Guided Backcountry Skiing and Boarding
Berthoud Pass Area of the Rocky MountainsBerthoud Pass is located between Idaho Springs and Winter Park and is one of the closest backcountry destinations to the Denver area. The pass tops out at 11,307ft and accesses a wide array of backcountry stashes. Site of the earliest public ski area in Colorado, Berthoud typically receives over 300 inches of snow in a season. Skiing on Berthoud Pass dates back to the 1930's and there has been lift accessed skiing off and on since 1937. Lifts were removed in 2003 and the lodge was dismantled in 2005 leaving the area solely as a backcountry destination. Front Range skiers can take advantage of this proximal powder paradise with a guided trip.
Ever wonder what’s beyond the lifts?
Backcountry skiing begins where the grooming ends—access the powder stashes and tree skiing of Berthoud Pass. Backcountry skiing and riding is an incredibly serene experience leaving the glitz and glam of ski resorts far, far behind. You’ll also experience first hand the meaning of the phrase ‘Earn your turns’ as you climb ridges with skis or boards with tour function, skins, and true grit. From the top of the pass, you’ll start your ‘skin’ up. With a small backpack containing extra layers, food and water and additional gear, you’ll start your skin from the top of Berthoud Pass and head up to any of the various options in the area. Your guide will asses the best place to go based on client ability and snow conditions and your ascent will last anywhere from one to three hours, meandering through forest and topping out on the mountains surrounding the pass. Once you reach your destination, your guide will look deeper into snow conditions checking for stability and other factors to make your ski experience a safe and powder filled ride. You’ll sip on hot drinks, change some layers, and rip your skins off getting ready to make some turns. Once your guide has determined the best ski shot and made a plan for stops, communication and exits, you’ll drop in one at a time to fresh, untracked snow fields. No rush to get first tracks, no one stealing your line, just you and the mountain with your guide as your ambassador. At the end of your ride, you’ll strap your skins back on and make your way back up for another lap. Explore the mountains beyond the lifts and experience a new way of skiing.
All participants should be proficient skiers or snowboarders - comfortable on intermediate runs.
There is not a minimum age for this trip, but all participants must be prepared to hike the ski slopes and spend the day out in the mountains.
Upon meeting up with the guide
You guide will go over equipment and gear to make sure everyone has what they need. Your guide will also go over the finer points of backcountry traveling including making sure everyone understands tour mode versus ski mode with their gear, skin usage, basic skinning skills, keeping hydrated and fed, keeping yourself regulated as far as body temperature, beacon usage and a basic rescue scenario procedure.
Trips can be instructional in basic avalanche information, educational in winter ecology and alpine environments, or just plain functional and fun with multiple laps and stacking your turns out in the Colorado backcountry. All of our ski guides have completed AMGA Ski Mountaineering training and also routinely teach AIARE avalanche courses. Our goal is to create a safe and fun backcountry experience for our clients, demonstrating the beauty and exhilaration of backcountry accessed skiing and riding.
Traveling in the backcountry can be a spiritual experience, yet is inherently dangerous and should be treated respectfully. All of our ski guides have completed AMGA (American Mountain Guide Association) training in Ski Mountaineering and are also trained in AIARE (American Institute fir Avalanche Research and Education) standards as well as up to date on wilderness medical training ensuring that your experience is not only powder filled, but safe and manageable. Your guide may feel that conditions at a certain area are not optimal for skiing for either safety reasons or snow conditions and may move on to another ski option, or return to the car if the guide finds extremely dangerous conditions. This is the advantage of traveling with a certified guide—he or she has years of backcountry ski experience and is fully trained to make decisions on snow stability and skiable terrain. Berthoud Pass has a variety of aspects and terrain, based on past weather, your guide will be able to find the best snow conditions.
Part of skiing with a guide is the peace of mind of having someone who really knows what they’re doing. We do not include lunch. People should bring some snacks (bars, etc) some kind of lunch, water, and a thermos of some kind of hot drink is always good.
Throughout the tour your guide will orient you to tricks of the trade for efficient travel techniques, allow breaks for food, water, and endless pictures, and be a general ambassador to the beauty of the Rocky Mountains surrounding you.
Our goal is to provide our guests with ideal backcountry experiences. A custom tour allows you to experience the backcountry at your own pace and on your own schedule and with your favorite ski partner, family, or friends. Let us help you create a ski trip of a lifetime! Contact us!
Please see our Backcountry Gear List for a list of gear that you will need. You will need avalanche safety gear. This gear may be rented, but you should be familiar with its use or take one of our avalanche classes before this trip. Skins for skis or snowshoes are required to climb these slopes.
|Berthoud Pass Guided Ski or Board Trips||1 person ski trip||2 person ski trip||3 person ski trip||4 person ski trip||5 or more people|
|Backcountry Guided Trips||All prices are Per Person|
|Berthoud Pass Guided Skiing||$ 310||$ 215||$ 190||$ 175||$ 150|
All trips are run as a private group trip. Prices are per person, based on the number of people going on the trip.
To sign up for this trip, choose a date from the option box and press the submit button above. Once you are registered, you will get an confirmation email for this trip.
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Meeting Place and Time
Meeting time and place will be determined with the guide depending on the time of year and request of you our customer. Once you have booked your guided ski/board trip, we will contact you regarding logistics and your needs. If you are looking at a weekend trip, we suggest starting early to beat the I-70 traffic. As these trips are custom trips, we will work with you and come up with a plan. Please see our directions and driving times in the upper right hand corner of this page for the parking lot at Berthoud Pass. You can enter a starting location and our website will load a Google Printable Map for you and estimate your drive time.
All Overnight trips have a 20% non-refundable booking fee.
If you cancel within 7 days to 48 hours prior to trip leaving you will be charged 50% of your trip cost
Within 48 hours of your trip departure or if you do not show, you will be charged 100% of your trip cost