BRP is amplifying its efforts to provide avalanche education and awareness by sponsoring more than 40 free seminars throughout North America for the seventh straight year, and adding two strong partners to further the effort. New this year is support for the seminars from Backcountry Access (BCA), one of most well-known and respected manufacturers of avalanche safety equipment in addition to joint sponsoring of the new Backcountry Ascender online education platform. Combined, the two platforms will ensure an increased number of riders have access to essential tools for avalanche education.
More than 13,000 snowmobilers have taken part in Ski-Doo-sponsored avalanche awareness seminars since 2009. The in-person seminars offer engaging content for riders of all skill levels, and riders of all brands are welcome and encouraged to attend. Those who register to attend are also encouraged to bring their friends and riding buddies to ensure people they ride with are also well informed.
In addition to sponsoring seminars, BRP and BCA are also teaming up with Backcountry Ascender, a recently-unveiled online platform. It is free, and is a 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 BRP/BCA-sponsored seminars. Backcountry Ascender is supported by the International Snowmobile Manufacturer’s Association (ISMA), of which BRP is an active member.
“Safety is a priority for BRP, which is why we are so deeply involved in the promotion of avalanche education,” said Mathieu Laforest, Global Ski-Doo Marketing director. “Together with our dealers, we’ve worked with experts to design snowmobile-specific seminars that are educational and engaging for participants. With the addition of Backcountry Ascender and BCA this year, we’re looking forward to raising the level of awareness and education even further.”
About the Seminars
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 forecaster and certified Canadian Avalanche Rescue dog handler. He has 15 years of mountain experience focused on safe travel as well as mountain rescue and a passion to share his knowledge.
Mike Duffy of Avalanche1, a recognized snowmobile expert in avalanche awareness, leads seminars in the United States. Duffy has American Avalanche Association Levels I & II, AvPro Level III and Instructor certifications, teaches at Colorado Mountain College and Silverton Avalanche School, and has been giving snowmobile-specific avalanche classes since 1996. Duffy has more than 25 years of mountain riding and mountain rescue experience. This is his fifth year working with BRP.
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, visit the Ski-Doo website, the Ski-Doo Blog and be sure to follow Ski-Doo on Facebook.
Most seminars are combined with an open house or mountain-riding event. Participants are encouraged to register with the host dealer so they can plan meeting space accordingly and ensure a spot.
About Backcountry Ascender
Backcountry Ascender is a free and simple online 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 and promoted by ISMA, its member OEM manufacturers, top pro riders, Avalanche Canada and the American Avalanche Association.
For information on the Backcountry Ascender program visit:
Manager, Media and Public Relations, Ski-Doo