SOPHOMORE YEAR | Bluebird Backcountry builds on resort
Coming off a successful first full season, Bluebird Backcountry is looking to open this year with expanded terrain, new runs and added perks.
Spread out across more than 4,200 acres on Bear Mountain, between Kremmling and Steamboat Springs, Bluebird is Colorado’s only backcountry resort run solely on man power with zero lifts on the slopes.
Resort founders Erik Lambert and Jeff Woodward, as well as Bluebird’s staff, used last season to scout the entire mountain on skis and dream up a plan for new features to debut this year. That work resulted in almost doubling Bluebird’s available runs by adding 12 new routes for a total of 25.
Over the summer, 50 volunteers and sawyers camped at Bear Mountain for what the resort called Gladefest to thin out the forest for the new runs.
Of the new runs, six are advanced on the North Face of the mountain, four extreme gullies in the Couloir Zone and two intermediate runs on the Northeast Face. The new runs on the Northeast Face and the Couloir Zone open up new sections of the mountain for skiers and riders.
Not only do the runs access new areas, the Kodiak Chute route is officially Bluebird’s longest run at 1.4 miles and the Cosmic Couloir ranks as one of the steepest at around 40 degrees for the 600 vertical foot couloir.
According to Bluebird, the new runs increase the available tree skiing by 400%, while tripling the north facing terrain. The guided-only terrain also expanded to 3,000 acres with the remaining 1,200 acres being patrolled and managed for avalanches.
In addition to the 12 new runs, Bluebird will debut four new marked skin tracks to get right to the powder stashes.
Also new this year, the resort is allowing furry four-legged friends to join in on the fun and will allow dogs on the mountain on weekdays.
Building on its offerings of beginner backcountry classes, instructors will be teaching advanced backcountry classes like ski mountaineering and trip planning, as well as an avalanche refreshed course.
Looking to take multiple courses? The resort will have an education membership offering packs of classes and educational content for either beginners or intermediate backcountry travelers.
Beyond the slopes, Bluebird improved their road access from Highway 14, including adding a road base, addressing drainage and problem areas and widening portions of the road.
Season passes this year include two tickets to Arapahoe Basin, five free nights camping, unlimited pooch passes on weekdays, a free guest pass, five 20% off buddy passes and a 2021-22 Bear Mountain poster.
On top of the regular season pass, Bluebird will also have a discounted next gen pass for guests 26 or younger and weekday pass.
All pass holders and guests will have access to the backcountry resort’s new online resource called Community, which will allow visitors to find a partner, swap gear or equipment, ride share and keep up with the latest Bluebird updates.
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