From Salomon / Atomic:
Ogden, Utah – December 7, 2015 – Atomic and Salomon, two of the world’s leading ski brands, have partnered to create Mountain Academy. Developed in collaboration with WePowder, Mountain Academy brings together elite mountain experts to offer in-depth, online snow safety education through digital instruction.
Through a series of high-quality videos, pictures, animations and self-tests, Mountain Academy students gain fundamental knowledge in snowpack variables, identifying different types of avalanches, basic information about rescue tools and techniques. The curriculum has been developed through partnerships with top experts in avalanche education including: AIARE, the foremost avalanche curriculum organization running programs in South America, Europe and the US, UAC, NWAC and CAIC. Users are self-tested as they go, reinforcing the information they’ve learned. Curriculum is accessible via a direct payment of $29 or through purchasing Atomic Backland and Automatic products or Salomon Quest and MTN products. All proceeds from Mountain Academy are directed to the North American Mountain Academy Fund to help benefit local forecasting centers and avalanche organizations.
“The ideal way to get the best lines and stay safe in steep terrain is to know something about avalanches,” says Paul Diegel, executive director of the Utah Avalanche Center. “Mountain Academy is a great new way to start learning how to make smart decisions in the backcountry.”
Mountain Academy is built around two online courses. Course One develops skiers’ awareness when interested in traveling out of bounds, explaining the essentials about snow safety, necessary equipment, various dangers in the backcountry and how to avoid them. Course Two gives skiers information they need to go deeper into the backcountry. It’s a continuation of Course One (which is recommended to complete first), and provides more in-depth information on types of snow, avalanche situations and terrain characteristics seen when participating in backcountry travel.
“As Salomon and Atomic are developing more and more equipment designed to help people access backcountry terrain with greater ease, we think it’s crucial for us to also equip people with an understanding of the risks associated with backcountry skiing,” said Evin Catlett, senior digital marketing manager for Salomon and Atomic in the Americas. “We want to provide people with a way to start educating themselves and hope that as they advance through Mountain Academy, that it will only further their interest in increasing their knowledge, and drive them to sign up for an in-person snow safety class in their area.”
Mountain Academy is not meant to replace avalanche safety and gear training, but rather supplement it and direct participants to sign up for an in-person course in their area.