Ski-Doo marks a decade of free avalanche awareness seminars for all riders

The incentive is clear - bring those you ride with and care about to ensure you can all track the groups’ well-being and help if a situation ever occurs

Students learn how to measure the snowpack with long poles.
Ski-Doo snowmobiles continues support for backcountry rider education with free avalanche awareness and avoidance seminars for snowmobilers. Photo courtesy Ski-Doo

Ski-Doo snowmobiles continues support for backcountry rider education with free avalanche awareness and avoidance seminars for snowmobilers - to riders of all brands – for the ninth year in the US and tenth in Canada. Backcountry Access (BCA), a widely respected avalanche safety equipment manufacturer, will be supporting these seminars with equipment and their in-depth knowledge of recreation in the backcountry for the fourth consecutive season.

As the largest manufacturer of snowmobiles, Ski-Doo recognizes the importance of continuing their leadership role in advancing responsible backcountry use. With more than 20,000 snowmobilers attending Ski-Doo-sponsored avalanche awareness seminars since 2009, the community reaction to the effort has been extremely positive. The seminars use both interactive and classroom style content that is geared for riders of all skill levels, and attendees are encouraged to bring their friends along no matter what brand they ride. The incentive is clear - bring those you ride with and care about to ensure you can all track the groups’ well-being and help if a situation ever occurs.

Along with sponsoring seminars, Ski-Doo and BCA also encourage riders 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. Backcountry Ascender is supported by the International Snowmobile Manufacturer’s Association (ISMA), of which Ski- Doo is an active member.

“With a decade of experience in facilitating these seminars, Ski-Doo continues to demonstrate our belief in the importance of backcountry safety and keeping it at top of mind for riders, which is why we continue to support avalanche training,” said Marc R. Lacroix, Global Ski-Doo and Sea-Doo Marketing Director. “Working with experts like our trainers, BCA and Backcountry Ascender we’re bringing snowmobile specific content that’s educational and entertaining to our riders. We have a unique style for accessing terrain and recognize the need to be authentic with a fast paced, fun seminar that raises the levels of awareness and education.

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 avalanche forecaster and retired Canadian Avalanche Association Rescue dog handler. He has 18 years of mountain experience focused on safe travel as well as mountain rescue and a passion to share his knowledge. Mike Duffy of is one of the most recognized snowmobile trainers in North America, he’s a certified instructor and professional member of the American Avalanche Association and leads the seminars in the United States. Duffy instructs at American Avalanche Institute, Alaska Avalanche School and Silverton Avalanche School, and has been giving snowmobile-specific avalanche classes since 1996. As rescue team leader in the Vail Mountain Rescue Group, Duffy has more than 27 years of mountain riding and mountain rescue experience. He is also a Backcountry Guide/riding instructor.

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.

Date/Time City/Province Dealership Phone Email Contact
Oct. 15 - 6:30pm Lloydminster, AB Rec-Tech Power Products (780) 870-5464 [email protected] Ryan
Oct. 16 - 7:00pm Regina, SK Regina Powersports (306) 586-2900 [email protected] Chris
Oct. 18 - 6:30pm Swift Current, SK Robertson Motorsports (306) 773-4144   Dustin
Oct. 22 - 6:00pm Edmonton, AB Martin Motor Sports (780) 481-4000 [email protected] Laurenne
Oct. 23 - 6:00pm Edmonton, AB Martin Motor Sports  (780) 481-4000 [email protected] Laurenne
Oct. 26 - 3:00pm Brooks, AB A&E Racing  (403) 362-6401 [email protected] Evelin
Oct. 29 - 6:30pm Calgary, AB Basecamp Motor Sports (403) 441-5238 [email protected] Rechel
Oct. 30 - 6:30pm ` Red Deer, AB Turple Bros (403) 346-5238 [email protected] Brenda
Nov. 1 - 6:30pm Edson, AB Riderz (780) 723-5775 [email protected] Cody
Nov. 4 - 6:30pm Grande Prairie, AB Stojan Powersports & Marine (780) 538-2934 [email protected] Jerrey
Nov. 5 - 6:00pm Dawson Creek, BC Trail Blazin' Power (250) 782-6685 [email protected] Dane
Nov. 7 - 6:30pm  Prince George, BC Forest Power Sports (250) 563-1021 [email protected] Norm
Nov. 13 - 6:30pm Squamish, BC No Limits Power Sports (604) 815-4444 [email protected] Steve
Nov. 14 - 7:00pm Langley, BC Greater Vancouver Powersports (604) 888-8700 [email protected] Mike
Nov. 16 - 5:00pm  Courtenay, BC Courtenay  Motorsports (250) 338-1415 [email protected] Javan
Nov. 19 - 6:30pm  Kamloops, BC RTR Performance (250) 374-3141 [email protected] Lucas
Nov. 21 - 6:30pm  Vernon, BC Banner Recreation (250) 542-0418 [email protected] Breen
Nov. 22 - 6:30pm Kelowna, BC Banner Recreation (250) 979-2889 [email protected] Breen
Nov. 26 - 6:30pm Winnipeg, MB Enns Brothers (204) 475-3667 [email protected] Rebekah

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 celebrating its 25th anniversary in business this 2019-20 season as 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 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:

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