Ski resort without lifts planned near Kremmling; Campaign on Kickstarter raises $50K

Skiing at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. (Photo: Ian Zinner/Arapahoe Basin)

KREMMLING, Colo.– Two backcountry skiers and snowboarders are looking to open the sport to newbies — by charging for something that traditionally has been free.

Erik Lambert and Jeff Woodward will open a ski area called Bluebird Backcountry in mid-February at privately owned Peak Ranch, about 2 1/2 hours from Denver between Kremmling and Steamboat Springs.

The 1,500-acre ski area won’t have chairlifts, but instead will cater to the growing number of backcountry skiers who skin their way uphill. Approximately 300 acres of the property can be accessed without a guide; the remaining 1,200 acres require hiring a Bluebird guide.

The resort will offer terrain for all abilities, although Bluebird describes the property as unimproved and said skiing “will be variable and adventurous more than manicured or groomed.” Portions of the mountain will be accessible only with a guide.

Bluebird, meanwhile, will charge $50 for a day pass or $250 for the season. First-timers also will have the option to pay $190 for a day pass, lesson and rentals.

The duo launched a Kickstarter campaign Monday to help offset the costs of opening, including leasing the land. As of Thursday afternoon, the campaign, which ends Feb. 5, had raised approximately $51,000, exceeding its goal of $25,000.