Originally Posted by 161lip
To anyone who has ever rode Berthoud Pass:
The past two seasons my friends and I have began riding BP. We're aware of the risks and dangers involved with back country skiing at BP; however, none of us have taken an avalanche course, nor do we own any equipment. I ask that you do not berate me too much for this; I plan to purchase all necessary equipment before my first ride, and take an Avy1 course by years end.
My question is: We always ride Floral Park, when we're at Berthoud, because everything else seems ostensibly dangerous. Furthermore, we rarely ever hike further than Jim's Glades. I'm aware that if there's snow, then there's the potential for sliding, but what are the risks involved in this area specifically? It seems less severe than, say, chutes on Hell's Half Acre. Of course, I have no formal avalanche training.
Remember that first statement I made? "If it's steep enough to ride it is steep enough to slide." All of the terrain you have written about has had slide activity. Floral proper is notorious for avalanches and is one of the more dangerous runs on the pass. Jim's glades slides less, but it has slid before in the past and it will slide again. Rarely enough to bury in that area, but there are lots of trees there. Getting carried into them can happen. Broken bones and trauma is likely.
Check out the FOBP classes that Linville linked you too. They are pinned at the top of this forum. They are free. Berthoud Pass is a lot of fun, but there is a lot of danger there too. Being literally a foot past a certain spot can put you in life threatening situations. Bert is a world class spot, but it doesn't suffer mistakes lightly.