Private entrepreneurs pilot a new concept in human-powered skiing near Kremmling, Colorado
Photographer John LaGuardia was invited to photograph a one-off idea in human-powered skiing near Kremmling, Colorado, where a handful of backcountry skiers were provided access to ski private slopes for a small fee. The participants apparently got a bargain: a day of fun participating in a novel concept, with eats and cocoa included.
LaGuardia began by sending in one photo through this website’s “Share a Photo” link. The editorial team’s interest was piqued. One question led to another, resulting in John expanding his caption to the below story. He also submitted additional photos so you, the reader, can get a better idea of the opportunity at Bluebird Backcountry.
Here’s John LaGuardia’s story and photos:
The Kremmling, Colorado, area is not known for backcountry skiing. In fact, it is situated on Highway 40 between two major ski areas − Winter Park and Steamboat Springs − and is often thought of as private farmland in the foothills.
However, this past year a couple of backcountry skiers had the idea to give newcomers to the sport a “backcountry lite” experience. They pilot-tested the opening of a human-powered backcountry ski area for a fraction of the cost of a normal resort. Providing rental equipment, instruction and a variety of terrain, Bluebird Backcountry opened for 15 days on some private land at a place called Peak Ranch.
I was invited to tag along on March 5 to help with photography. While I was there, I also helped with getting their rental boot fleet stocked up. After that, I skinned up to “The Perch” at Basecamp 2. There, I cooked bacon and whipped up hot chocolate for guests. It was a very unique experience for the guests.
In between the small waves of visitors, I got out on the slopes with the president of RAB USA and a couple of editors from Backcountry and Outdoor magazines. We made a few runs in the backcountry and I documented the day with some photographs, including these you’re seeing here.
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