After a lengthy bout of high pressure hanging over Colorado that left many of us wondering if this winter was going to be a dud, the snow finally started to fall. The northern mountains received a couple feet in as many days leading into last Sunday, so Brian and I decided to head up to Berthoud for a few hours of pass touring poppycock. What we found turned into one of the better ski days of the season for either of us thus far.
Berthoud Pass is a relatively simple place that often gets a bad wrap from disgruntled Colorado locals. But hit on the right day with good terrain selection, it can be as good as any pass skiing in the state. From the parking lot we crossed the road and skinned up the west side bench before skiing down the south side of Current Creek. The snow here was probably the deepest and lightest we found all day, so we decided to stick around for a few laps.
After playing around in 2+ feet of fresh powder for an hour, we skinned 1,500′ up the north side of Current Creek as some more weather rolled in temporarily. The skiining was efficient thanks to an existing trench. After clicking in we skied variable snow through a patch of low angle trees before hitting a big patch of breakable crust lower down. North facing terrain was the place to be on this day apparently.
We hitched a ride back up to the parking lot, loaded into the car, and headed down for a few laps on No Name Bench. An easy skin had us to the ridge line, where we found lots of north-facing untracked snow right at tree line. We did our best to etch a few signatures into the landscape.
After 4 or 5 hours in the 0 degree temps we were cold and ready for a beer. We traded in at just the right time too, managing to beat I70 traffic back to Littleton (which I view as an equal accomplishment to skiing untracked powder these days). It felt good to ski some actual snow, and I hear there’s more on the way.
Cheers and stay safe out there everyone!