Bluebird Backcountry extends lease at Bear Mountain, continuing to build backcountry community in Colorado
Colorado’s newest ski area to invest in location and open season passes
Bluebird Backcountry opened on New Year’s Eve near Kremmling and Steamboat Spring this season, an inbounds backcountry ski area with zero lifts designed for learning and adventure. The ski area is located less than two hours from Vail. On Tuesday, Bluebird Backcountry officials announced its extended lease at its current location and plans to call Bear Mountain home for the “foreseeable future.”
The no-chairlifts, ski-patrolled backcountry ski area is one of the first of its kind. Located 40 minutes from both Steamboat Springs and Kremmling, Bear Mountain is “close enough to be convenient, but far enough to feel light years away from the I-70 corridor,” says Bluebird Backcountry co-founder Erik Lambert in the ski area’s announcement Tuesday.
Now with a longer-term lease in hand, the early stage business expects to make investments to the property that will improve both access and skiing. Details of these improvements will be announced over the summer.
The centerpiece of the Bear Mountain property is its namesake peak, which straddles the Continental Divide and tops out at 9,845 feet. Those eager to ski or splitboard upwards are rewarded with views of the Flat Tops Wilderness, iconic Rabbit Ears Peak, as well as Bluebird’s 2020 pilot location, Whiteley Peak. The ski area includes 1,200 acres of beginner meadows, aspen glades of every angle, and steep couloirs in bounds — plus thousands more acres that guests can access with a Bluebird guide.
As interest in backcountry skiing accelerates, the “in-bounds backcountry” ski area has welcomed and educated thousands of skiers and riders of all backcountry experience levels since its opening day at Bear Mountain on Dec. 31, 2020. This season, in addition to expanding its rental fleet and suite of backcountry lessons, Bluebird offered AIARE avalanche courses and numerous clinics and mentorship opportunities.
“People come to Bluebird because it’s a unique alternative with a welcoming vibe,” Lambert said in the announcement. “We’ve also designed it to be one of the best places in the world to build up — or build on — your backcountry skill set, and I think we’re living up to that. It’s also just an awesome place to come share a fun day of skiing with your friends or family.”
A limited number of season passes for next winter will go on sale at bluebirdbackcountry.com starting early April. Season passes will continue to include free nights of camping as well as a free buddy pass day.
“There will be a couple new pass options, plus one or two surprises,” Lambert said.
Bluebird Backcountry’s current season was recently extended and runs through April 4. This year, the ski area is open five days a week, Thursdays through Mondays, and lessons, rentals and other amenities are available every open day.
To book day passes, rentals, lessons and more, visit bluebirdbackcountry.com.
About Bluebird Backcountry
Bluebird Backcountry is a human-powered backcountry ski area located between the towns of Kremmling and Steamboat Springs. It’s operated by dedicated backcountry skiers and snowboarders with the aim to reduce barriers to entry, improve education and create a soulful gathering place for the backcountry skiing community.
Bluebird Backcountry has been working on the backcountry ski area concept since 2017. After raising more than $100,000 through Kickstarter — 430% of its goal — in January 2020, Bluebird’s in-bounds backcountry concept became a reality, opening for a 14-day test season in February and March 2020. The start-up then expanded its terrain, education and other offerings for its first full season at Bear Mountain in 2020-21.