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Salomon Mountain Academy Offers Most the Most Comprehensive Online Avalanche Education Course Available.

Backcountry is one of the fastest growing segments in skiing, and for good reason. Backcountry skiing is one of the last bastions of true freedom, where the decisions made and the risks accepted are mostly up to the individual group. With that, however, comes a large responsibility. The consequences of those risks—whether it is a life-changing untouched powder run, or a potentially deadly avalanche—are also born exclusively by you. Avoiding dangerous situations, or surviving them should the worst happen, requires knowledge and experience.

This is the thinking behind Salomon’s online snow safety course, Mountain Academy. Mountain Academy isn’t your standard list of quick tips or online refresher. It is a multi-chapter, multi-phase, two-course program containing essentially the classroom portion of a Level 1 avalanche course. While the Academy itself admits that it is no replacement for an actual avalanche education course, it provides a solid foundation that will set skiers up for success in the next phase of their development.

"This online program really addresses all topics related to safety in the backcountry and avalanches,” says Fred Jarry of the Association Nationale pour l’Étude de la Neige et des Avalanches, the leading snow safety organization in France. “It is really complete (it is almost an encyclopedia) and updated with the latest knowledge, strategies or techniques."

The first course of Mountain Academy focuses on the most accessible (and therefore often the most dangerous) type of backcountry skiing: the off-piste and out-of-bounds runs accessed from the ski area. After graduating from Course 1, skiers can move up to Course 2, which refreshes much of the same information, but with a focus on travelling further into the backcountry, and the increased risks that come with that.

“Mountain Academy is the most comprehensive collection of understandable backcountry safety information I've ever seen,” says professional skier and filmmaker Mike Douglas. “Whether you're thinking about heading out into the backcountry for the first time or you've spent a lifetime in the mountains, you'll find a bunch of useful information in the program.”

Mountain Academy delves into all aspects of snow safety, including common misconceptions about avalanches, the effects of snow, weather, and terrain, the psyche behind human decision making, how to perform a rescue, and where to turn when you’re ready to explore the backcountry under professional guidance.

"Finally we're seeing a company take action in backcountry safety and responsibility,” says professional skier Kalen Thorien. “Salomon recognizes the importance of proper backcountry education and is not only equipping skiers with the product they need, but also the knowledge required to have a fun, safe day in the mountains."

"Mountain Academy shows Salomon’s commitment to the safety and well being of their athletes,” adds Cody Townsend, “It helps ensure that their athletes and ambassadors are not only quality representatives of skiing, but also quality representatives of safety.”

Customers buying a qualified Salomon product will get free access to some or both courses. Check out http://mountainacademy.salomon.com to learn more. The Academy is open to anyone for a fee of $29 or €29 (Exclusive January offer now for only 9€ / $9). Salomon does not take any direct profit from Mountain Academy. Proceeds are directed to the Mountain Academy Fund to help benefit forecasting centers and avalanche organizations around the world.

To learn all you need to know about venturing into the backcountry, an on-mountain course like the one in the video below is a great idea. (Note: not all courses are in French like this one!) But before you sign up for that quality instruction on snow, the Salomon Mountain Academy is the perfect way to learn the basics of touring.