Backcountry Skiing: Berthoud Pass, Colorado
by Rob Writz
Colorado Avalanche Information Center
Colorado: Crested Butte | Silverton | Uphill Skiing & Light Tours of Colorado
Washington: Mt. Baker | Crystal Mountain
Welcome to the epicenter of backcountry skiing and snowboarding on Colorado’s Front Range. Since the 1930s skiers have been exploring the slopes surrounding US Highway 40 as it climbs and descends Berthoud Pass. This was the former home of one of Colorado’s pioneering ski areas and when it closed, the Pass quickly emerged as the most popular backcountry ski destination on the Front Range. Quick access, a consistent snowpack, and endless discovery continue to draw skiers to Berthoud Pass. The east to west orientation of the Pass, located high above the Fraser River and Clear Creek valleys, attracts a deep snowpack benefiting from both northwest flow and upslope storms. In just over an hour drive from Denver, backcountry skiers have access to numerous trailheads leading into the high basins surrounding the Pass. From pre-work dawn patrols, to car shuttling, to all day epics, Berthoud Pass has an adventure for backcountry riders of all skill levels. The glade skiing, deep powder bowls, and steep couloirs of Berthoud Pass have enough terrain to keep you busy for a lifetime.
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