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Looking For The Anti-Megapass? This New Partnership Just Might Provide It

Colorado's Arapahoe Basin and Bluebird Backcountry ski areas team up to offer joint pass benefits at both resorts next season.

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Good collaborations just make sense at every level, and that’s the case with the just-announced pass partnership between Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin and Bluebird Backcountry. From the skier’s perspective, both are destinations that appeal to the core shredder who values adventure, authenticity, and the quality of the experience.

While you’re probably familiar with A-Basin—which is actually limiting its season pass sales to even fewer than the current season to maintain the quality of its guest experience—Bluebird Backcountry is new to the Colorado resort scene. The backcountry-only resort comprises 1,200 acres of bowls and glades accessed by skin tracks—no lifts—with another guided 3,000 acres on Diamond Peak. Bluebird Backcountry is located in Northern Colorado, about 40 miles southeast of Steamboat Springs.

Bluebird Backcountry tracks
It’s human-powered uphill travel only at Bluebird Backcountry, in Northern Colorado. Next season, A-Basin pass holders get two days here to explore. Photo: Justin Wilhelm

Related: Here’s How to Safety Introduce Your Teens to Backcountry Skiing

Here’s the deal: Arapahoe Basin pass holders get two days at Bluebird Backcountry which they can use on any Monday, Thursday, or Friday. In return, Bluebird Backcountry pass holders get two unrestricted days at Arapahoe Basin, no reservations necessary.

“We’re stoked to be partners with Bluebird Backcountry; we genuinely love the idea and want them to succeed,” says A-Basin’s communications manager Katherine Fuller. “We also look for partners with similar vibes and adventurous mountains that we think the A-Basin faithful will enjoy. Bluebird fits right in, and they also seem to appreciate bacon as much as we do.”

Go Deeper: Here’s Your 10-Run Bucket List for Arapahoe Basin, Whistler Blackcomb, Mad River Glen, and More

For its part, Bluebird is also rolling out two memberships next season, one designed for intermediate to advanced backcountry skiers that includes avalanche skills courses, and one geared toward beginners that bundles the ski area’s introductory courses. To incentivize the early birds, anyone who purchases a Bluebird season pass when they go on sale today will get a 50-percent off voucher for a day at A-Basin, which plans to stay open through early June.

A Basin Steep Gullies Drone
A drone’s-eye view of A-Basin’s newest terrain, including the extreme Steep Gullies. Photo: Ian Zinner

“I personally love skiing at A-Basin, and we’re thrilled to partner with A-Basin for the 2021-’22 season,” says Bluebird Backcountry co-founder Erik Lambert. “Both ski areas are known for their family-friendly scene and grassroots vibe. Add in the variety of terrain and uphilling culture, and it’s a perfect match. And we know A-Basin pass holders will enjoy discovering an entirely new world of skiing at Bluebird.”