Backcountry 2.0

Summary: Business of the Backcountry 2.0


Business of the Backcountry 2.0, powered by Verde Brand Communications, is a free, online program for sales reps and retailers who sell winter backcountry-related gear. The goal of the programBusiness of the Backcountry is to provide information and expanded awareness in order to effectively and responsibly sell this growing category. Retailers and reps are often the “first point of contact” for people exploring the backcountry. We will cover gear and innovations, along with resources that will help retailers facilitate more educated and aware backcountry travelers in their own communities.

The program is a series of five “modules.” Each module will include: a pre-recorded audio podcast with expert panelists, supporting written materials, and an interactive feature that enables participants to share successes, challenges and anecdotes, as well as ask direct questions of our panelists.


Dates noted below are “go live” dates. We will record podcasts several weeks in advance.
The Business of the Backcountry 2.0 is in no way attempting to teach established snow science theories and/or avalanche education. The program will be an introduction to the most current thoughts and established venues, and a resource for finding more information.

Module One (Dec. 2): Innovations in Gear (safety, hard goods and soft goods) and Packing for Preparation, Safety, Comfort, and Fun:

  • A preview of the latest innovations, and an opportunity to train staff on what customers need to complete their kits, how frequently they need to replace their safety gear, the finer points of layering, where to find training to properly use their gear, and more. Focus will be safety gear, hard goods and soft goods.
  • Panelists: Bruce Edgerly (BCA) and Drew Pogge (journalist, guide and owner of Montana Alpine Adventures)

Module Two (Dec. 9): Guiding Your Customers to Forecasting and Avalanche Education:

  • With a panel of the most respected and influential names in snow science, forecasting and education, this expansive topic will: update you on the latest initiatives from the forecasting and education side, take your staff through the “best practices” of encouraging your customers to seek out forecasts and further education, identify the basics of avalanche terrain and instability, learn how avalanche education has evolved over the past few years and decide if it’s time to recertify, and more. This topic in no way is a replacement for a certified avalanche education course; it is designed to help you and your staff enhance your leadership and understanding in how to build a strong, more savvy, backcountry community.
  • Panelists: Bruce Tremper (Utah Avalanche Center), Ben Pritchett (Program Director, AIARE), Doug Chabot (Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center) Ethan Greene (CAIC), and Sarah Carpenter (AAI)

Module Three (Dec. 16): How to Sell Responsibly Within a Risk-intensive Category:

  • With lessons from other sports, like climbing and mountaineering, we will discuss how to balance enthusiasm (for the sport and making sales) with responsibility. Plus, we will explore the value in further developing your retail store as a community resource.
  • Panelists: Kim Miller (SCARPA), Doug Phillips (Metolius), TBD

Module Four (Jan. 6): The Human Factor: The Psychology of Decision-Making and Risk:

  • We’ll speak with researchers, academicians and guides who study and witness how individuals and groups of all levels communicate, find consensus, and ultimately make decisions. What can we do to strengthen a safety-culture mindset?
  • Panelists: Iain Stewart Patterson (Assistant Professor, Adventure Studies and ACMG, UIAGM, IFMGA) and Sarah Carpenter (AMGA guide and co-owner of American Avalanche Institute), Tom Murphy (AIARE)

Module Five (Jan. 13): Women in the Backcountry:

  • Gain insight into how 50-percent of your customers may (or may not) approach backcountry adventures differently than the other 50-percent. We’ll summarize the physiological differences that can help guide what gear you recommend to your female customers, and present tips for selling to women in the store and empowering women in the field.
  • Panelists: Jenn Brill – TBD (Silverton Mountain), Sarah Carpenter, co-owner, AAI, Rebecca Selig (professional skier), TBD more

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