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Free avalanche class hosted by Action Motor Sports

Local Business

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IDAHO FALLS – Snow has been falling heavily in parts of Idaho this week, and snowmobilers are already planning trips into the mountains to experience the new powder.

One local business wants to make sure snowmobilers are safe during those trips — especially from the threat of avalanches.

Action Motor Sports will be hosting a free avalanche class at 9 a.m. Saturday at their Idaho Falls location on 1355 East Lincoln Road. The class will include guest speakers like Dan Adams, a professional snowmobiler, and Matt Entz from Mountain Skills with Matt Entz.

“I don’t care how many years you have snowmobiled,” Action Motor Sports spokesman Steve Dutcher told East Idaho News. “Going to a class and sharpening your skills at the beginning of the season is very wise.”

Also at the class will be Summer Andersen, who helped organize the event. In 2018, Andersen received the devastating news that her husband, Adam, was caught in an avalanche in the Mt. Jefferson area of Island Park. Since then, she has focused on educating others about avalanche safety.

RELATED: Newsmakers: Summer Andersen and her mission to stop avalanche fatalities

After raising money through her own non-profit, the Adam Andersen Avalanche Project, Andersen was able to work with Dutcher and Action Motor Sports to make “Avalanche kits” that include an avalanche bag, beacon, shovel, and a probe. These kits can be rented out all winter long, absolutely free, at Action Motor Sports in Idaho Falls or High Mountain Adventures in Island Park.

“(Andersen) just decided to take this and turn it into something incredibly positive and good,” Dutcher explained.

Participants are strongly encouraged to bring all of their avalanche gear. They will teach tips and tricks on how to use your gear, and check them to make sure they are in proper order. Action Motor Sports will be putting some of their gear on sale for the event.

Before the class, at 8:30 a.m., Chick-fil-A breakfast sandwiches will be provided, and around 8:45, Air Idaho will land a helicopter in the front parking lot for anyone to spectate. The whole family is invited to attend.

After the class, they will offer to fill any airbag canisters for your avalanche pack. These airbags will inflate on the rider’s back, which helps keep you on top of snow during an avalanche. This way, you can come, pull the cord on these airbags, get familiar with how they work, and make sure they are set and ready for the real thing.

“It’s just a good time to check your avalanche gear, and we will do it all tomorrow at our event,” Dutcher added.