Tag Archive for: avalanche education

Weekly Update : Events + Courses

Week of February 10th, 2022

A week of Bluebird skies and great weather is coming up and we are stoked for some special events and courses on the schedule. Hang out this Saturday afternoon for a presentation and Q&A with Brittany Konsella — the second woman to ski all of Colorado’s 14ers. All you lady shredders out there, sign up for our advanced Women in the Backcountry Course and take your skills to the next level. Check out the full events calendar and lineup of backcountry education lessons, advanced courses and avalanche courses below!

Thursday, Feb. 10th

  • Dog Days at Bluebird – learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson – book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 3 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Friday, Feb. 11th

  • Dog Days at Bluebird — learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Saturday, Feb. 12th

  • Beacon Seekin’ Saturday — 2 – 3 pm at the base area. Practice your rescue skills and dig some prizes out of the snow! More info.
  • Presentation + Q & A : Skiing all of Colorado’s 14ers– SPECIAL EVENT with Brittany Konsella, 4 – 5 pm at the base area. Free to all Bluebird+ and Advanced+ Education Members! More info.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 3 Lesson — book your lesson here
  • Women in the Backcountry : Next Level Skills — With the highly experienced Brittany Konsella. Learn more and sign up here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Sunday, Feb. 13th

  • The Bacon Brawl, COSMIC Skimo Race — 10 am – 1 pm starting at the base area. Come participate in Bluebird’s second annual Bacon Brawl skimo race. More info.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Monday, Feb. 14th

  • Dog Days at Bluebird — learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

AIARE Courses

Find out more about Bluebird’s Education Program and sign up for courses here. Interested in avalanche education? Check out Bluebird’s AIARE Avalanche Education courses. You can also find our full events calendar on our website — plan your next trip to Bluebird around one of exciting onsite events, Backcountry Lessons, Advanced Courses or Avalanche Courses this season!

See you on the mountain!

 

Weekly Update : Events + Courses

Week of February 3rd, 2022

Cold temps and mid-week snow make for prime conditions at Bluebird this Thursday – Monday. Come out this Saturday to see Roma Ransom live at the base area, then stick around for the Solar Sundays snacks and drinks with our solar partners Elevated Independent Energy. Check out the full events calendar and lineup of backcountry education lessons, advanced courses and avalanche courses below!

Last weekend’s sunset tour of West Bowl was a success! Photo: Aidan Giroso

Thursday, Feb. 3rd

  • Dog Days at Bluebird – learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson – book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Friday, Feb. 4th

  • Dog Days at Bluebird — learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Saturday, Feb. 5th

  • Beacon Seekin’ Saturday — 2 – 3 pm at the base area. Practice your rescue skills and dig some prizes out of the snow! More info.
  • Live Music — Roma Ransom, 2 – 4 pm at the base area. A Colorado Springs band that you won’t want to miss! More info.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.
  • Avalanche Refresher Course NEW THIS SEASON. Learn more and sign up here.

Sunday, Feb. 6th

  • Solar Sundays — 11 – 3 pm at the base area. Come enjoy drinks, snacks, and a triva game while learning about how Bluebird is powered as an off-the-grid resrot. More info.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 3 Lesson — book your lesson here
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Monday, Feb. 7th

  • Dog Days at Bluebird — learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

AIARE Courses

Find out more about Bluebird’s Education Program and sign up for courses here. Interested in avalanche education? Check out Bluebird’s AIARE Avalanche Education courses on our website. You can also find our full events calendar on our website — plan your next trip to Bluebird around one of exciting onsite events, Backcountry Lessons, Advanced Courses or Avalanche Courses this season!

See you on the mountain!

 

Weekly Update : Events + Courses

Week of January 27th, 2022

With a mid-week snow refresh, Bluebird is primed for excellent conditions and a fun weekend ahead! We’ve got a special event on Saturday, plus Backcountry Lessons and AIARE Courses running every day. Check out the full events calendar and lineup of  backcountry education lessons, advanced courses and avalanche courses below!

Participants discuss the geologic make up of Bear Mountain on a special geology tour at Bluebird Backcountry. Photo: Erik Lambert

Thursday, Jan. 27

  • Dog Days at Bluebird – learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson – book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Friday, Jan. 28

  • Dog Days at Bluebird — learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 3 Lesson — book your lesson here
  • Backcountry 4 : Reading Terrain NEW THIS SEASON, an advanced course for those who’ve taken an AIARE 1 and want to improve their navigation and terrain analysis skills, learn more and sign up here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Saturday, Jan. 29

  • Beacon Seekin’ Saturday — 2 – 3 pm at the base area. Practice your rescue skills and dig some prizes out of the snow! More info.
  • Sunset Tour & Film Fest SPECIAL EVENT, 4 – 7 pm at the base area. Set out on a special, after-hours tour of Bluebird then enjoy the watch the Backcountry Film Festival. Get your tickets today. 
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Sunday, Jan. 30

  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Women in the Backcountry: Next Level Skills Course NEW THIS SEASON. Come spend the day learning in a fun and welcoming environment with the incredible Brittany Konsella: highly accomplished ski mountaineer, all-around shredder, and second woman to ski all the 14’ers in Colorado.  Learn more and sign up here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Monday, Jan. 31

  • Dog Days at Bluebird — learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 3 Lesson — book your lesson here
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

AIARE Courses

  • Saturday, Jan. 30 – Sunday, Jan. 31 — AIARE Rec 1 Hybrid CourseSOLD OUT.

Find out more about Bluebird’s Education Program and sign up for courses here. Learn more about Bluebird’s AIARE Avalanche Education courses on our website. You can also find our full events calendar on our website — plan your next trip to Bluebird around one of exciting onsite events, Backcountry Lessons, Advanced Courses or Avalanche Courses this season!

See you on the mountain!

 

Weekly Update : Events + Courses

Week of January 20th, 2022

There’s an extra cool event planned at Bluebird this weekend, new terrain opening (stay tuned for updates), plus a schedule full of lessons, an Avalanche Refresher Course, and an AIARE Rescue Course. Check out the full events calendar and lineup of  backcountry education lessons, advanced courses and avalanche courses below!

One of Bluebird’s newest runs, named after one of the all-time best skintrack snacks. Photo: Erik Lambert

Thursday, Jan. 20

  • Dog Days at Bluebird – learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson – book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 3 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Friday, Jan. 21

  • Dog Days at Bluebird — learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Saturday, Jan. 22

  • Beacon Seekin’ Saturday — 2 – 3 pm at the base area. Practice your rescue skills and dig some prizes out of the snow! More info.
  • Geology Tour of Bear Mountain — 12:30 – 2:30 pm. SPECIAL EVENT, lead by a professor of Geology — learn all about the volcanos surrounding Bluebird while skinning and riding. Sign up now, there’s a limited number of spots!
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 3 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.
  • Equipment Maintenance & Repairs — NEW THIS SEASON, learn more and sign up here.
  • Avalanche Refresher Course — learn more and sign up here.

Sunday, Jan. 23

  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Monday, Jan. 24

  • Dog Days at Bluebird — learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

AIARE Courses

  • Sunday, Jan.  23— AIARE Avalanche Rescue – there are a few spots still available! Learn more and sign up here.

Find out more about Bluebird’s Education Program and sign up for courses here. Learn more about Bluebird’s AIARE Avalanche Education courses on our website. You can also find our full events calendar on our website — plan your next trip to Bluebird around one of exciting onsite events, Backcountry Lessons, Advanced Courses or Avalanche Courses this season!

See you on the mountain!

 

Weekly Update : Events + Courses

Week of January 13th, 2022

The conditions at Bluebird were amazing last week, and this weekend the sun will be shining on some fresh snow — perfect touring weather! There are fun events and a full lineup of  backcountry education lessons, advanced courses and avalanche courses on the calendar. Check out the complete schedule below and come celebrate the long weekend at Bluebird!

Our team scoping out the backside of Bear Mountain after last weekend’s storm. Photo: Justin Wilhelm

Thursday, Jan. 13

  • Dog Days at Bluebird – learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson – book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Friday, Jan. 14

  • Dog Days at Bluebird — learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.
  • Avalanche Refresher Course – learn more and sign up here.

Saturday, Jan. 15

  • Beacon Seekin’ Saturday — 2 – 3 pm at the base area. Practice your rescue skills and dig some prizes out of the snow! More info.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Sunday, Jan. 16

  • Live Music — A Steamboat favorite, solo acoustic musician Jon Fog, 1 – 3 pm at the base area. More info.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 3 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Monday, Jan. 17

  • Dog Days at Bluebird — learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 3 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

AIARE Courses

  • Saturday, Jan. 15 — AIARE Avalanche Rescue – there are a few spots still available! Learn more and sign up here.
  • Monday, Jan. 17 – Wednesday, Jan. 19 — AIARE 1SOLD OUT! See more course dates here.

Find out more about Bluebird’s Education Program and sign up for courses here. Learn more about Bluebird’s AIARE Avalanche Education courses on our website. You can also find our full events calendar on our website — plan your next trip to Bluebird around one of exciting onsite events, Backcountry Lessons, Advanced Courses or Avalanche Courses this season!

See you on the mountain!

 

Weekly Update : Events + Courses

Week of January 6th, 2022

We are rolling into our second operating week of the 2021/2022 season full steam ahead. Snow is on the forecast for the next 5 days, our calendar is staked with fun events and there’s backcountry education lessons and advanced courses for everyone this week. Check out the complete schedule below!

 

Shasta, Bluebird’s lead Powder Pawtrol, and Amelia Altavena work their way up the Into the Woodwards skintrack. Photo: Jeff Woodward

Thursday, Jan. 6

  • Dog Days at Bluebird – learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson – book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Friday, Jan. 7

  • Dog Days at Bluebird — learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 3 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — free to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.
  • Avalanche Refresher Course – learn more and sign up here.

Saturday, Jan. 8

  • Beacon Seekin’ Saturday — 2 – 3 pm at the base area. Practice your rescue skills and dig some prizes out of the snow! More info.
  • Live Music — Jeff Lambert & JC McKim, 2 – 4 pm at the base area. More info.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — available to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Sunday, Jan. 9

  • Solar Sunday BBQ & Games — Sponsored by our solar partners Elevated Independent Energy, hot food from 12 – 2 pm and snacks from 2 – 4 pm at the base area. More info.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 2 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — available to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.

Monday, Jan. 10

  • Dog Days at Bluebird — learn more and get your dog pass here.
  • Backcountry 1 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Backcountry 3 Lesson — book your lesson here.
  • Ski with a Mentor — available to guests with a Backcountry+ or Advanced+ Membership, or $35 per session. Reserve your spot here.
  • Backcountry 4 : Reading TerrainNEW ADVANCED COURSE THIS SEASON! — Book your lesson here.

Find out more about Bluebird’s Education Program and sign up for courses here. You can find our full events calendar on our website — plan your next trip to Bluebird around one of exciting onsite events, Backcountry Lessons or Advanced Courses this season!

The Perch, our mid-mountain warming hut, is up and running again — and free bacon is back! There’s lots of new snow and fun turns to be had.

See you on the mountain!

 

How to Prepare for a Season of Backcountry Touring

Get your gear and yourself ready for the Best. Season. Ever.

As the snow starts to accumulate at higher elevations, a spark is lit in the backcountry community—it is time to start preparing for the winter ahead. Just like transitions when touring, a planned process helps dust off the skis and bindings and get one thinking about avalanches, decision-making and winter conditions in the backcountry. Here’s are the areas we suggest adding to your preparation process:

Bluebird Backcountry guest checks to make sure the tail end of his skins is properly secured. Photo: Justin Wilhelm

Check Your Gear

Pull out your skis, boots, and poles to check for any cracks, missing screws, or damaged pieces. Make sure the glue on your skins is not glopping up and the tip and tail pieces are in working order. Did you take a fall in your helmet last season or is it more than 5 years old? If so, it’s time to replace it. 

The final step in checking gear is inspecting your avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe. Start by putting fresh batteries in your beacon, then check to make sure all the lights work and the search and send functions are properly operating. An added step in preparation is to do a range test with your beacon to see if it’s reading off accurate distances. This task is not hard as it may sound—simply pace out 3 meters in a driveway, place a beacon at one end in the search mode, then test your beacon to make sure it reads around 3 meters. Move 1 meter closer and check the reading on your beacon. Do this until you are within 1 meter. The final step is to check your shovel and probe for any cracks, and make sure the locking mechanisms are in working order. Finally, check the cable/wire in your probe to see if it is ripped or fraying in any place.

Physically Prepare

Getting in physical shape for touring makes the experience far more enjoyable. Backcountry skiing and splitboarding requires a lot of physical strength in more than just your legs, so doing some well-rounded total-body workouts along with cardio is really beneficial to get the most out of the downhill after working hard on the uphill. The better shape you’re in, the more laps you can do!

Mentally Prepare

A significant focus of avalanche education is understanding our own heuristics—the mental shortcuts or patterns that allow us to make decisions and solve problems. These heuristics influence trip plans, decisions made prior to touring and while in the mountains, and how we deal with unexpected situations. Think about the inherent dangers of backcountry touring, dig into how you make decisions, know where your blind spots are—are you motivated by powder or easily succumb to what other people think is right without voicing your opinion? Taking the time to understand your mental processing and decision making leads you to being an aware and reliable backcountry rider and partner.

Bluebird AIARE instructor demonstrates how to take notes while digging a snow pit. Photo: Erik Lambert

Refresh Your Skills with Continued Education and Practice

Another major factor of mentally preparing is reviewing avalanche education materials and continuing to learn. This step is so critical in the mental preparation area that it gets its own category. Before the season begins, make sure to review your avalanche education materials, and consider signing up for an Avy Rescue course. Then practice again and again! Revisiting avalanche education materials before the season begins is a great way to both mentally prepare and get stoked for backcountry adventures. Focus on reviewing the following areas: avalanche rescue, trip planning and touring in a group, how to do a proper debrief, weather/snow conditions leading to specific avalanche hazards, tracking the snowpack. If you’ve never taken an avalanche course and plan to recreate in the backcountry this winter, we highly recommend signing up for an AIARE 1 In-Person or AIARE 1 Hybrid course. If you don’t feel experienced enough to do that yet, sign up for our Backcountry 1–3 lesson progression at Bluebird to learn the basics of backcountry, get more practice with your touring equipment, or dial your navigation and transitioning skills.

Start to Track the Conditions

If you’ve taken your AIARE Rec 1 or 2, you know how important it is to understand what’s happened over the entire season in order to track the current avalanche danger. The day your local forecasting center starts writing forecasts for the winter (usually at the beginning to mid-November), start reading them! Sign up for daily forecast emails and make a habit of reading the forecast with your morning coffee. CAIC (Colorado Avalanche Information Center) is the forecasting center for all mountain ranges in Colorado, check out their website! Focus on the Avalanche Hazard Rating and the General Summary along with tracking the type of avalanche problem, then dive deeper into the Forecast Discussion and Observations if you’re more experienced. As you start to tour in the early season, make note of what you’re seeing happen with weather changes (crusts forming, fresh snow, rain on snow, etc.). This will assist you in understanding what’s happening on top of and within the snowpack. After all, in general the layers of highest concern lie buried below the surface.

Find Appropriate Partners

One of the most challenging parts of touring is finding backcountry ski/snowboard partners that have similar goals and the necessary education to travel responsibly in and around avalanche terrain. The first step is to get the education yourself—be the best backcountry partner you can—then be honest with what your education and experience levels are when looking for partners. Meeting partners in avalanche education courses is always a great option, or consider checking out our Partner Finder on Bluebird Backcountry Community. Come to Bluebird with someone who you’re interested in touring with as a low-consequence trial day before planning a bigger tour day.

Backcountry partners pause mid-tour to discuss their objectives and get a sense of their location. Photo: Justin Wilhelm

The 6 steps outlined above are a great starting point to prepare for a winter and spring of backcountry touring. The process outlined above is time-tested by avalanche professionals and guides, encompassing the most critical preparation steps in order to keep returning for more powder turns, and winters, in the backcountry!