An intense green upconversion emission due to a photon avalanche mechanism has been observed in Ho3+–Yb3+ codoped fluroindate glasses, measured at 200 K, under excitation at around 750 nm. The influence of the Yb3+ concentration on the photon avalanche process has been studied. The pump power threshold of the avalanche mechanism decreases as the Yb3+ concentration is increased. A reduction by about a factor of 3 is observed from the 2.25 mol % Ho3+ single doped glass to the 2.25 mol % Ho3+–2.25 mol % Yb3+ codoped glass. This effect has been related to an extra feeding of the 5I7 intermediate level of Ho3+ ions via Ho3+→Yb3+ and Yb3+→Ho3+ energy transfer and back transfer processes, respectively. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.