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Sources to Get Free Avalanche Awareness Education

I don’t typically share other brand info on this site, but I feel strongly about sharing Avalanche Awareness information with snowmobilers looking to ride in Western areas. Especially after the passing of friend and Arctic Cat pro Black Cats ambassador, Rob Kincaid, this past spring.

You can minimize your risk by taking an avalanche awareness course and carrying the proper equipment. If you don’t live in the mountains, but plan to ride there occasionally, you should prepare yourself before leaving. Remember: Get the Gear, Get the Training, Get the Forecast, Get the Picture and Get out of Harms Way.

That said,  Ski-Doo, in collaboration with Backcountry Access (BCA) and Avalanche 1, will provide FREE avalanche education and awareness this Fall for riders of all brands of snowmobiles.


The seminars will be held online in a series of 16 short episodes. This format allows riders to learn at a pace fitting their schedule, and makes it easy to re-watch sections, or entire episodes, to ensure the material is understood completely and thoroughly. Mike Duffy

Avalanche 1’s, Mike Duffy, 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 and be available as a resource all year. 


If you are looking for additional avalanche education, collectively through ISMA (, the four OEMs (Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo and Yamaha) 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. 



  1. I can’t speak for all AC dealers, but I attended one at Country Cat in Minnesota. Rob’s passing is still a heartbreaker for me. I found him quite entertaining.

  2. Thanks Kale. Here it does not matter what brand of sled you ride or who puts out the training. I hope and pray that all mountain riders take training as much as possible so we don’t have another tragedy like Rob’s. Rob was a huge advocate of proper equipment and safety in the mountains. He still lost his life. Will any of this training totally eliminate this? No but it will make you more aware of all the dangers out there and how to deal with it. Country Cat has been putting on Avalanche classes every year. Please take them.


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