What to Expect for Opening Weekend 22/23

It’s happening! Opening weekend is upon us, setup is behind us, and there’s a ton to know before you go. Let’s get an idea of what opening weekend will look like:

First things first – what can I ski?

An extremely important question. Early storms in November have built us a top notch base at Bluebird Backcountry. There’s truly something open for everyone, from first time visitors to seasoned Bluebird veterans. West Bowl can’t wait to welcome you back. Cruise a warm up lap on Meat Hill. The Hundred Acre Woods, Slumpy Ridge, and The Shire will also be open. Opening day turns are gonna be sweet – don’t forget to stay tuned for other terrain opening surprises.

The best part? Terrain on Bear Mountain will be open for the first time in Bluebird history! We’ll have Bearclaw Meadows open for part of the weekend.

The Far Side will be available for access with a ski patroller in groups of seven.

The Perch: Open for Business

Free bacon is back, baby. Come warm up opening weekend at the Perch, our mid-mountain warming hut. We’ve also got hot cocoa and other quick food and beverage options for sale as you make your way back up West Bowl. 

Catch ya at the Base Area

Vibe checks are complete, here’s the word on the street: the coolest base area in Colorado is ready to go. Opening day will feature firepits and picnic tables for guest après use, as well as our Gravity Haus domes. Food and beverage amenities will be available all weekend long (hello, burritos).

Backcountry lessons and rentals will be available for guests out of our base area beginning opening weekend. Let’s get after it!

Season of Learning

You won’t need to wait for Bluebird to ramp up our education course offerings – we’ve got backcountry lessons happening all weekend long. Our Backcountry 1, 2, and 3 courses are rolling out daily. Learn a new skill or tune up old knowledge right out of the gate. Find out more about our backcountry courses here.

Last-minute reminders

Quick! Four packs are only available in the pre-season this year, and with opening day rapidly approaching, there’s no time to waste. Get your four pack before the season starts here.

Note: The pricing for Bluebird day passes is tiered this year. There’s only a limited number of $39 day passes for sale each day…then prices will go up. Buy early to save!

Opening day at Bluebird

Let’s celebrate!

Did we mention we’ll have a band?! Chase the Wind will be performing at our base area. Don’t miss out on all the fun, good vibes, and Bluebird cookies opening weekend has to offer! It’s the start of our third season at Bear Mountain and we’re pretty excited. There might even be some New Year’s Eve treats…

Let’s lap the skin track. Bluebird Backcountry opens Thursday, December 29th and is open every Thursday through Monday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.

6 Things to Do While You Wait for Bluebird to Open

It’s the final stretch – opening day is in sight, right there, circled in red on our calendars. The 29th of December (a nice prime number). With less than two weeks to go, though, it’s hard not to be impatient. Between the holidays and crazy schedules, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied until the Portal reopens. But if not…here are 6 things that’ll keep you busy before Bluebird opens.

Check out some Indy Pass mountains

Rediscover the spirit of skiing with the Indy Pass! Bluebird Backcountry is stoked to be one of 120+ ski areas accessible with the Indy Pass. There’s a ton of Indy Pass mountains around Colorado, from Sunlight Mountain Resort to Granby Ranch. 

Our suggestion? Make a road trip of it! With the Indy Pass, you get to spend 2 days at each location. It’s a great way to experience the unique, eclectic vibes these independent resorts offer. Find out more about the Indy Pass here.

Take your dog on a run

Skinning up mountains is hard (but fun!) work, and it’s important that your body is up to the challenge. Not to mention, if you plan to bring your dog to Bluebird, they’ve gotta be ready too. Head out on some runs with your dog to gear up for your season of human-powered skiing.

Sidewalks covered in snow? Make sure you have the proper footwear before running in a winter wonderland. Or, check out our pre-season exercise routine here.

Waiting for Bluebird to Open

Organize your backpack

The functionality of your backpack can make or break a day in the backcountry. Go crazy – lay out all your gear on the floor and see what’s what. Spending time setting up your backpack can really get the wheels turning: what do I want out of this season? Set some goals while you’re setting yourself up for success.

Reminder: Bring a backpack to Bluebird to carry required avalanche safety gear (not to mention snacks, water, and other essential items). We’ve got beacons, shovels, and probes available for rent.

Ski at one of our partner ski areas

Day at A-Bay, anyone? Bluebird season passholders get FREE ski days at our partner ski areas, including Arapahoe Basin, Monarch Mountain, Sunlight Mountain, and Powderhorn Mountain. For full details on this perk, check out our passholder benefits page here.

If you’re a season passholder and want to spend a day at one of our partner ski areas before Bluebird opens, simply bring proof of your season pass purchase to their ticket office.

Tune your skis

If you haven’t already, it’s time: get your touring gear ready to go. Whether you take ‘em in for a tune or do it yourself, come out speedy on opening day with your freshly tuned boards.

Don’t have your own touring setup? Remember – Bluebird offers on-site backcountry gear rentals. Reserve your rentals in advance here.

Note: We love our friends at mountainFLOW Eco-wax. They’re a great plant-based option that’s eco-friendly AND high-performing.

Pick up a new hobby

Nothing fills up my hours waiting for Bluebird to open quite like knitting does. I’ve been CRANKING out beanies for the holidays – my knitting is more dialed than my skiing right now, if I’m being honest. For you, it might be whittling, or quilting, or baking elaborate desserts. A new hobby will keep you busy til opening day.

See you out there December 29th!

Set-Up Update 22/23

If you were a bird flying over Rabbit Ears Pass this week, you might not hear the usual shouts of joy as skiers cruise through the pow or yells for “more bacon!” up at the Perch. But you would hear the sounds of…CONSTRUCTION!

How many members of our flock does it take to build a skin-to dome? What are we naming our new trail? Setup is in full swing over on Bear Mountain and there’s not a moment to waste. Opening Day is Thursday, December 29th, and we’re working to create the best day ever for the Bluebird fam. Let’s take a look at what the team is up to.

Getting West Bowl ready

Our ski patrol team has been keeping busy with avalanche mitigation work over on West Bowl. Snow compaction has been a major focus. The team also set up signage, ropes, and terrain closures. It’s almost ready to ski…

Avalanche mitigation work has begun on Bear Mountain as well – we can’t wait to ski our new run, Disco Picnic. Full steam ahead through Opening Day!

Domes, domes, and more domes!

Setting up domes is our biggest focus at the moment. Our education dome is framed up and nearly ready to go – get stoked for those AIARE courses! However, there are many more domes to be built. With our new basecamp dome and skin-to dome lodging options, we’re not worried about staying busy as setup rolls into next week.

Rental preparations

As you might guess, we’ve got a lot of skis (and splitboards, and boots, and safety gear). We’ve gotta get them all tuned and polished before renting ‘em out! Our team has spent a lot of time this week preparing our rentals for guest use.

Reserve your rentals today for a no-stress day at Bluebird.

Setting up utilities

Did you know that much of Bluebird is powered by solar energy?! This week, we set up the utilities that keep Bluebird up and running (think: keeping our warming huts warm). Our solar panels are in place and propane tanks ready – we’re just waiting on firewood!

Setup at Bluebird Backcountry

Havin’ some fun

Ski area setup is hard work, but luckily, our team is getting a chance to get out and play in the snow. Keep it up, guys!

For a closer look at setup, check out our video below:

What’s New for the 22/23 Season

New year, new things…there are exciting changes and updates afoot at Bluebird Backcountry. We can’t wait for you to experience our new trail, stay on-site in Bluebird’s lodging, and meet our avalanche dog! Sharpen your backcountry skills with our updated course offerings, including hut-based AIARE 1 courses. Remember – opening day is Thursday, December 29th, and we’ll be open Thursday through Monday from 8:30am to 4:00pm.

Read on to find out what’s new for the 22/23 season.

4 Packs Only Available in the Pre-Season

We’re selling shareable 4 packs of Day Passes up until the mountain opens! 4 Packs are the most flexible way to experience Bluebird. You can bring four friends, your family, or ski four separate days yourself! You don’t need to make a reservation to ski at Bluebird with a shareable 4 Pack. You can just show up with your crew! Or yourself. Four. different. times.

Get your shareable 4 Pack before opening day and don’t miss out on the most laid back, friend group friendly ski day in Colorado.


Tiered Day Pass Pricing

This season, our Day Pass pricing is tiered. This means that we have a limited number of $39 day passes for sale each day. When they’re gone, the price will increase. So, the earlier you buy your day pass, the better! Make sure to get yours before prices go up.


What's new at Bluebird Backcountry

Hut-Based AIARE 1 Courses

If you’re looking to take your AIARE 1 course in a hut trip-style setting, this is the class for you! You’ve got two options for hut-based AIARE courses: a hybrid hut-based AIARE course and a 3-day, select hut-based AIARE course.

Our $899 hybrid hut-based AIARE class is similar to our hybrid AIARE 1 course, except…you’ll spend Saturday night at our hut!

Our $1395 select hut-based AIARE course is a 3-day course with a brief evening Zoom beforehand to discuss logistics. You’ll spend two nights up at Bluebird’s fully-furnished hut – there’ll be hot showers, incredible views, and cozy fireplaces waiting for you after a long day of learning. You won’t need to worry about bringing your own food for our select hut-based AIARE course. You’ll have chef prepared breakfasts and dinners, and we’ll provide provisions for lunch in the field.

Hut-based AIARE courses will be limited to 12 participants, which means it’s the perfect chance to learn in a smaller group and meet new people. Please note that our hut-based AIARE courses are only offered at the AIARE 1 level.


New Education Course Offerings

We’ve got a bunch of new and advanced course offerings this season at Bluebird! Whether you’re looking to brush up on your avalanche knowledge or want to dive into ski mountaineering, the Bluebird education team is stoked to share their expertise with you.

New courses include:

  • Wilderness First Aid
  • Hut Trip 101
  • Avalanche Refresher
  • Maps in the Real World
  • Skiing with Your Dog
  • Ski Mountaineering
  • Women’s Clinic

Keep your eyes out for announcements about these courses — spots will fill up quickly!

On-site, overnight accommodations

This year, we are offering on-site, overnight accommodations Wednesday through Sunday at Bluebird Backcountry.

We’ve got a variety of accommodation options available – there’s something for every skier! Our skin-to domes are the perfect choice for a group wanting a hut trip-style stay at Bluebird. The Grizzly Hostel is great for solo skiers or a group of 5. Our charming Brown Bear Cabins sleep 2 guests and provide a cozy, rustic experience you won’t find on any other mountain.

Living the #vanlife? Don’t worry – Bluebird will continue to offer camping this year for $25. Camping includes access to a shared kitchen and outhouses.

Consider your ski trip simplified – not only are there no crowds at Bluebird, our new lodging options make it easy to keep the joy of skiing going for multi-day trips.


Mountain Improvements

What's new at Bluebird Backcountry

  1. We’ve got a new trail!

    We’re opening a new trail this season at Bluebird Backcountry – Disco Picnic! We can’t wait for our guests to try it out (…and to throw some disco picnics of their own).

  2. Glading on Ursa Minor and Ursa Major

    You asked, we listened…we’ve made big improvements to trail conditions on Ursa Minor and Ursa Major this year. Our team has been hard at work up there clearing fallen trees, trimming low hanging branches, and removing other hazards. We think it’s gonna ski pretty nice…

  3. Improvements to the access road

    Making it easier to get to Bluebird means more sweet days on Bear Mountain for everyone! We made improvements to our access road’s drainage system and added road base over the off-season. We’re aiming to improve road safety for our guests and working to minimize muddy vehicles come springtime.

Penny the Avalanche Dog

What's new at Bluebird Backcountry 22/23

We’re excited for you to meet Penny, our avalanche dog, this year! Penny is a 1 and a half year old golden retriever. Penny has cousins at search and rescue programs around the US. When she’s not on duty, she loves to play tug of war. We can’t wait for her to get started at Bluebird!

Dog Days, Every Day

Remember when dogs were only allowed at Bluebird on weekdays? Well, that was last year. This year, dogs can ski with you every day that we’re open (Thur-Mon).


New Season Pass Benefits

Season passholders have unlimited, no-reservation access to the mountain all winter long. This year we’re bringing back all of our popular season pass benefits, plus some great new additions:

  • Unlimited and guaranteed mountain access; no reservations required
  • 1 Guest Pass (up to $59 value, no blackouts)
  • 5 Buddy Codes for 20% off day passes (up to $59 value)
  • 5 Nights of Camping ($125 value)
  • Unlimited Dog Passes ($10/day value)
  • 2 Lift Tickets to Arapahoe Basin (up to $316 value, no blackouts)
  • NEW! 3 Lift Tickets to Powderhorn Mountain Resort
  • NEW! 2 Lift Tickets to Monarch Mountain 
  • NEW! 1 Lift Ticket to Sunlight Mountain Resort
  • NEW! 30% off all daily equipment rentals
  • And so much more

Click here to learn more about 22/23 season pass benefits.

Bluebird Backcountry Announces Lodging, Joins Indy Pass for the 22/23 Season

New overnight options and pass partnership will make backcountry ski area experience more accessible.

Steamboat Springs, Colo. — Colorado’s beloved backcountry ski area is gearing up for an exciting winter. Bluebird Backcountry has announced that they will offer on-site, overnight accommodations for the 2022/2023 ski season. In addition, the state’s only non-lift-served resort will join the Indy Pass, offering Indy passholders two days of access with no blackout dates.


Bluebird’s new lodging offerings will include a hut trip experience, where guests will skin less than two miles on pre-set skin tracks to access their choice of either a cabin or an insulated geodesic dome. Bluebird will also have insulated domes located in the base area. Other lodging options include a hostel-style cabin that can sleep up to five guests, with camping returning to the base area parking lot this season as well.

“Hut trips with friends and family are an integral part of the backcountry skiing experience,” said Bluebird Backcountry co-founder Jeff  Woodward. “We wanted to bring that to Bluebird and give our guests a convenient place to stay where they can immerse themselves in the backcountry culture and get a better sense of our vibe and welcoming atmosphere.”

In its first year offering lodging, Bluebird will have roughly 40 beds available for a wide range of group sizes — from comfortable group options to hostel-style accommodations for the solo traveler. All lodging offerings will have a heat source, as well as access to a kitchen and restroom facilities. The on-mountain domes will have their own kitchen space and rustic toilet setup; whereas, the base area domes  and cabins will have a shared kitchen space and port-a-potties. Running water and WiFi will not be available in lodging units, although WiFi will be available at the communal dome in the base area for those wishing to work from Bluebird.

In line with Bluebird’s goal to build a low-impact backcountry ski area, the geodesic domes are temporary structures that Bluebird will take down each spring as part of its Leave No Trace initiative. The cabins are existing ranch cabins that are being repurposed as on-site accommodations.

For a limited time, Bluebird is offering an introductory rate of 30% off during their Early Bird Special, now through September 30, 2022. Reservations start at $59/night, and are available online. Book your stay.

Family backcountry skiing


Bluebird Backcountry will join the Indy Pass for the 2022/2023 season to provide in-bounds backcountry ski access to Indy Passholders. The Indy Pass is North America’s fastest growing multi-mountain pass, whose mission is to support independent ski areas in the true spirit of skiing.

“Bluebird’s mission to revive the soul of skiing aligns perfectly with the goals of the Indy Pass,” said Woodward. “We love the mom & pop ski area culture that the Indy Pass continues to support, and look forward to making the backcountry more accessible for this season’s Indy Passholders.”

Bluebird Backcountry will offer a discounted lodging package for Indy passholders interested in learning how to backcountry ski or splitboard. The Indy exclusive package also includes a beginner backcountry lesson and gear rental, with no blackout dates.

The Indy Pass also announced today that they will add Illinois’ most popular winter resort, Chestnut Mountain, and Michigan’s newest named resort, Snowriver — both of which will also offer two days each to Indy passholders this season.

“The Indy Pass is the dominant pass in the Midwest with 26 resorts now,” said Indy Pass founder Doug Fish. “With the recent explosion of off-piste, uphill exploration, we are proud to welcome Bluebird Backcountry, the world’s first and only resort dedicated to human-powered skiing and riding.”

Indy Pass Pre-Season Prices End September 13th

Indy Base Pass – Adult $299, Kids (12-and-under) $139

Indy+ Pass – Adult $399, Kids $189 (no blackouts)

Indy Base AddOn Pass – Adult $199, Kids $99 (partner and allied resort season passholders only)

Indy+ AddOn Pass – Adult $309, Kids $149 (no blackouts)

Indy Cross Country (XC) Pass – Adult $69, Kids $29 (no blackouts)

Click here to purchase your 22/23 Indy Pass.

Where to Find Summer Backcountry Turns in North America

If skinning in a t-shirt, and wearing running shoes for half of the approach to your objective sounds like an ideal day in the mountains, then plan a summer backcountry ski/snowboard tour immediately. For the diehard snow lovers, and those who prefer warm weather turns, the on-snow season never ends in North America — put in a little extra effort and you can find yourself exploring the mountains on your skis or snowboard in the middle of summer. Here are six lines to consider for your next backcountry skiing/snowboarding tour:

1. Saint Mary’s Glacier, Colorado

Looking for a proper summer ski adventure? Look no further than Saint Mary’s Glacier. This area conveniently sits north of I-70 in Colorado and requires a long approach and steep hike to earn your turns. Saint Mary’s ‘Glacier’ is not a true glacier, but rather a semi-permanent snowfield that, on a good year, holds snow well into the summer season.

2. Skyscraper Glacier, Colorado

One of the best things about Colorado is how easy it is to access high elevation lines. The Skyscraper Glacier is one of those lines. Located in the Front Range of Colorado, west of Nederland, this 700-foot line usually holds snow all year. While you’ll need to time the descent correctly (it’s South-South East facing with lots of sun exposure), you can get in multiple laps if you plan the day wisely.

Skyscraper Glacier is steep, spicy and well worth the uphill work. Photo: Justin Wilhelm

3. Grizzly Peak’s North Couloir, Colorado

If you’re in search of a less crowded backcountry adventure in Colorado that includes sliding downhill on whatever board you fancy, Grizzly Peak is the right choice. Colorado’s highest 13er provides less people than the 14,000 foot peaks, and still gives you the feeling of being on top of the world. This couloir typically holds snow into the summer, and offers around 1,300 vertical feet of steep riding for your descent.

4. Lamb’s Slide, Colorado

Located on the flanks of what some may call the crown jewel of Colorado, Longs Peak, sits Lamb’s Slide: a couloir arm that runs off the Mills Glacier with 1,200 vertical feet of rideable snow (depending on conditions). The 9-mile excursion offers some of the best views of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, plus a steep and fun ascent of the Lamb’s Slide line that you’ll descend back down.

Even in the summer, Mount Shasta typically has wide open, snow-filled bowls. Photo: Jimmy Howe on Mount Shasta in 2017.

5. Mount Shasta, California

The snowfield between the Hotlum and Wintun Glaciers on Mount Shasta’s east face typically holds snow well into the summer and provides a sustained, steep ride back down. If it’s been a good winter and the weather cooperates, you can have some of the best turns of the whole season with three to four thousand vertical feet of corn snow. Shasta’s summit is 14,162 feet – and while that easily compares to many Colorado peaks, you start at a significantly lower elevation; so it’s a great place to prepare for bigger mountain objectives.

6. Mount Rainier, Washington

Washington state’s highest peak, whose summit sits at 14,411 feet, Mount Rainier requires good navigation skills to select the best route and avoid the numerous cravasses on Paradise Glacier. Consider finding a guide service for this climb if you don’t have experience with ski mountaineering. Once you summit, there’s multiple options for riding down, all of which will likely deliver an awesome adventure and opportunity to explore the alpine and use your boards during the peak of summer.

All smiles and stoke as fellow Bluebird, Kat Chiamaichelo and her partner summit Torreys Peak in June. Photo: Kat Ciamaichelo

If your backcountry setup is packed away, or your boots are too worn out from a winter of human-powered turns, there’s a few great lift operations in North America that stay open into the summer season. Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon is open June – September, with a lift taking you up to the Palmer Glacier. Mammoth Mountain in California is another good option for a multi-sport adventure including summer snow shredding. They close June 5th for the regular season of on-snow operations, but plan to be open the weekend of July 4th for boarding/skiing and a general fun time on snow mid-summer. You can even explore some backcountry tours outside Mammoth before or after taking advantage of the ski lifts.

The Bluebird crew enjoys aprés drinks and summer costumes post tour. Photo: Ti Eversole

Summer touring can be some of the most fun days of the whole season, and the hours you have to enjoy a beverage with friends post-tour typically get longer and sillier (as pictured above). It may feel like all fun and games, but don’t forget to stay aware if you venture onto the snow this summer. While snowpack conditions generally stabilize in the warmer months, timing is everything and avalanches still happen. Make sure your have avalanche training, an understanding of the current snowpack conditions, and are aware that the snow is ever-changing — particularly when exposed to sun and wind.


Check out the photos below of our team gettin’ after some mid-summer turns.

Photos courtesy of team members: Jimmy Howe, Cat Owensby, Karen Ranieri, Justin Wilhelm, and Jeff Woodward

Better Backcountry Starts with Sustainability

Three ways that Bluebird Backcountry is working towards a greener future

Sustainable practices should be at the forefront of every ski area’s responsibilities. According to a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the planet could warm by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2040 — a shift that would directly impact ski areas. A warmer winter translates to a shorter ski season and less opportunity for those deep powder days we know and love.

At Bluebird Backcountry, we believe in reducing our carbon footprint as much as possible. From not running chairlifts to taking Leave No Trace ethics to the next level, here are three ways that we are doing our part to protect the planet and our ski season.

skin track human-powered travel

We believe in taking the scenic route. Photo: Riley Hanlon

Human-Powered Travel

Bluebird Backcountry has zero chairlifts, which means no additional CO2e emissions. According to a study completed by the University of Colorado during the 2020/2021 season, a lift operating at 95% capacity emits 30 grams CO2e per person. The lower the lift capacity, the more CO2e per person. So, if a lift operates at only 25% capacity, then the CO2e emissions increase to 113 grams per person. Skip the lift and head to Bluebird for your turns.

elevated independent energy solar panels at bluebird backcountry

Solar panels, courtesy of our friends over at Elevated Independent Energy. Photo: Riley Hanlon

Running on Solar

With Colorado averaging over 300 days of sunshine, we decided that the best way to take advantage of our beautiful Bluebird days was to harness the power of the sun for our energy needs. Thanks to Elevated Independent Energy, our Base Area is operated almost entirely off of solar power. A renewable source, solar power causes zero Greenhouse Gas emissions and will still work on cloudy and snowy days. On select Sundays, you can catch the Elevated Independent Energy team on site and pick their brains about solar energy and its benefits.

takedown bluebird backcountry sustainbility

Breaking down the Base Area. Photo: Justin Wilhelm

A Leave No Trace Ski Area

Bluebird Backcountry operates on a lease at Bear Mountain, which includes Leave No Trace Requirements. This means that at the conclusion of each season, the ski area is broken down and stored nearby in the off-season. Once the ski area is broken down and put away for the season, our team patiently waits for all of the snow to melt before heading back to the grounds to help pick up trash. A visit to the site in the summer, and one would never know that a ski area even operated in its location at the base of Bear Mountain! 

The 2020/2021 University of Colorado GHG emissions study found that Bluebird Backcountry emitted roughly 5 kilograms of CO2e per acre — compared to an average of 44 metrics tons per acre of CO2e for ski areas in the Rocky Mountain Region and an average of 15 metric tons of CO2e per acre for smaller ski areas. This means that Bluebird’s CO2e emissions are 99% smaller than the Rocky Mountain Regional average, as well as those from small ski areas.


Want to be a part of the change? 22/23 Season Passes are now on sale through April 29th at the lowest guaranteed price. Get unlimited access all season long plus exclusive benefits such as one free guest pass, unlimited dog passes, 5 free nights of camping, on-mountain discounts, and more. Our goal is to continue sustainable practices with the future of skiing in mind, and we hope that you will join us in our vision.

Closing Weekend 21/22

Season ends with rodeo costumes, bonfire, live music, an after hours tour, and the inaugural burning of the chairlift.

Spirits were high and smiles were abundant as we said farewell to our second season at Bear Mountain this past weekend. This year’s theme — Bear Mountain Rodeo — had guests and Bluebird team members dressed in their Western best all weekend long, with a small group even riding off into the sunset on Saturday for our After Hours tour to West Bowl and back.

Other events included a Happy Hour, courtesy of Candid Cocktails, followed by a bonfire. Kicking off the bonfire was our first annual burning of the chairlift, where a small popsicle-stick replica sat perched atop the logs. S’mores were devoured under a starry night sky, the warmth and light of the fire slowly fading into the darkness. Our last day of the 21/22 season concluded with perfect Bluebird skies, soft turns, and live music.

Closing Weekend was one for the books, and we’re already looking forward to another season filled with exciting events and opportunities. Whether you like to dress up, meet new friends, hang with the pups, or shake your booty, we can’t wait to find even more reasons to celebrate with you next year.

22/23 Season Passes are now on sale at the lowest guaranteed price, and we hope that you’ll join us for another winter of soulful skiing and good vibes. Secure yours today for as low as $189! Thanks to everyone that came out this season, and we hope to see y’all again soon. SKI-HAW!



8 Perks of Visiting Bluebird in the Spring

Spring is on the horizon — days are longer, there’s a change in the air, and some people’s attention is drifting towards dirt trails and summer excursions. What those people don’t know is that spring is one of the best seasons for backcountry adventures and a great time to plan a trip to Bluebird Backcountry. Here are 8 perks of riding at Bluebird in the spring:

One of the best perks of avalanche-managed runs is that you can ride next to your buddies no matter where you are at Bluebird. Photo: Justin Wilhelm

1. More sun for extra laps.

Longer days and warming temperatures mean extra time on the skin track and mountain. While the bitter cold of January may have everyone but the ardent riders returning to their cars no later than 3 pm, in the spring things change. At Bluebird you’ve got from 8:30 to 4 pm to get in as many laps as possible, then return to the base area for beers, snacks and stories around the fire.

2. Avoid the spring break crowds with human-powered turns.

Bluebird has zero lifts, which means zero lift lines. If you’re planning a spring break trip, consider coming to Bluebird to avoid the craziness of resorts during one of the busiest weeks of the season. Bonus: there’s no increase in ticket prices during spring break, leaving you extra cash for aprés snacks.


Stashes of light and cold can be found on north and east-facing slopes at Bluebird. Photo: Justin Wilhelm

3. Stashes of cold snow.

Let’s face it, the snow at many resorts turns to slush in the spring, but this is not the case at Bluebird. There’s a lot of north through east-facing terrain that stays cooler longer — you can enjoy the sunshine while still skiing exciting tree runs in firm conditions or finding powder turns in March.

4. You can party on the mountain every day.

While some people love the frigid backcountry days, warmer weather typically brings high spirits to Bluebird. You’ll find groups party-lapping the mountain (a perk of avalanche-managed backcountry terrain), and sharing their post-shred stories around the campfire or at the parking lot. You can even rent the whole mountain for an epic spring gathering. The heightened energy brings a completely different vibe to Bluebird — you’ll have to visit to experience it.

You’re sure to have more fun while skinning and riding if clad in a costume. Photo: Amelia Altavena

5. The more creative layers the better.

Proper layering in spring conditions is critical for moisture management — ’tis the season to get creative! Hawaiian shirts are far more comfortable without 3 layers under them, and you’ll get major style points from employees at Bluebird if you show up in costume. Plus rocking the jorts and ski boots is far more bearable with more warming temps. Cowboy hats are common attire in northern Colorado, and tutus and bacon suits have also been spotted on the skin track at Bluebird.

6. An awesome event lineup.

Bluebird’s events for the month of March are extra exciting this year. Join us for an all-inclusive fun obstacle course-style race for skiers/riders of all abilities, a day on the mountain with ladies and Elevated Alpine, plus a handful of advanced courses new to Bluebird this season, including a Ski Mountaineering course where you’ll explore the steep couloirs and advanced terrain on the far side of Bear Mountain.

Even as spring rolls around, don’t underestimate the power of a warm breakfast as motivation to hit the skintrack. Photo: Justin Wilhelm

7. Après-friendly conditions.

We’re still holding out for spring powder days, and they are on the forecast! But as the weather starts to warm and longer days, there’s more light and favorable temps to gather around the campfire at the base of Bluebird and share a brew with friends. You can even rent a private, heated dome to use as a midday hut or post-riding gathering spot when the snow is falling because let’s be honest, we’re all still hoping for a miracle March of new snow.

8. Tailgate meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Ditch the skin track Cliff bars for better food in the comfort of your tailgate. Camp at Bluebird and enjoy the sunrise over Bear Mountain with your breakfast, then hit the skin track for a few laps. The parking lot is a 2 minute walk from the base area, so you can return for lunch mid-day then finish off with a scrumptious dinner prepared in your van or a campfire feast with friends.

Good views, cold beers, and sunshine make for a great après scene. Photo: Justin Wilhelm

There’s more to be experienced at Bluebird this spring than what’s listed above — including a full calendar of backcountry lessons and AIARE avalanche courses for the month and potential storm skiing in the forecast. We hope to see you on the mountain this month, making memories to carry you through the dry season.

For Women by Women : Elevating Ladies in the Backcountry

In honor of International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 8th, it’s time we highlight the reasons why taking a women-specific backcountry class or avalanche course may be the perfect stepping stone for women seeking knowledge, mentorship, and bigger lines in the backcountry.

All-women’s courses can be a place to build camaraderie and meet new touring partners. Photo: Kat Ciamaichelo

In the past few decades, the snowsports industry has seen an increase in women-owned and operated organizations, offering female-identifying and non-binary introductory and skills courses. In a male-dominated sports such as skiing and snowboarding, women can be met with different barriers than men, barriers that make breaking into this sport challenging. While ladies courses may not be everyone’s jam — and mixed gender courses offer important lessons — women-focused courses can provide something special for certain people, and it’s time we spread the word about such benefits and opportunities! 

Here’s a sneak peak to what you’ll learn in an all-women’s backcountry course, including tips and tricks for women while touring as well as upcoming events and courses for women by women.

Tips & Tricks for Ladies on the Skin Track

1. Don’t fear the extra layers.

While everyone’s bodies and thermoregulation is different, women typically tend to run colder than men. Don’t be ashamed to carry extra layers or wear one more jacket than your male touring partners. Pro tip: embrace the down skirt when taking winter courses outside or on extra frigid days; your bottom half will thank you for it.

2. Invest in a properly fitting pack.

Similar to how everyone has different thermoregulation, women’s bodies are shaped differently. While gender-specific gear is not always necessary, backpacks designed to be shorter and narrower are far more comfortable when touring for some ladies. If you have a shorter torso, consider trying a pack appropriate for your body proportions.

3. Embrace the drop seat bibs.

Let’s face it, peeing in the backcountry is inevitable and always more challenging as a female-bodied individual. Ski bibs make pee breaks in the backcountry, or in the resort bathroom for that matter, far less complicated because you don’t have to fiddle with all your layers. Make sure to get a pair of bibs that have the full drop seat incorporated — simply zip open the seat of your pants to easily pee, without exposing your whole bottom half to the cold. Bibs will dramatically improve bathroom breaks and provide more privacy when windy, exposed pee stops are your only option.

Laughs and connections are an indication of a good day in the backcountry. Photo: Justin Wilhelm

4. Don’t confine yourself to women’s specific gear.

The theme continues… Everyone has specific needs and preferences when it comes to gear, and not all bodies are alike. While women’s specific gear can be beneficial for some items, like backpacks or ski bibs, it’s not always right for everyone. For instance, men’s and women’s boots have very little differences besides a shorter cuff height and different flex options. An aggressive female skier with long legs can rock a 130 flex mens boot easily. Explore what works best for you and don’t be afraid to mix and match.

5. Nobody will ever know if you’re wearing a bra.

Social norms be damned, do what’s comfortable for you! Under ski clothes, no one can tell if you’re wearing a bra. On long tours, warm spring days, or when you’re clad in multiple layers, ditching the extra half layer of constriction can be a liberating act. Bonus, discarding the bra removes the highly annoying boob issue that happens on warm days.

6. Identify areas of growth.

There is always room for improvement when it comes to backcountry touring — be that building physical strength, learning new techniques, or gaining more knowledge. This fact is not gender-specific. Consider where you feel less confident when it comes to touring (i.e. steep skiing, decision-making in groups, interpreting the snowpack conditions and avalanche danger, etc) and seek out mentors who can help you improve upon these skills. If you’re experienced and confident when it comes to backcountry touring, be a mentor for someone else! It’s important for women to support one another in all areas and even more so in the androcentric snowsports arena.

Don’t believe the stereotypes you see on social media — some women like steep skin tracks and spicy lines. Photo: Justin Wilhelm

Inclusive Opportunities

1. Women in the Backcountry : Next Level Skills Course

Bluebird Backcountry offers an advanced course for women who are looking to take their touring and mountain objectives to the next level. Taught by the highly experienced Brittany Konsella, there’s only one more course running this season on March 12th, 2022! This course is ideal for those with 2+ years of touring experience.

2. SheJumps Backcountry Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day, join SheJumps at Bluebird on March 6th, 2022, for a day of touring, laughs and camaraderie with other women on the mountain. SheJumps offers opportunities to increase participation in outdoor activities for women and help build an inclusive community focused on getting everyone outside.

3. VENTURE OUT Backcountry Festival with VNTRbirds

Combine backcountry touring, backyard games & camping out next to a fire at VNTRbirds second annual Venture Out Backcountry Festival at Bluebird Backcountry. On March 13th-14th, 2022, VNTRbirds will be hosting two fun-filled days with backcountry beginner and intermediate tours, scavenger hunts, relay races and a bit of howling at the moon around the campfire. And don’t forget the s’mores!

4. Shred with Elevated Alpine

On March 18th, 2022, Elevated Alpine (EA) is hosting multiple womens-only clinics and a fun day at Bluebird Backcountry; splitboard-specific, intermediate and advanced courses, discounted tickets, BIPOC and LGBTQIA+, cis-female, non-binary and transgender shcolarhsips, connection with other lady shredders, and a barbecue and hang at the end of the day. EA is a non-profit organization focused on hosting inclusive events, clinics, gear exchanges, and more!

5. Wild Barn’s Boot-Tan Fest

A women and femme-leaning, non-binary shred fest at Bluebird Backcountry hosted by Wild Barn could be in your future on March 15th, 2022. Meet new touring partners, visit women-run vendor booths, demo Coalition Snow gear, explore Bear Mountain, and partake in the afternoon nude lap of West Bowl.

6. AIARE Women’s Mentorship Program

Looking for female mentors in the backcountry skiing and splitboarding community? This season, AIARE launched a women’s mentorship program — a three-pronged program aiming to break down barriers for women in avalanche education. This program includes mentorship opportunities, scholarships, and panel conversations featuring women in the avalanche education and guiding fields.

7. Backcountry Babes

Inspiring women through outdoor adventures, Backcountry Babes offers avalanche courses for ladies, by ladies, throughout the West. They also offer guide services, mountain biking clinics, and trekking adventures.

Instructor Brittany Konsella shares her insights on what ladies bring to the backcountry in a women’s clinic at Bluebird Backcountry. Photo: Kat Ciamaichelo

All-women’s classes provide an atmosphere for women to find camaraderie and feel more comfortable speaking up, asking questions and gaining confidence in themselves. The important message behind these courses is that we want everyone to feel good and be informed backcountry travelers — creating opportunities for women to further their passions and careers while feeling supported is incredibly valuable in male-dominated snow sports.

The queen of powder skiing, Dolores LaChappelle, stated “Everything I know, I have learned from powder skiing.” Regardless of if you’re interested in all-women’s courses or not, it’s time to provide access for women and gender-nonconforming folks, and share the wisdom of powder turns, to experience the sweet freedom and pure magic that backcountry skiing provides.