ABOUT COLORADO BACKCOUNTRY 

Colorado Backcountry is Crested Butte's only locally owned hiking, biking and skiing guide service.  We love these mountains, and we want to share them with you - responsibly, respectfully, privately.

 

"Experiences In Nature!" - We travel softly, minimizing our impact, maximizing your connection to the mountains and the wildlife!

 

"Adventures in Motion!" - Specializing in custom trips, we scale the day's objectives to you.  We offer a spectrum of activities from relaxing and scenic family outings, high-value skills clinics, adventurous day trips, and multi-day mountain traverses.

 

Owned by Ben and Janae Pritchett since 2006, Colorado Backcountry's team of thoughtfully-selected and exceptional guides bring over 40 years of combined experience exploring the mountains around Crested Butte.

 

After over a decade of teaching mountain bike skills camps all over the western U.S., Ben and Janae decided in 2015 to join forces with some of mountain biking's best instructors to launch the Backcountry Bike Academy, a mountain biking school in Crested Butte dedicated to delivering the ultimate mountain bike skills clinics in the industry. 

 

Ben Pritchett

Ben is the soft-spoken mountain goat who leads our summer guiding operations.  His lifelong curiosity with natural history accelerated early in life as he earned his degree in wildlife biology and ecology.  In the summers, you'll find him on the ridges of the Elk Mountain or maybe riding singletrack with his kids, friends or clients.  Ben carries an old-school American Mountain Guides Association ski guide certification, Wilderness First Responder card, and plenty of chocolate!

 

Janae Pritchett 

Janae is an exuberant teacher and coach, hyper-motivated athlete and the most fun person you can imagine leading you into the mountains.  Achievement is her middle name:  professional athlete, mountain guide, fitness coach, mother of two, Yale University degrees in Geology and Environmental Studies, and mathematics curriculum developer.  In the summers, Janae raced professionally in Xterra triathlons, downhill, cross country, and enduro races, finishing on the podium in almost every race.  In the winters, Janae mixed it up, winning events such as the Grand Traverse and being one of the only athletes to ever place top five in U.S. freeride alpine, telemark, and snowboard events.  Now retired from racing, she shares her passion for the outdoors and adventure through her guide service and mountain biking school in Crested Butte.  Want to do more in the mountains?  Janae is your lady!

Sydney Dickinson

Come explore the mountains with one of Colorado's most versatile, inspiring, talented, and fun female guides.  As Crested Butte locals describe her, Sydney Dickinson is a "legend in the making."  After earning her BS in Health and Exercise Science, Sydney moved to Crested Butte with her husband, Rob.  Since then, she has proved to be a formidable athlete, taking every sport she does by storm:  whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, telemark skiing, and alpine skiing.  She holds national titles for U.S. Freesking events and Telemark Extreme Championships and too many mountain bike and skiing podium finishes to count.  A talented coach and guide, Sydney provides exceptional, personalized feedback while taking her clients on the unforgettable adventures of a lifetime.  Most of all, she is stoked to share her passion for mountain biking.  

Evan Ross

Evan, originally from Jackson Hole WY, gained his ski skills from participation in the Jackson Hole Ski Club starting at the age of 7. He has since traded the skinny skis and groomers for fatter planks and powder. His skills extend beyond skiing though and he is well known in the whitewater kayaking community for many first descents on rivers in Peru, Madagascar, and Siberia. When he’s not skiing or paddling he can be found on his mountain bike logging long rides around the Crested Butte area where he now lives and works. Evan is a certified ski guide with the AMGA, is a certified EMT-B and AIARE Level I Avalanche Instructor. 

David Bumgarner

Dave brings with him a variety of skills and experience, he has been working in the outdoor industry since 1998. He has guided all over the American west and throughout Europe. He has worked as the Director for well established outdoor programs in Colorado and Germany. He has also worked with the Adaptive Sports Center based here in Crested Butte. He holds a variety of certifications including AIARE Level 3, Level 4 ACA Kayak instructor trainer, ACA Swiftwater instructor; ACA Level 3 SUP; AMGA Single Pitch Climbing Instructor, and has completed his Aspirant AMGA Ski Guide Course/Exam. When he's not guiding for us he teaches for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). He is currently working on his masters degree in Higher Administrative Education. Dave loves sharing the outdoors with his clients.