A new ski area is due to open in Colorado tomorrow (Saturday 15th February) with the unusual selling point that it will have no ski lifts, nor any other form of uplift, except human powered.
Whiteley Peak ski area, run by Bluebird Backcountry, is being marketed as the world's first defined ski area without any form of motorised transport.
Bluebird Backcountry recently raised more than $100,000 (from a $25,000 target) gaining more than 1,000 backers to start the area,
"Our vision is to blend the best of the backcountry with the best of resorts. We will have almost everything you'd expect at a small ski area—a lodge and warming hut, on-site rentals, lessons, and ski patrol to evaluate avalanche terrain and respond to emergencies—but we won't have any chairlifts. Guests will use backcountry touring equipment to hike and skin uphill before transitioning to ski or snowboard back down. We imagine a welcoming place to explore, learn and practice backcountry skills, ski great lines, and cozy up in a hut with a hot chocolate and new friends," the Kickstarter statement reads.
Located one hour drive north of Silverthorne, the centre offers uphill access to around 1,200 acres of backcountry terrain. Skiers will be able to enjoy wide open meadows as well as more challenging areas thick with Aspen trees.
All backcountry experience levels are welcome and the resort will offer lessons for first-timers in addition to backcountry-specific safety clinics.
To keep the experience remote and serene, Bluebird Backcountry will only allow 300 skiers through the resort each day.
The centre plans to initially run for a month-long test season until 15th March.