Backcountry Ascender Program

A fun new approach to avalanche education
Backcountry Ascender avalanche training education program logo
Backcountry riding is the fastest-growing segment in snowmobiling. The combination of amazing new sleds that are more capable than ever and the reliability of mountain snow has turned many flatlanders into mountain riders.

The challenge with that growth, though, is getting all those new mountain riders trained in avalanche and backcountry safety.

One group of snowmobilers has launched a cool new solution to the problem: Backcountry Ascender. It's a free and simple educational tool that functions like a game, tapping into a sledder’s innate competitive spirit to encourage the acquisition of avalanche and backcountry safety skills.

“We’ve seen growing knowledge gaps in avalanche education and in general backcountry skills,” explained Backcountry Ascender developer Chris Mayer. “Our goal for the program is to make snowmobilers more prepared and knowledgeable in the backcountry by making the learning process more engaging and easier to obtain."

Mayer is an accomplished backcountry snowmobiler with high angle and K9 search-and-rescue experience, while Mike Duffy, Avalanche1 founder and veteran safety trainer, led the work on course material.
Backcountry Ascender avalanche training education program snowmobile
The program's curriculum is built on recognized sources like the American Avalanche Association and Avalanche Canada. Plus, all of the material has been reviewed by
a broad group of industry leaders. It's intended to augment existing certification courses, not replace them.

The curriculum is divided into Sorties (the basic unit of training), and Missions (comprised of 15-20 Sorties). To complete a Sortie, a user must provide evidence of their knowledge. That evidence, which can range from an answered question to photographic documentation of a field exercise, is then accepted by peer approval. Evidence can be reviewed by a senior content administrator.

Backcountry Ascender starts with self-directed online learning and incorporates existing in-person courses. By starting online, riders can learn before hitting the snow and prevent many of the basic mistakes made in avalanche terrain. To move up to higher levels, participants must take on-snow classes.

The program is being  backed by all four manufacturers (Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo and Yamaha), as well as top-tier backcountry riders. To sign up for free and start learning now, go to www.Backcountry¬≠
There's more!
In conjunction with Backcountry Access and the Backcountry Ascender program, BRP is sponsoring more than 40 free avalanche awareness seminars in North America. More info:
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