Trail Break Radio – Episode 7: Silent Slopes and Loud Data

We’re talking apps, maps, data collection, and the tricky dance between citizen science, data bias and user privacy.

Photo Credit: Dally Hue @dallyhue

In this week’s episode of Trail Break Radio, we’ll unravel the importance of reliable visitor-use data, not just for solitude-seekers but for land managers, policymakers, and other advocates of wild snowscapes and quiet winter recreation.

How can we leverage new cutting-edge tools to make better-informed decisions?

“Trying to understand what that means, ‘love to death,’ and once we can address what that means, then we can look at point-specific solutions.”

-Nicole Budine, Colorado Mountain Club

Meet the episode’s speakers:

Chelsea Phillippe is the Trails Inventory and Planner and Park Ranger Supervisor for the Salt Lake Ranger District on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Prior to this position, Chelsea worked as a Wilderness Ranger and Education Specialist on the Bridger-Teton and Sawtooth National Forests.

Will Sladek joined onX Maps in 2021 to activate onX‘s mission of Awakening the Adventurer within Everyone to human powered recreation. As the General Manager of the onX Backcountry app, Will works to provide adventurers with the information and interactive maps they need to plan their next hike, ski, or adventure all in one place. Prior to onX, he was a senior vice president at Backcountry Group, where he held a variety strategy and operations roles. He lives in Park City, UT with his wife and their young son. He is a lifelong adventurer who is up for any excuse to get into the backcountry, most recently that’s been introducing their young son to the mountains in as many ways as possible.

Originally from New York, Nicole Budine has lived and worked throughout the west in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming, but moving to Colorado in 2019 felt like home. She is the Policy Director and RIMs app manager at Colorado Mountain Club. Prior to joining Colorado Mountain Club as their Policy Director, Nicole served as an attorney for the State of Wyoming specializing in water quality law and worked in other environmental policy roles. Nicole loves to get outside as often as possible, usually through climbing, snowboarding, biking, or looking at interesting plants and rocks along the trail.

Tune in to “Silent Slopes, Loud Data” to navigate the snowy, sometimes hazy, realms where adventure meets information. You will not want to miss Episode 7, sponsored by generous Backcountry Partner, WYldlife for Tomorrow!

If you’re interested in sponsoring an Episode of Trail Break Radio. Email Emily Scott at to become a Backcountry Partner.