This text initially appeared on Powder.com and was republished with permission.
In an impressive stroke of luck, or maybe some divine intervention by Ullr himself, Bluebird Backcountry created a chairless ski space proper when the world truly wanted one. The corporate introduced immediately that it’ll open for a full ski season this yr, after final yr’s take a look at season, with extra terrain, extra courses, and extra providers. To ship on these guarantees whereas retaining skier, rider, and employees security on the forefront of all choices, Bluebird Backcountry is transferring the backcountry ski space 4 miles northwest to Bear Mountain (9,845’). The brand new location is on the Continental Divide close to Rabbit Ears Go and is centrally situated about 30 minutes from Kremmling and Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
This announcement comes sizzling on the heels of the Associates of the Colorado Avalanche Data Middle’s roll out of the Forecast Pledge. The pledge focuses on elevated avalanche security consciousness by asking backcountry customers to vow to learn the avalanche forecast earlier than coming into the backcountry every day.
“Our new location at Bear Mountain not solely receives 45 % extra snow yearly, it’s additionally large, permitting our friends to have an uncrowded, powder-filled backcountry journey,” stated Jeff Woodward, co-founder and CEO.
The brand new ski space has a most capability of 200 friends a day on the mountain, unfold throughout 1,200 acres of inbounds terrain. For comparability, Arapahoe Basin has 1,428 skiable acres.
With no chairlifts or motorized visitor transportation and bodily distancing serving as a pure element of backcountry journey, Bluebird Backcountry is uniquely positioned to maintain its friends protected this winter. Whereas COVID-19 has compelled conventional ski areas to work out challenges of crowded elevate traces, gondolas, and cafeterias, Bluebird Backcountry frolicked this offseason evolving its visitor expertise each on and off the snow. On snow, the ski space has designed runs on primarily north- and east-facing elements, crafted a signature schooling development for backcountry ski and splitboard classes and clinics, licensed its avalanche teaching programs, and expanded its guided-only snowboarding zone to three,000 acres. Off the mountain, Bluebird Backcountry will supply slopeside tenting and meals choices from a meals truck.
Now an official AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Analysis and Schooling) supplier, Bluebird Backcountry will train avalanche programs with skilled and credentialed instructors. For skiers and splitboarders who’re starting their backcountry journey, Bluebird is introducing a novel three-lesson development designed to welcome all expertise ranges, together with those that have by no means tried backcountry snowboarding or splitboarding (backcountry snowboarding). These programs supply hands-on studying with backcountry gear, motion, expertise, etiquette, and Depart No Hint ideas. They assist backcountry vacationers develop good habits and finally put together them for AIARE coaching, which they will now expertise on-site.
“We anticipate backcountry use and demand for avalanche schooling to be at an all-time excessive this yr,” stated Vickie Hormuth, government director of AIARE. “Recreationists of all talents and backcountry expertise ranges might be in search of uncrowded locations to play, making schooling extra necessary than ever. Bluebird Backcountry is filling a much-needed hole to assist resort skiers transition correctly by studying each backcountry and avalanche necessities in a cushty atmosphere. Bluebird’s mannequin is the way forward for in-bounds backcountry studying, and we’re proud to companion with them to offer top-notch, forward-thinking avalanche schooling.”
Bluebird can also be introducing a novel mentorship program this yr referred to as Bluebird+. The membership presents aspiring backcountry vacationers entry to Bluebird’s Backcountry 1, 2, and three programs, limitless clinics and ski-with-a-mentor days, in addition to reductions on AIARE coaching, guided classes, and snow security gear.
Along with the brand new merchandise, providers, and security measures, Bluebird Backcountry will proceed to supply conventional ski-area comforts inside its marked boundary, together with nice tree snowboarding, backcountry ski and splitboard leases, touring classes, warming huts, loos, and an expert on-site ski patrol for medical response and avalanche analysis.
Season cross holders could have limitless entry to the mountain, with no reservations required. Season passes are extraordinarily restricted and on sale at for $299 beginning immediately, together with Bluebird+ ($250) and AIARE programs ($250–$550). Day passes and multi-day passes might be restricted and require reservations. Day passes, rental, lesson, clinic, and information reservations will go on sale in November.
Bluebird Backcountry expects opening day at Bear Mountain to be Dec. 24, 2020, and shutting day to be March 28, 2021. Operations will run 5 days per week, Thursdays by way of Mondays, and tenting might be accessible weekly Thursday night time by way of Sunday night time.
To study extra about Bluebird Backcountry or to purchase a cross, go to http://bluebirdbackcountry.com.
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