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Cloudy Skies: Bluebird Backcountry Announces Permanent Closure

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Cloudy Skies: Bluebird Backcountry Announces Permanent Closure


Bluebird Backcountry, Colorado’s pioneering human-powered ski area, announced its permanent closure Monday. The decision comes after three winters of successful operation in Kremmling, where the liftless resort demonstrated the potential for its new, unique “backcountry lite” concept. Financial challenges have ultimately led to the resort’s shutdown, but Bluebird’s leaders are not without gratitude for what they created, the community who supported them and the people they impacted.

“While it’s heartbreaking to close Bluebird, I’m proud of the experience that we built,” co-founder and CEO Jeff Woodward said in the company’s press release.

Bluebird’s base lodge welcomed guests to a new type of ski resort. [Photo] Courtesy Bluebird Backcountry from Issue 137.

Bluebird Backcountry gained attention from the ski industry, when in January 2020 its founders announced plans for the world’s first full-service, chairlift-free alpine ski area. Promising avalanche-mitigated backcountry skiing, the resort aimed to make the sport more inclusive and accessible while serving as a safe educational and recreational space.

“[Bluebird] offered reasonably priced day passes and rental gear, a wide…



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