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Backcountry Access

Here’s a press release that’s sure to create some buzz! Don’t worry: the BCA brand will continue to thrive, our management team will stay on for many more years, and we’ll remain in Boulder. We’re as excited as ever about backcountry riding and saving lives. This new partnership will enable us to combine forces with a huge industry player so we can focus on our strengths: product development and marketing–yet take advantage of K2′s strengths on such things as finance, accounting, and logistics.

We’re completely stoked to be affiliated with K2, an icon of North American skiing and riding, with a huge legacy of pioneering innovative products and defining North American ski culture. With their dominance in alpine skiing and our leading position in avalanche safety, we see ourselves as a perfect match, especially as they introduce their new line of AT boots and splitboards to the backcountry market.

With this acquisition, K2 makes a strong statement that backcountry is where the industry is going. They’re also making a strong statement about responsibility: if you’re pushing backcountry gear, you should also be pushing snow safety gear and education. BCA is just the company to support that effort: we’ve been living this for over 18 years. With K2 on our side, we can now push the message out even harder!

K2 Sports Adds Backcountry Access (BCA) to its Roster of Snowsports Brands
Global leader of outdoor sports gear acquires snow-safety pioneer

Seattle, Wash., (Jan 4th, 2013) – Complementing its industry-leading roster of 14 outdoor recreational equipment brands, K2 Sports this month closed the acquisition of Backcountry Access (BCA), a pioneering designer, manufacturer, and champion of backcountry snow-safety equipment and education.

The move reinforces K2 Sports’ position as a global leader in year-round outdoor recreation. With the acquisition of BCA, K2 Sports will be able to reach a wider spectrum of wintersports enthusiasts; from in-area and out-of-bounds, to mechanized and human-powered recreation.

“BCA fits perfectly within the K2 Sports family of brands and rounds out our portfolio as we continue to grow our leadership in winter sports,” said Anthony De Rocco, President and CEO of K2 Sports. “BCA is a leader in research, engineering and snow-safety education and has pioneered landmark backcountry safety equipment such as the Tracker avalanche transceiver and Float airbags, among other important innovations.”

Pairing BCA’s authenticity and snow-safety innovation with K2’s investment and global infrastructure will bolster BCA’s research and development efforts and create a much wider impact with its commitment to backcountry safety and education.

De Rocco said synergies of the acquisition include global distribution, research and development, supply chain, sourcing efficiencies and manufacturing strengths.

“Like K2 Sports, BCA carries a pure commitment to upholding and furthering the skiing and riding culture and ultimately, serving the specialty retailer. It’s not just about selling products, it’s about furthering the passion and core philosophy we all share to enjoy snowsports whether you’re in bounds or out of bounds,” De Rocco said.

BCA was founded by Bruce “Bruno” McGowan and Bruce “Edge” Edgerly in 1994, with a mission to help safeguard the lives of people enjoying the backcountry through product innovation, scientific research and educational efforts. Along with the Tracker beacon and Float airbags, its products include avalanche shovels, probes, snow study tools, backcountry packs and climbing skins, among other gear. BCA’s headquarters is located in Boulder, Colo. The company employs about 45 people.

McGowan said K2 Sports is committed to keeping BCA operationally intact and that the acquisition will not change BCA’s core market focus.

“There’s not much of a boundary now between lift access and backcountry. There are so many people chasing powder now who don’t understand the risks of skiing or riding in the backcountry,” McGowan said. “K2 Sports gives us a platform to innovate further on a product level while concurrently casting a wider net with our scientific research and snow-safety education efforts.

“We’ll be able to reach and engage more people with a hybrid effort of product innovation and snow-safety education,” he said.

K2 Sports celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. The company’s snowsports brands include: K2 Ski, Line Skis, Full Tilt Boots, K2 Snowboards, Ride Snowboards, 5150, Morrow, Madshus, Tubbs Snowshoes, Atlas Snowshoes,Powderidge Snowshoes and Little Bear Snowshoes.

About K2 Sports

K2 Sports, based in Seattle, Wash., has achieved unparalleled success through innovative product offerings, marketing programs, and multiple brand acquisitions. The company operates 14 brands and is globally renowned for its non-traditional advertising, graphics, and high performance products throughout its portfolio. With wholly owned subsidiaries in Canada, Central Europe, Japan, Korea, and Scandinavia and distribution in more than 60 countries, K2 Sports continues to assert its position as a global leader across multiple categories of sporting goods. For more information, visit: K2 Sports is a part of Jarden Corporation (NYSE: JAH)

About BCA

Backcountry Access (BCA) is a leading manufacturer of snow-safety equipment, based in Boulder, Colo. Best known for revolutionizing the snow-safety industry with the Tracker DTS—the world’s first digital avalanche beacon—BCA has most recently pioneered the growing backcountry market with the introduction of its popular Float airbag line. BCA believes that knowledge and education are equally as important as the products it develops, which is why all BCA products are supported by an extensive education program. BCA products are sold in just under 1,000 retail shops in North America and in 27 countries worldwide. For more information, visit:





Colin Balke is a content editor for who lives in Northern California. When not plucking away on a keyboard, he can be found splitboarding, camping, backpacking, or hanging out with family and friends.