A year ago, we never thought we’d still be here—swiping, messaging, zoom-dating, and still struggling to find love in this weird era of dating limbo. So, for this Valentine’s Day, we decided to do something different: Speed dating on skis. In keeping with our Bluebird mission, we would make it easy and casual, giving out goodies and setting out way stations to keep the focus on exploring and having fun. It would be a grand experiment, aimed at solving one of the biggest issues of the modern world: finding love in a pandemic. (Pretty noble, right?)
So, experiment we did. We called it Lovebirds: A Ski Dating Event. Here is our formal report.
Backcountry skiing or splitboarding is the perfect solution to the complicated reality of pandemic dating. For one thing, it’s about as COVID-safe as it gets: You’re outdoors, so the ventilation is great. It’s cold, so no one ever forgets a face mask. And it doesn’t matter if you’re skinning or carving turns—six feet of distance is pretty much a given if you don’t want to step on someone’s skis.
Backcountry skiing is also a clever way to filter out bad dates. First, you’re automatically guaranteed to meet backcountry enthusiasts. You can then get to know them in a beautiful setting. (Bonus: at Bluebird, that beautiful setting is managed for avalanche risk so you can focus more on acting cool and likeable and less on monitoring the snowpack.) Better yet, it’s impossible for your partner to do that thing where they lie about their fitness level on the first date to seem more badass than they really are. And if you don’t vibe with someone? You still make a new backcountry friend, and you get a workout in. Boom.
Given all of the above, we were certain that Bluebird Backcountry was going to be the humble facilitator of some real, bonafide, true love.
On Sunday, we introduced the Ski Dating Event. The premise was simple: We’d gather a bunch of unattached backcountry enthusiasts and do a little meet and greet to set a relaxed tone for the day. Then, we’d mix and match the skiers and riders, and send them off on a lap together. Partners could switch at the bottom of each lap or at our mid-mountain warming hut if the vibe just wasn’t right.
The day before, the Bluebird Base saw dumping snow, live music from Tara Rose and the Real Deal, a very competitive Nerf Biathlon tournament, and a raucous s’more-eating contest, but Sunday, all was quiet and calm. And by our highly scientific measurements, love was in the air.
That morning, a dozen (supercool, very interesting, and extremely attractive) skiers showed up. We paired them up and watched the magic happen. The pairs spent the day touring under sunny skies, switching up partners, sipping hot coffee and matcha from Alpine Start, and nibbling giant s’mores from Camp Toasted in the Bluebird snack yurt. The whole atmosphere was friendly, polite, and casual. Though there was a range of skill levels, no one got left in the dust—a testament to just how many wonderful people are out there in the Colorado backcountry community.
And at the end of the day, the whole group gathered for a (socially distanced) hang-out sesh by the fire ring before going home with some goodie bags—our treat to celebrate a Valentine’s Day well spent.
Of the dozen skiers who met up, two have already been on second dates, and a third is planning to meet up with his Ski Dating partner sometime soon. That means that—according to our totally statistically significant sample size—you have a 25% chance of finding someone at Bluebird. Pretty good odds, eh?
Dating during a pandemic is hands-down the worst. But backcountry skiing is a pretty fun solution. Stay tuned for news on another Ski Dating Event this spring!