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  • Writer's pictureJunine So

Community Survey Results: We Asked, You Answered

Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer Cascade Backcountry Alliance’s first community survey! Almost 400 of you answered and we learned a lot from your responses.

We'll highlight our main takeaways in this post. You can also learn more by listening to the very first episode of our new podcast series, Backcountry Bites, on Youtube or Spotify!

What You Want CBA to Work On

We weren’t surprised to learn that the biggest issue that you want CBA to work on is winter backcountry access. We are lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest surrounded by abundant and beautiful terrain, but the need to expand access points has become all the more urgent as interest in backcountry winter recreation has exploded in recent years.

Here are some of the projects we’ve worked on in our first two years to expand access:

  • Glacier Creek Road - Last season, we partnered with other organizations to support a successful letter-writing campaign to reopen Glacier Creek Road for access to Mt. Baker’s north side.

  • Sno Parks - We are working with the Forest Service and Washington State Parks to get more Sno Parks established in areas our community is interested in, including Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie Pass.

Beyond access, you identified several additional issues you want us to work on:

  • Advocacy - We are continuing to build relationships with land managers and other stakeholders and staying on the lookout for opportunities to advocate for better access for our community.

  • Education - We hosted an NWAC avalanche awareness event in partnership with Wonderland Gear Exchange this season, and hope to put on more events like this in the future. We also launched our Backcountry 101 series and are excited to develop more educational resources for our community. We welcome ideas for more educational content you would like to see!

Word cloud showing results of Cascade Backcountry Alliance community survey
This word cloud shows the most commonly used words in your survey responses.

Top Barriers You Face to Getting Out

The top three barriers you said you face to getting out are: 

  • Dangerous and/or bad snow conditions

  • Lack of free time

  • Inability to find partners

Chart showing the top barriers to getting into the backcountry based on our community survey

While our powers are limited when it comes to creating more free time, preparation and planning are key when it comes to adjusting for dangerous and/or bad snow conditions. Our blog posts on Washington Weather: Principles and Forecasting Resources and How to Plan Your First Ski Tour are great places to start. We also encourage you to check out the incredible resources the Washington Trails Association and the Northwest Avalanche Center have to offer.

We hear you on the need for community building among winter backcountry users. We’re excited to be partnering with Feathered Friends Seattle on the first event of their new storytelling series, The Bight: Spring Ski and Ride Stories. We hope to see you there on April 18th!

You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates about future community-building events and opportunities to connect with other winter backcountry users like you.

Looking Forward

Many of you are willing to take action to advocate for new or improved winter backcountry access, including by signing petitions, writing personalized notes to your elected officials, donating money, volunteering your time, and talking to your family, friends, and partners. We are excited to harness the energy of this community and there are several ways you can help!

If you can, donate to support our mission to protect and improve winter backcountry access. You can also subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

Thank you again to those of you who took the time to respond to our survey. We appreciate your insights and look forward to working with you to improve winter backcountry access in the Pacific Northwest!

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