Backcountry Ascender Growing Worldwide

Industry News, News
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The Backcountry Ascender Sled 360 partnership with the members of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association is growing in popularity and use. The Backcountry Ascender program 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 associate clubs, state association, dealer and snowmobile brand.

The objective of the partnership is to help disseminate knowledge. The Backcountry Ascender Program is well on its way to improving backcountry and avalanche awareness and education for all snowmobilers. We are already seeing positive preparedness and proficiency behavior changes, as riders all over North America are practicing using their avalanche equipment and signing up for Avalanche Awareness Classes.  

ISMA has been working with the Backcountry Ascender team for just more than a month and the users have collectively spent 700 hours completing 5500 Backcountry and Avalanche Awareness lessons. Based on activity and conversations ISMA has had with members at the International Snow Science Workshop, it appears the program will gain in popularity as more and more individuals step forward to promote it and companies participate in contributing prizes and more.

An executive performance review has been conducted and highlights important points.

The Backcountry Ascender Program was released on Sept. 12 after the Hay Days media announcement. The following report provides an overview of initiative performance during the first 30 days of the program:

  • Number of page reviews: 50,540
  • Number of individual sessions on the web site: 10,547
  • Average session duration: 3:23
  • Total time that individuals have spent on the website during the first 30 days: 595 hours
  • Analytics show that 40 users per day are being added to the website.
  • Returning visitors make up 67 percent of the total usage which means that users are staying engaged and continue to move forward in their education.

Breakdown by country where the Backcountry Ascender Program is being used:

  • USA – 62 percent
  • Canada – 36 percent
  • Sweden – 0.6 percent
  • Norway – 0.4 percent
  • Finland – 0.1 percent
  • Russia, Iceland, Poland, UK - <1 percent

A breakdown by city of individuals accessing Backcountry Ascender is interesting.  While the United States is the top aggregate country, Calgary, AB, is the top accessing city.

  • Calgary
  • Seattle
  • Denver
  • Salt Lake City
  • Edmonton
  • Chicago
  • Saskatoon
  • Vancouver

ISMA is also tracking the usage by age. The largest demographic visiting the website is between 25-34 years of age.  

67 percent of the usage is from mobile devices.

Some Google Analytics that we found interesting:

  • A high percentage of the visitors report they are outdoor enthusiasts and auto enthusiasts.
  • They are telling us they are news junkies and political news junkies as well.
  • The vast majority of individuals read auto and vehicle publications.
  • (A small segment of the users enjoy visiting dating service sites.)

Yes, the Backcountry Ascender program is helping to educate backcountry riders and those interested in riding in the mountains and becoming avalanche aware.

Please take the time to visit the website at  Sign up and begin taking classes and get trained up before you head out into the mountains.

More information on this great program is forthcoming.

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