Have you wanted to get into backcountry skiing, but aren’t quite sure where to start? Come February 15, Bluebird Backcountry will start hosting a “test season” in the Kremmling, Colorado area that will offer access and guided instruction on 1,500 acres of snow-filled glades.
Called “one part ski area, one part backcountry” on the company website, Bluebird Backcountry will have some of the amenities found at resorts, such as a lodge, rentals, lessons, and ski patrol, however, it will lack the chairlifts. This means that the skiing at this ski area will be entirely human-powered, requiring visitors to use uphill skin tracks to access downhill trails. According to an article by the Colorado Sun, Bluebird Backcountry is the first ski area of its type in the country.
Located at Peak Ranch in Grand County, this unconventional ski area is found on Whiteley Peak, which reaches an elevation of 10,115′ just 20 miles north of Kremmling. According to their website, it’s an hour drive from Silverthorne, 2.5 hours from the Front Range, and 40 minutes from Steamboat Springs. Of the 1,500 acres of skiiable terrain found on this mountain, 300 acres will be avalanche-evaluated and accessible without a guide. The remaining 1,200 acres will be accessible with a guide hired through the ski area.
The effort to launch this venture has been driven by Jeff Woodward and Erik Lambert. Lambert has experience with the American Alpine Club and served as the digital editor at Alpinist and Backcountry magazines.
The ski area will allow 300 skiers per day on 15 select days between February 15 and March 15, 2020 during their “test season.” Day passes will cost $50 per day and optional two-hour backcountry lessons are available for an additional $50. Equipment rentals are available on-site.
See a map of the resort here.
Pre-sale tickets are only available on Kickstarter and the project has already raised $42,466, exceeding the initial goal of $25,000. Purchase your ticket here.
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