan.
And, also per usual for this altruistic program from Ski-Doo, they invite all riders who regularly or occasionally ride in potential avalanche territory to participate — not just folks from their own brand. We roundly applaud that effort.
Here’s the full press release from Ski-Doo:
Ski-Doo Announces Free Virtual Avalanche Awareness Seminars For All Riders
Ski-Doo snowmobiles, in collaboration with Backcountry Access (BCA) and Avalanche 1, will once again help provide free avalanche education and awareness this Fall for riders of all brands of snowmobiles. There is a new approach this year, however, as the seminars will be held online in a series of 16 short episodes. This format allows riders to learn at a pace that fits their schedule, and makes it easy to re-watch sections or entire episodes to ensure they understand the material completely and thoroughly.
The seminars are usually held in person at dealerships across North America, but current realities have made it impossible to support large gatherings, as many stops had between one and two hundred attendees – a testament to the value they provide.
This marks 12 consecutive years that Ski-Doo has offered free training, having taken a lead role for snowmobile education since 2009. And it’s the fifth year that Backcountry Access (BCA), a widely respected avalanche safety equipment manufacturer, has partnered with their expertise and reach within the backcountry and mountain recreation community. Along with sponsoring seminars, Ski-Doo and BCA also encourage riders to use Backcountry Ascender, an online backcountry safety education platform. This free, self-directed program provides basic avalanche education and encourages traditional course attendance to advance to higher levels.
Mike Duffy of Avalanche 1 has been the instructor for all United States courses and will be the host instructor for the series with special guests joining him throughout. Mike is one of the most recognized snowmobile-specific avalanche educators in North America. He’s a certified instructor and professional member of the American Avalanche Association. Duffy teaches on snow at the American Avalanche Institute, Alaska Avalanche School, Silverton Avalanche School, and nationwide with Avalanche1 since 1996. He’s also a team leader in the Vail Mountain Rescue Group, graduate of National Avalanche School, National Academy of Winter Guiding, AVPRO & Professional Avalanche Search & Rescue courses. Duffy has more than 30 years of mountain riding and mountain rescue experience and has provided training for the four snowmobile OEMs, FBI Hostage Rescue Team, and Navy Seals.
The online seminars will start in late September with two per week released on the Ski-Doo website www.ski-doo.com/avalanche.html and be available as a resource all year.