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Beyond the


Some ski resorts in Colorado feature access points to backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Backcountry skiing refers to these out-of-bounds areas that are usually lands owned by the U.S. Forest Service and available for public use. This terrain is beyond the ski area boundary and not managed or maintained by ski areas or ski patrol.

In accordance with the Colorado Ski Safety Act, ski areas assume no responsibility for skiers and snowboarders going beyond the ski area boundary. By taking steps to educate yourself and your friends on backcountry and avalanche safety, you can reduce the risks that are part of backcountry winter recreation.

  • Colorado Ski Country SafetyAvalanches, unmarked obstacles, and other natural hazards exist beyond the ski area boundary.
  • Rescue in the backcountry can be costly and may take several hours; in some cases, it might not be available at all.
  • Knowledge and good decision-making are the two most important tools to be equipped with before heading beyond any ski area boundary.
  • Skiers and snowboarders need be trained in avalanche safety, use the proper gear (including a beacon, probe, and shovel), go with a partner, and have knowledge of the terrain.

Many Colorado Ski Country USA ski areas provide free avalanche beacon clinics and avalanche education classes.  The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) is a leading organization dedicated to providing backcountry users with updated forecasts and safety education.

Learn more at Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC)