Group Attempts To United Backcountry Riders

When you think of the backcountry, you might consider many things. Fresh pow, pillow lines, tree runs all to yourself, new zones, and solitude. With the rising costs of lift tickets, parking, and resort cheeseburgers combined with crowded lift lines and all of those rules enforced by overzealous ski patrollers… Let’s face it, the backcountry is what we all dream about.

However the backcountry, already dangerous and technically challenging, isn’t a stress or conflict free zone. After spending a significant time in the backcountry doing work for major snowmobile manufacturers Jon Miller, Colorado native and avid backcountry explorer, noticed an upsetting trend. “There were alot of people using the backcountry, and there were alot of people being disrespectful to one another over differences between ‘human-powered’ access and ‘motorized-powered’ access,” Jon notes. It reminded him of his childhood as a snowboarder, of being misunderstood and chastised by skiing tourist vacationers. He kept wondering “why can’t we all just get along, in these beautiful and amazing places?”

Here's a shot of Jon Miller, shredding in the Colorado Backcountry. Photo courtesy Vince Van Bael.

Here’s a shot of Jon Miller, shredding in the Colorado Backcountry. Photo courtesy Vince Van Bael.

He wanted to do something about it so Jon started Backcountry United, a congregation focused on keeping the peace between motor-driven adventurers (mainly snowmobilers) and those who favor man-powered access to the backcountry.  With the hope of being able to influence a peaceful and respectful conversation amongst all backcountry users, he says his mission is simple, “It’s all about Respect, Stewardship, and Education.”

His Facebook page states it this way:
“Our hope is to build a bridge of understanding and respect for all who enjoy being in the backcountry—whether you prefer to go on foot, or by snowmobiles. In an effort to unite everyone, we must work on a few basic principles.
Stewardship: in other words, respecting nature and taking care of it for future generations. If we don’t, it will all continue to be closed down.
Education: to share information for avalanche awareness, route-finding, survival, rescue, and even riding techniques and skills.
Respect: basically do unto others in the backcountry, look out for one another, take care of one another, and respect the activities of one another.
We are skiers, snowboarders, snow-shoers, cross-country skiers, hikers, mountain bikers, outdoorsman AND we ride motorized vehicles. Our intentions are pure, and that is to keep everyone safe, and keep the backcountry open for use for generations to come.
We humbly ask all of our friends who pursue outdoor adventures to like, share, support, and contribute to the conversation that we hope to push forward with this page.”

If you want to know more, log on to Facebook and like the Backcountry United page.

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Backcountry United