Backcountry Lifeline Finds a New Home with Colorado Outside

The partnership brings Backcountry Lifeline’s courses to more mountain bikers across the country and courses now include certification by Wilderness Medical Associates International.

Buena Vista, CO, April 21, 2020: This Spring brings a major development in the evolution of Backcountry Lifeline, the nation’s premier mountain bike first aid organization. Beginning in June 2020, BCLL courses will be operated by prominent wilderness medical training company, Colorado Outside, with certification by Wilderness Medical Associates International.

According to Backcountry Lifeline co-founder Bonnie McDonald, the move allows for increased course offerings and accessibility, as well as further development of BCLL’s comprehensive curriculum. “This is exactly where [BCLL founders] saw BCLL going… We are thrilled to see this expansion come to fruition.”

Backcountry Lifeline was founded in the Fall of 2015 by McDonald and mountain bikers Flynn George and Heidi Dohse, following the death of 40-year-old Will Olson in a Big Mountain Enduro/Enduro World Series race in Crested Butte, CO. George and Dohse were also racing in the event in that day; McDonald was Olson’s fiancé. The team’s mission was to bring racers, riders, and event organizers the training and tools necessary to be able to respond to emergencies on the trails.

To date, Backcountry Lifeline has trained more than 500 riders in nearly a dozen states. With increasing demand and evolving emergency medicine standards however, George and McDonald, who have been operating the business, saw a need to broaden their reach and expertise.

“We receive more requests for training than we can keep up with at this point,” commented George, “which is a GREAT thing for the bike community.” George added that at times, it has been difficult to find locations suitable to host trainings as well. This is one of the many reasons Colorado Outside is a perfect fit.

Founded in 2009 by outdoor guide and wilderness medicine instructor Darren Stokes, Colorado Outside provides wilderness medicine and backcountry rescue training for outdoor enthusiasts, guides, recreational professionals, and search and rescue volunteers. The organization is based on 1000 acres, bordering National Forest in Buena Vista, CO and offers on-site lodging, kitchen facility, and classroom space in yurts and cabins, as well as several miles of mountain bike specific single track on the premises. The company also travels to provide trainings across the country, and has ties with sister companies with similar facilities throughout the lower 48 and Alaska.

Stokes, who brings over 30 years of guiding and instructing experience and will now be the Manager of Backcountry Lifeline, sees the endeavor as a perfect fit with Colorado Outside’s current offerings, and shares McDonald and George’s passion for its mission.

“I raced mountain bikes competitively while in college, where I studied outdoor recreation. My love for the sport has continued throughout my career, which has taken me all over the US, Alaska and internationally, guiding backcountry trips and teaching wilderness medicine,” said Stokes. “It is especially rewarding to bring our business back to the sport that truly began my career in the outdoors.”

Stokes is in the process of responding to all open requests for private and group trainings and has scheduled four Wilderness First Aid for Mountain BikersTM courses at his Buena Vista headquarters thus far. These trainings, slated for June 13-14, July 18-19, August 22-23, and September 12-13 are open to the public but will have limited enrollment.


Official Press Release

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Darren Stokes
Backcountry Lifeline
(719) 395-5358