What sounds like a dream too good to be true, is actually true! A ski area is opening in Colorado that features no lift lines. Ever.
Opening February 15, 2020, BlueBird Backcountry will open for operations after months of planning and organizing.
The creators of Bluebird Backcountry, Erik Lambert and Jeff Woodward, are developing a lift-free backcountry ski area. This is located just outside of Kremmling near Rabbit Ear's Pass. After spending a total of 18 months hosting events, gathering information, and searching Colorado for the best spot to be able to open a ski area like this, it's finally happening.
Bluebird Backcountry will have just about everything a traditional ski hill will have, minus the chairlift. You can expect ski patrollers, instructors, guides, a base area hut, a place to rent gear, a warming hut, and avalanche hazard reduction.
"People are ready to get away from the crowded resort experience. They are maybe a little bored with traditional resorts," Lambert told The Colorado Sun. "Part of going outside in the winter is this special experience you get communing with nature and it’s hard to do that at a crowded resort. That’s a big part of what people are seeking in the backcountry: more solace. They are looking for the soul of skiing."
In 2019, the two entrepreneurs played host to 171 backcountry skiers at a backcountry ski operation near Mosquito Pass and at Winter Park. With the help of a volunteer who's helping the duo develop their project, said volunteer luckily had a relative who owned a ranch north of Kremmling. They are now leasing a portion of that property to open to backcountry skiers for February and March.
Courtesy of Bluebird Backcountry
Bluebird Backcountry will be open for 15 days, from February 15 to March 15. A day pass ticket will cost $50, while a two-hour backcountry lesson will cost you an additional $50. Here's a fun fact, no more than 300 skiers will be allowed on the mountain per day. Those 300 skiers will have 300 acres to play in if they wish to be unguided. Those who wish to do a guided tour will have the option to explore 1,200 acres!
"The Perch" will be the warming hut that will be on the mountain and serve as their mid-mountain resting spot.
Some aspects of location that Lambert and Woodward were looking for was its proximity to Denver and a place that had good, natural snow. Both boxes get checked off with their location of choice.
An interesting fact of Bluebird Backcountry is that this area has never officially been skied before, so there's no data to look back on to tell how much snow they receive on an annual basis. They are working on snowpack surveys to help with that issue. Kremmling is a destination known in the winter and summertime for its great outdoor activities. Backcountry skiing was happening there, but this will really increase the exposure of this sport in Kremmling and draw even more people to that town.
What do you think of Bluebird Backcountry, the first human-powered ski area in the country, being right here in Colorado? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments below.