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Arc’teryx Launches New Digital Backcountry Winter Academy

Taking place from Feb. 8 to 12, 2021, the digital Academy will serve as a space where participants can engage in learning opportunities and celebrate mountain culture in a safe and responsible way

Arc’teryx launches the 2021 Digital Backcountry Academy for the global community to have an opportunity to access skill development courses and mountain education resources online.The upcoming Digital Backcountry Academy is designed to provide participants with a similar experience to an in-person Academy, from the comforts of their own homes.

“Our Academies were designed to inspire, connect, and engage our communities, and although we can’t be together physically, we can still continue to learn and build on our backcountry skill sets,” said Jurgen Watts, director of brand experiences at Arc’teryx. “We have a terrific lineup of inspiring speakers, stimulating panel discussions, engaging films, and opportunities for skills development. It’s our hope that through our Digital Backcountry Academy, participants will be inspired to spend time in nature, and that they’ll keep building on their skills to do safely.”

Instead of clinics, this year the brand is working in partnership with Arc’teryx athlete and guide, Mark Smiley, to offer online avalanche safety and backcountry ski courses at a reduced rate. The avalanche safety course consists of over 75 videos broken down into six segments, while the backcountry ski course covers both skiing and mountaineering divided into four sections: movement, gear, anchors, and expedition skills.

In addition to the online courses, during the week-long digital event Arc’teryx will offer a variety of free events, including: two panel discussions that explore Diversity & Inclusion in the Outdoors, and Ski Touring in the Time of covid; a backcountry ski photography workshop led by Arc’teryx Senior Outdoor Photographer Angela Percival; film screenings of Frozen in Time and Motherload; a new Academy podcast series hosted by comedian Katie Burrell; and an online photo exhibit featuring images from local Jackson, WY photographers.

The brand will also launch a digital resource hub featuring a selection of educational articles, checklists and tip sheets written by Arc’teryx athletes, ambassadors, and brand partners, covering topics such as ski season training, assembling a comprehensive backcountry preparedness kit, and gear recommendations.

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“Connecting with our community and spending time in nature has never been more relevant than it is today,” said Watts. “With that in mind, we want to create a space where people, regardless of where they live, can inspire each other and learn from experts, so they can confidently and safely enjoy the backcountry.”