A ski area unlike any other in Colorado will boast new terrain in its second full season.
Near Kremmling, Bluebird Backcountry has announced 12 new trails for visitors drawn to the self-powered, no-chairlift mission of the grassroots operation. Bluebird Backcountry also announced four new skin tracks and markers pointing uphill movers to launch points.
Last winter, on the property being leased off Rabbit Ears Pass, "we skied every cranny of Bear Mountain and mapped out what an ideal trail system would look like," read the ski area's announcement. Tree removal was done in the summer by 50 volunteers and sawyers, according to the announcement — "with guidance from the Colorado State Forest Service, landowner and local land trust."
The north face of the 9,845-foot mountain has been carved with six trails described as intermediate and advanced. Four are considered "extreme" in what Bluebird calls its Couloir Zone, with 37- to 45-degree slopes that are avalanche-managed and patrolled. Another two trails were made with families in mind, descending through meadows and old-growth aspens.
Bluebird Backcountry began a goal to "improve education and create a soulful gathering place" at Bear Mountain's 4,200 acres last winter, after a weeks-long proof-of-concept down the road the year prior. Thousands have reportedly skied the area, designed both for backcountry beginners and veterans who take advantage of safety benefits in a controlled environment.
The ski area aims to open as soon as snow allows.