On August 1, 2015, expert rider Will Olson crashed in the Big Mountain Enduro/Enduro World Series race that took place in Crested Butte, CO, and died as a result of his injuries.

Occurring on a national stage, Will’s death rocked the bike community. Among the messages of support, shock, and sadness that flooded online forums, so too did comments of concern… If I were there, would I have known what to do? In most cases - for racers, riders, and event directors alike - the answer was a resounding NO.

Backcountry Lifeline was founded in the Fall of 2015 by two riders (Flynn George and Heidi Dohse) who were racing with Will that day, along with his fiancé, Bonnie McDonald. Their mission was to bring to racers, riders, and event organizers the training and tools necessary to be able to respond to emergencies on the trails.

In its first few years of operation, BCLL trained more than 500 riders in nearly a dozen states. With increasing demand and evolving wilerness medicine standards, the team saw a need to broaden their reach and expertise.

In April 2020, Darren Stokes, owner of wilderness medical training organization, Colorado Outside, took over management of Backcountry Lifeline with the goal of increasing access/capacity and strengthening BCLL’s comprehensive curriculum. Darren and his team bring over 30 years of wilderness medicine instructing experience to BCLL, as well as his experience as a Wilderness EMT and Search and Rescue volunteer. All Backcountry Lifeline courses will be certified by Wilderness Medical Associates International, operated under license by Colorado Outside.

Please join us in setting a new precedent for mountain bikers worldwide: Get trained, get certified, LOVE YOUR RIDERS.

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