Colorado Outdoors Podcast: Episode 6 – Backcountry Winter Safety

If you plan to head into the backcountry this winter, do so with safety in mind: Know before you go, recreate responsibly, and take the Colorado Backcountry Winter Safety Pledge.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s latest podcast episode discusses how to get in front of backcountry danger in the winter. 

Outdoor agencies across Colorado have seen an increase in park visitation and off-grid winter recreation. Recreating in the backcountry requires certain precautions and equipment to ensure a safe outdoor experience.

Podcast host Mark Johnson talks with two CPW experts on winter backcountry recreation. Ben Plankis is the trails coordinator for the northeast region of the agency and Michael Haskins is a park ranger at Chatfield State Park who assist backcountry search and rescue teams with rescue missions.

For more information on backcountry winter safety courses, visit  

Backcountry Skiers
If you plan to head into the backcountry this winter, do so with safety in mind: Know before you go, recreate responsibly, Care for Colorado and take the Colorado Backcountry Winter Safety Pledge.


  • 2:40 – what do people need to consider when they head up into the high country
  • 3:56 – know before you go – Check Avalanche and Weather Forecast
  • 4:37 – equipment to keep you safe should you be caught in an avalanche
  • 5:40 – avalanche awareness classes
  • 6:38 – what to know if new to Colorado
  • 7:28 – what should you look for when in potential avalanche terrain
  • 8:05 – advice for experienced backcountry visitors
  • 9:40 – snow conditions this year and more people venturing out in the backcountry
  • 10:10 – guidelines for heading up into the backcountry
  • 11:38 – easy access into the backcountry can lead people into a false sense of security
  • 12:30 – what to do/know/have if you need help
  • 15:20 – COTREX trails app and cell phone GPS capabilities

All episodes of Colorado Outdoors can also be found on your favorite podcast platforms such as Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsiHeartRadioSpotifyPandora and more.

Podcast hosted by Mark Johnson. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is a nationally recognized leader in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management. The agency manages 42​ state parks, all of Colorado’s 960-plus wildlife species, more than 350 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs from hunting and fishing to the state’s trails program, boat registrations, snowmobiles, off-highway vehicles and more. All of its management is in perpetuity for the enjoyment of Coloradans and its visitors and this podcast is dedicated to telling the stories and happenings in Colorado’s great

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