First-ever Backcountry Ski Area Opens In Colorado
The country’s first human-powered ski area opens next month near Kremmling.
Erik Lambert and Jeff Woodward and their Bluebird Backcountry project are developing a lift-free backcountry ski area on 1,500 acres of private land flanking Whiteley Peak, the prominent volcanic plug on the southern end of the Rabbit Ears range. The pair of entrepreneurs have spent 18 months hosting test events and searching the state for slopes to anchor their dream of building a ski area with all the trimmings of a traditional hill — ski patrollers, instructors, guides, a base hut, gear rentals, a mountain warming hut, trails and avalanche hazard reduction — minus the chairlift.
As uphill skiing and backcountry touring explode, “we are seeing a confluence of factors that make this the perfect time” for a human-powered ski area, Lambert said.