Ski-Doo Announces Free Virtual avalanche awareness seminars for all riders

August 2020 Feature

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 and be available as a resource all year. 

About Backcountry Access

Backcountry Access (BCA) is North America’s 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.

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:

For complete information visit the Ski-Doo Snowmobiles site

  • Like what you read?

    Want to know when we have important news, updates or interviews?

  • Join our newsletter today!

    Sign Up
You Might Also Be Interested In...

Send to your friends!

Welcome to Snowest!

Have a discount code on us.

Discount Code: