What Does ‘Bluebird Sky’ Mean For Skiers? Origin Of Word

by Laura Penrose | Updated: October 27th, 2022 |  Skiing Articles

Have you ever woken up in the morning, opened the curtains, and thought, “wow, today is going to be a fantastic ‘bluebird’ day!” For many skiers, a “bluebird sky” will bring those words out of their mouths. So, what exactly is a “bluebird sky”, and what does it mean for skiers? 

A bluebird sky means a sunny, cloudless day, with blue sky making for a great day skiing. Typically occurring after a snowfall during the night, an excellent bluebird sky day will also encompass some fantastic powder skiing. 

Bluebird Sky

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What Is A “Bluebird Sky”?

Cervinia Italy ski

There is nothing like waking up in the morning to see a crystal-clear blue sky with no clouds and no sign of any bad weather on its way. For many skiers, this will mean that there will be a great day of skiing ahead. 

A “bluebird sky” means that it is a sunny day, no clouds in the sky, and the sky is blue. It also typically follows a night of snowfall, making for excellent skiing. When you go skiing, higher elevations will also make the sky look like an even deeper blue. 

After a night of snowfall, waking up to a bluebird sky means there will be a lot of powder on the mountain. Skiing in powdered snow is what all skiers love. No ice, pure powder, and great skiing.

The term “bluebird sky” is generally seen as a North American term, but you will hear people saying it worldwide, not just in skiing but in many outdoor activities. 

What Is The Origin Of The Phrase “Bluebird Sky”? 

woman enjoy skiing

The origin of the words “bluebird sky” is not entirely clear. However, there are a few ideas of where it may have originated. Many cultures symbolize bluebirds with happiness or hope and are associated with good things. 

It could simply be referring to the colour of the blue sky or the symbology of bluebirds. On the other hand, Bluebirds are native to only North America, so it would make sense that the word might have originated in North America. 

Others have speculated that it could have come from the “The White Cliffs of Dover” song or the lyrics from the Wizard of Oz that say, “Somewhere over the Rainbow, bluebirds fly”. 

Whatever the origin of the word is, it is certainly well-known among skiers and is always associated with a positive and good thing in skiing. 

Ski in Bruson
Photo by Olivier Bruchez licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

However, Is A Bluebird Day Always A Good Thing?

The term bluebird sky or bluebird day isn’t just used in snow sports like skiing and snowboarding but also in other outdoor activities such as fishing or hunting. 

In fishing or duck hunting, it isn’t usually a good thing to have a bluebird sky. When the sun is shining and the waters are calm, it can be difficult for duck hunters to hunker down and stay quiet while waiting for ducks. Likewise, for fishing, the calm waters and bright, clear sky often mean it will be challenging to catch fish. 

Why Should You Get Excited About A Bluebird Day?

One thing is getting excited about a sunny day, but skiers and snowboarders describe a bluebird day as more than just a sunny day. Bluebird sky days with fresh powder and not a cloud in the sky make for an excellent day skiing. 

resort ski

With the sun being out and a great day on the mountain, bluebird days just put everyone in a good mood. You can eat your lunch outside in the sun, have a refreshing beverage, and soak up some of those sun rays. 

It should be noted that days like this also tend to be the busiest days on the slopes, especially during the weekend or school holidays. 

Things To Remember On A Sunny day

Bluebird sky days have excellent visibility making it easier to see the terrain. However, you should also be sure to pack your snow goggles or even darker sun-lens because these days are bright, and it is essential to protect your eyes. 

As the sun is going to be out, ensure that you apply sunscreen to exposed skin or are fully covered up. At higher altitudes, the atmosphere becomes thinner, and you will be more prone to sunburn (from stronger UV rays), especially with the white snow reflecting up at you. 


Ready for Your Next Bluebird Day

In skiing and snow sports, a bluebird day is typically seen as a great thing. A sunny, cloudless day with a bright blue sky typically following a snowstorm overnight means lots of powder and a great day skiing. 

With a great day ahead, be sure to pack your ski goggles and sunblock to protect you from the sun.  So, if you wake up and see a bluebird sky, get up, get your ski gear ready and head up the mountain for a great day on the slopes.