We get people who get outside—plain and simple. This is about gear, grit, and connecting people to their passions.
Sometimes, even the path less traveled can feel well worn, so we make our own way. We owe it to ourselves and our customers to be innovative, to take risks, and to reach remarkable new territory.
All work and no play makes even the most dedicated professionals weary, so we balance performance with passion. We make time to hit our goals and to play in the mountains and on the trails. It’s all about balance.
Carefully laid plans are important, but a willingness to take action is absolutely vital. We act decisively and move forward with speed and passion. Some people sit around and think about it—we take action and go out and get it.
We have deep roots in Utah, and we thrive on the trails and in the mountains surrounding Park City. Our corporate headquarters sits just north of old town Park City and within a quick pedal or a few footsteps of the Wasatch mountains.
It doesn’t get much better than working at 9000ft. A road ride on twisty blacktop, a mountain bike ride on miles of IMBA gold-rated trails, or skiing lap after lap of bottomless powder in the Wasatch range are all par for the course during your lunch break.
Concerts all summer, Sundance in the winter, and some of the West's best restaurants year-round—the local color is vibrant. You won't have to travel more than a few minutes to see any of it, and if you're looking for a little more of an urban experience, Salt Lake City is only 30 minutes away.
Utah's snowfall is legendary, but high-altitude living also means that you get the colors of fall, cool mornings in the spring, and warm summer nights. For anyone who thrives in the outdoors, this is a new spin on paradise every three or four months.
Salt Lake City offers access to some of the world's best skiing and outdoor recreation—you're just minutes away from paradise. Theatre, music, dance, museums, and all the staples of sophisticated city living are right here.
A recreational mecca and green community, Christiansburg is home to Backcountry’s second distribution center. Its shipping center and satellite photo studio allow us to serve the Eastern United States with increased speed and efficiency.
Coastal living, coffee, and bike culture might be what Portland is best known for, but the greater metro area is also one of the fastest-growing and most beautiful areas of the Western United States. The confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers feed the evergreen landscape, and the striking skyline hints at the mountains and wilderness not far from the city. With all this and its close ties to the local powersport culture, it's easy for the Motosport tribe to call Portland home.
This was Backcountry’s first international office, and it’s where you’ll find even more of our talented herd. Costa Rica was selected for its rich culture, quick travel from the United States, and exceptional caliber of qualified employees. Since it opened in 2008, this office has become a vital part of Backcountry’s day-to-day operations.
Climbing spots, bike routes, hiking trails, and the Echaz River mark the land surrounding Kirchentellinsfurt, home to Bergfreunde.de. Kirchentellinsfurt has a rich outdoor culture that serves as a beacon for mountain and climbing enthusiasts from all around Germany.
Backcountry.com began in 1996 with two guys, a stack of avalanche beacons, and a garage in Park City, Utah. Our roots were humble, and we've grown since then, but our vision is still clear: to provide the best outdoor gear—and to be the best at doing it.
Our ranks are flush with business leaders, professional athletes, and industry veterans—those who share a common vision and know how to take action. From our executive team to our Gearheads, we target the core by hiring the core. Our employees are among the most experienced and knowledgeable in the industry.
At Backcountry, we value your passions just as much as your work. Much in the way that we seek out the highest performing gear on the planet, we hire the most knowledgeable and experienced employees in the industry.
We make it easier to get outside. Gear discounts, access to events in Park City and Salt Lake, flexible time off, and workday recreation take you beyond the office and out to where you love to be. Our connection with the outdoors brings our employees together, and we do what we can to further that connection every day.
We’re driven to make a difference in the outdoor community and beyond. Backcountry employees volunteer with the Salt Lake Climber’s Alliance, the Utah Avalanche Center, the IMBA, and the Summit Land Conservancy, to name a few. Employee-run organizations are a vital part of who we are, too; our Green Team is dedicated to environmental responsibility and the Women’s Leadership Coalition aids in women’s career development in Backcountry and in the community.
We have industry-leading perks to reward a job well done. Whether you display an example of one of our core values or simply get it done, the list of perks is nearly endless.
Gear is at the heart of our business, so we offer deep discounts, pro deals, and a gear closet for lending so you can own the best and test the latest. Lift ticket and seasons pass deals and Ski Utah Gold Passes give you access to the mountains to ski and board during the winter and mountain bike during the summer.
And best of all, workday recreation is highly encouraged; a mid-day ride on the bike, a morning of skiing neck-deep powder, or an early afternoon climb are all part of who we are.
Feel like getting out at night? Our sponsored events are legendary and include trail relays, mountain bike races, a 4th of July throw-down, and our company-wide Adventure party. We get access to deals on event tickets for Utah Jazz basketball, Real Salt Lake soccer, concerts in Salt Lake and Park City, and more.
In addition to offering industry-leading perks, we have big-company benefits to keep you and your family healthy and happy.
In 2004, Jill Layﬁeld stumbled upon a posting for a marketing position with a small eCommerce company called backcountry.com and decided to send in her resume. Little did she know she would not only uproot from the San Francisco Bay area to Park City, UT, but that she would also move up through the ranks from Backcountry's Director of Customer Marketing role to become the VP of Product Development in 2009, COO in 2010, and CEO in 2011.
Jill graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.A. in Communications. Prior to Backcountry, Jill held positions with Shutterfly, Cisco Systems, Infogear, and 8x8.
When she’s not tearing down the Backcountry hallway to her next meeting, Jill loves to climb, trail run, ski, and mountain bike with her family. Her husband, daughters, and dog are her constant companions in the outdoors, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Jill's very first climbing rope remains her most cherished piece of outdoor gear. It was given to her as a gift before a climb in the Sierra Foothills many years ago, and the scars she's acquired while using it—one being a heart-shaped mark on the back of her left hand—serve to remind her of her love for the sport.
CJ brings with him more than a decade's-worth of technology prowess, leadership, and organizational integration experience earned at some of the country's leading tech companies. As Senior Vice President of Technology at Synacor, CJ focused on delivering high-growth products and creating the technology vision to increase the scalability of the business. Prior to that, he spent three years as Director of Engineering and Product Development at Yahoo!, where he was responsible for leading the company's development centers in Latin America.
He’s also an Oracle alum, where he was integral in the creation of the now-ubiquitous Electronic Records and Electronic Signature (ERES) product. Additionally, he was awarded two patents for innovative solutions created for XML record searching and XML based security models.
He holds a Bachelor of Engineering, Computer Science degree from Gulbarga University in India, and earned a Masters in Information Systems Management from Carnegie Mellon University. CJ is a dad, a photographer, and a lover of the outdoors. He's also pretty sure that the rareﬁed air of Park City is going to add at least 40 yards to his golf drive.
CJ raves about his Newton Gravity running shoes, which he prefers for the smoothness and comfort that they bring to his running. Recently, CJ wore his Newtons while competing in the Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay with fellow backcountry.com team members. He looks forward to putting his Newtons through the paces while he trains for half marathons and, eventually, triathlons.
As EVP of Growth and Product Management Jonathan is responsible for growing Backcountry’s international presence as well as expanding into new markets. He leads Backcountry’s European business, Bergfreunde.de, as well as MotoSport.com.
Jonathan also leads the product management and design functions where he is responsible for the product strategy and user experience across the entire Backcountry portfolio.
Jonathan joined Backcountry in 2010 to lead corporate development and strategy. He successfully led the company’s first acquisition, Competitive Cyclist.
Prior to joining Backcountry, Jonathan was a member of eBay’s corporate development team where he focused on M&A transactions and corporate strategy; this included acquisitions in the US, Europe and Asia and marketplace, payments, mobile, and local strategies. He’s also held technology investment banking roles at Piper Jaffray and various operations, marketing, and business development roles at Ancestry.com.
Jonathan graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Finance.
As Jonathan describes it, the Travis Rice Pro hits the sweet spot in terms of stiffness, weight, and size; it’s the type of board that allows you to switch your brain off and simply enjoy the ride. One ride, deep in the Uintas backcountry, stands out to him, and it was the day that convinced him that this is the type of board that simply makes you a better rider. Since that day, the T.Rice earned a dedicated spot in his quiver of boards.
Bill Mitchell has a distinguished track record as CFO in both the technology and eCommerce industries. He spent six years at Audible.com where he worked through the integration with Amazon, an effort that helped the company generate 160% return on its investment. With over 25 years experience as CFO, Bill’s had the opportunity to work with several companies including Viewpoint, Bigfoot Interactive, TCI Cable, and TKR (while it was owned by Liberty Media).
Bill received his AB from Dartmouth College and his MBA/MA from Northeastern University. He’s a dedicated skier, and in the past he worked for many years as a ski instructor and race coach. It was that experience that fueled Bill’s passion for going “scary fast” on his skis. He adds that of his top ten ski days in 50 years, he has had five in Utah. Bill looks forward to logging as much vertical as possible at Deer Valley, Canyons, Snowbird, and Alta throughout the winter.
For Bill, skiing is all about going fast and making precise, powerful turns. His Volkl Tigersharks are the perfect tool for milking every last bit of speed from the hill. This stiff, aggressive ski is built for high-speed arcs at high-edge angles and it’s known for its incredible edge hold. As Bill puts it, his Tigersharks growl.
After spending the past three years leading United Airlines' talent management team, Ted Forbes recently made his lifelong dream of moving to Utah a reality. Prior to United, Ted served as CEO and President of the Darden School Foundation at the University of Virginia, as Chief Learning Officer at Capital One, and as a founding partner of an HR consulting firm, The Peregrine Group.
Ted brings to the Backcountry executive team years of experience in developing talent and growing strong corporate cultures. Since he joined the company in September 2013, Ted has made an impact on shaping the Human Resources team's work agenda to support Backcountry's core values of Breaking Trail, Balancing Passion and Performance, and Getting It Done.
Ted earned a B.A. from Guilford College and a MBA from the Darden School at UVA. He's also held roles as a middle school Latin teacher and a business school professor, and has fifteen years experience as a ski patroller in the National Ski Patrol’s Southern Division. He lives in Park City with his partner, Deborah, and enjoys spending time skiing, biking, fishing and paddling with her and his four children.
Ted’s three-layer Patagonia Gore-Tex patrol parka is literally stained with memories. From sheave train grease to spilled beer and blood stains, it’s a garment covered in the residue of early mornings, miserable weather, and stabilized injuries. He’s worn it to weddings and funerals. It’s never stopped doing its job of keeping the elements out and the warmth in; and even more, it’s come to symbolize his love of the snow and his commitment to his patrol friends, his family, and his service to others.
Pete LaBore originally joined the Backcountry herd in 2007 to serve as the Director of Customer Acquisition; it was a role that would later serve as the beacon to bring him back to the herd in 2010, after a brief departure.
Early in his career, Pete served as the head of Internet Marketing for JC Whitney, where he developed a strong foundation of marketing and eCommerce. Later, his transition to the online marketing agency, Performics, led him to oversee the online marketing strategy and performance for clients such as Toyota, FTD.com, and Patagonia.
After a brief move back to Chicago, Pete rejoined Backcountry in 2010, first serving as the Director of Customer Retention before taking over the P&L for the Flash (one deal at a time) and Dogfunk segments of the business. Today, Pete's role within the executive team involves leading merchandising and Flash operations. His deep understanding of eCommerce across marketing, merchandising, and product makes him an integral part of Backcountry's core leadership team.
Pete earned his B.A. in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University and his MBA in Strategy & Marketing from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. When he's not at the office, Pete enjoys spending time skiing, trail running and fly-fishing, and being outside with his wife, Nicole, and 4-year-old son, Beck.
Fly fishing was always on Pete’s bucket list; so, one day he picked up a Sage fly rod, bought rods for his dad and his brother, and planned a trip to fish small creeks in the southwest region of Wisconsin. The trip provided a unique opportunity for the family to bond and cemented fly fishing as an escape for Pete. Now, with larger rivers to fish in Utah, the Sage One is his trout fishing weapon of choice. In the end, fly fishing has proved a ticket to get away from it all.
Jim Holland is a two-time Olympian and six-time national champion Nordic ski jumper. Holland was a member of the US Ski Team for nine years, and he continues to be an avid athlete in all aspects.
After graduating from the University of Vermont, Jim migrated to Utah and founded the web development company Wasatch Web Works. The company would serve as his introduction to online business, and it would eventually lead him to team up with the co-founder of backcountry.com, John Bresee. Jim’s focus on cost-effective retailing led to exceptional year-over-year growth for Backcountry, and his passion for specialty outdoor gear has helped Backcountry stand apart from its competition.
From rallying company Ultimate Frisbee games at lunch to long adventurous backcountry ski tours, Jim approaches everything outdoors with the same passion and focus that has made backcountry.com the success it is today.
Jim’s favorite pieces of gear are his Black Diamond Justice skis and his Ortovox avalanche beacon. He appreciates the avalanche beacon for what it represents—a means for expanding the boundaries of where you can go and what you can do. He’s taken both the skis and the beacon on many trips, one of the most memorable of which was a winter trek from sea level to the top of the 11,000ft peak in Jackson Hole called The Skillet.
Shae McCowen has over 15 years of experience in Planning and Merchandising. He came to Backcountry.com from Target where, as the Senior Director for Merchandise Planning, he was responsible for Target’s eCommerce and mobile platforms. Shae also led Target’s Merchandising team in India. He’s excited about his role at Backcountry.com (he calls it his “dream job”) because it allows him to balance his career with his passion for the outdoors.
Backpacking and cycling are among Shae’s many outdoor interests. He’s trekked to Everest base camp where he spent five nights above 14,000 feet, and most recently hiked with his wife through Patagonia. Perhaps most impressively, Shae managed to ride his bike nearly every day this past year, even through the deep cold of a Minnesota winter.
When asked how he could possibly ride his bike through a Minnesota winter, Shae readily credits his Arc’teryx Gamma MX Softshell Jacket. His favorite thing about the jacket is its ability to handle a broad range of temperatures and its perfect fit—even for a guy who’s six-foot five. When his son poked a hole through his favorite jacket on a camping trip, Shae didn’t hesitate to replace it with another Gamma MX.
Working at Backcountry.com is Brandon Warburton’s dream job—it’s the opportunity to combine his passion for the outdoors with his expertise in ecommerce, all while living in the mountains. Prior to landing in Park City, Brandon honed his business and marketing skills at multiple companies, including IAC, Ancestry.com, Citysearch, and the U.S. Ski Team. His career at Backcountry began with a bang, as he arrived in the middle of the fourth-quarter holiday frenzy of 2008 and had to hit the ground running. The company has grown in the six years he’s been here, and he’s thankful to have been a part of the development.
When Brandon’s not overseeing Backcountry’s marketing operations, he can be found skiing or mountain biking in the surrounding Wasatch Range or fly fishing in streams and rivers throughout Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Skiing was his focus growing up, and he honed his skills while racing at the Rowmark Ski Academy in Salt Lake City. It wasn’t until he arrived at the University of Colorado, Boulder that cycling and fly fishing started to absorb more of his time, and both have provided years of enjoyment since. Most recently Brandon’s focus has shifted towards his young family. He’s excited to introduce his two girls to the outdoors and spend time with them and his wife skiing, camping, fly fishing, and biking.
Brandon’s Simms waders have seen a lot of use—over 100 days in the past two years—but they’re still going strong. Brandon appreciates the breathability of the wader’s Gore-Tex Pro Shell when he’s fishing on hot days and the generous bib storage that eliminates the need for a vest. “I’ve put these waders through the wringer,” says Brandon. “They’ve survived many days on the river and even a few run-ins with barbed wire fences.” It’s little surprise that these waders have become Brandon’s go-to choice for fly fishing here in Utah and beyond.