Bluebird Opening Day Crowns Nerf Biathlon Champion

After months of clearing deadfall, grading roads, building yurts, and mapping 4,200 acres of uncharted terrain, Bluebird Backcountry opened the gates at Bear Mountain to skiers and riders for the first time. To celebrate the inaugural tours—and to ring in the New Year—the Bluebird team threw a serious party. 

Searching for Champagne

One of Opening Day’s marquee events: a beacon search contest with a fizzy twist

Round after round of heated competition ensued. Couples faced off. Family members competed against one another. By the final round a clear victor emerged: One of our youngest competitors located the buried champagne a full seven seconds faster than anyone else despite a (socially distanced) crowd of determined hecklers. (He was under 21, but his dad was pretty stoked.)

 

The beacon search contest had some New Year-themed surprises.  Photo: Justin Wilhelm 

Introducing Your Nerf-Gun Biathlon Champion

Next up: Friday afternoon saw Bluebird’s first-ever nerf-gun biathlon. This one was just as tight a contest. Competitors showed off their gun-slinging flourishes, traded some serious trash talk, and, eventually, Steve Goodman pulled ahead, his lighting-fast touring skills making up for his under-polished marksmanship.

After three laps and three rounds of shooting, he reached the final challenge: Spinning around in a leather office chair and hitting a cowbell. He executed this task flawlessly and was crowned champion. 

 

It’s all in the breathing. Contestants let fly in our first annual Nerf Gun Biathlon. Photo: Kathryn Ciamaichelo 

Music and Voodoo 

Meanwhile, instructors taught $5 clinics on everything from gear repair to winter navigation, and founders Erik and Jeff led tours around the mountain. And, at the end of the day, guests enjoyed a rousing game of Kick the Grump, which involved a sturdy kickball and a snowman with “2020” painted on its side.  

On Saturday, Steamboat Springs’ Morningside String Band came to play. While cold temperatures and high winds forced them to play in the lodge for the first part of the afternoon, the weather eventually broke. The set moved outside, and dozens of skiers and riders gathered to listen.

For many of those present, it was the first time they’d heard live music since March. 

“It was a really special moment,” says Kat Chiamaichelo, a Steamboat local who was present throughout the weekend.  

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry 

And what’s a party without refreshments? Guests chowed down on giant s’mores, locally made breakfast burritos from Moose Cafe, free BBQ, and, of course, a champagne toast by the fire pit. (Got FOMO? No fear—s’mores and Sunday BBQs will be available on the mountain all season long.)

 

Dark chocolate salted pretzel s’mores? Dreamy. Photo: Kathryn Ciamaichelo.

And, of course, there was plenty of skiing and riding. To make sure everyone had the right equipment, the team cut the ribbon on our brand-new fleet of Weston Backcountry and Black Diamond rentals. 

Six inches of powder left left skiers and riders plenty to work with. There were buttery turns, playful tree-skiing, and miles of touring to be had. 

It’s been a long year of preparation, but this weekend, Bear Mountain delivered. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store, and we’re looking forward to hitting the slopes with all of you in the coming weeks! 

 

The first turns of the season did not disappoint. Photo: Justin Wilhelm.