It’s finally here: the winter we’ve been waiting for! Looks like Ullr has been paying attention to all our snow dances—the latest storm brought enough snow to Bear Mountain to open another 40% of Bluebird Backcountry’s terrain. Not bad for a ski area that doesn’t make its own snow.
Our operations and ski patrol teams have been working hard to open Bear Mountain’s north face. When the snow showed up last week, we took some guests out to tour the new terrain. Now, it’s open and ready to rip for anyone with a Bluebird pass. Here’s what you need to know about the terrain we just opened.
The Bear Mountain summit is now open!
There’s something about arriving at a summit that never gets old. We’d say it’s unbeatable, but the truth is… skiing off the peak is even more fun. So we’re thrilled to open skin tracks all the way to Bear Mountain’s 9,845-foot summit — plus challenging runs all the way down.
On a clear day, the top of Bear Mountain boasts views of Rabbit Ears and our former stomping grounds, 10,115-foot Whiteley Peak. The summit is marked, but there are no services at the top.
Newly opened runs are rated blue, black, and double-black
Skyline runs straight off the summit along the Continental Divide. It’s rated double-black with no shortage of natural obstacles and tight trees to keep you on your toes.
Ursa Major, a reference to the peak’s Latin name, offers an enjoyable 1,000 vertical feet of evergreen tree skiing. It’s closer to a black-diamond run at a resort.
Below, four Bear Claw Meadows open up for hootin’ and hollerin’. These gorgeous intermediate aspen groves glisten on bluebird days (and look spook-tacular when it’s socked in).
Ruder’s Ridge — which runs along the peak’s prominent cliff band — gains 610 feet of elevation in just under three-quarters of a mile. Fortunately, the scenery will distract you from your aching quads. This part of the mountain shares its name with Bluebird’s Director of Business Development, Trent Ruder, who’s quick to point out that it’s not actually him the run is named for, but his family. Trent can trace his family’s Vail lineage back five generations. His grandfather, Leonard Ruder, ran a sawmill and cut runs at Vail Resort in 1961. There’s even a Ruder’s Run named for Leonard at Vail, complete with a plaque in his honor.
“The Ruders build ski areas,” Trent says of his family’s legacy. “I’m honored to be part of Bluebird, where we’re doing something totally new.”
There’s something at Bluebird for everyone. For folks who want to ski difficult tree runs, this new terrain is it. Aside from the Bear Claw Meadows, expert skiing or riding ability is recommended.
There’s more where that came from
With 35% of our terrain still waiting for a little more snow, Bluebird’s Bear Mountain location has plenty more tricks up its sleeves. The Far Side’s runs are named for the locals—the Hammerdown run is a nod to our hosts, while Krem de la Krem tips its hat to nearby Kremmling. Keep checking the Uptrack Journal for more info on the rest of Bluebird’s runs as they open this season!