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snowvols 04-21-2009 08:33 PM

Berthoud Pass
I know CO just got a nice storm, so I was thinking what might the coverage of Berthoud Pass be in a few weeks? Or what is it normally like in mid May?

snowvols 04-22-2009 08:14 AM

yea thats really who I meant it for

killclimbz 04-22-2009 09:06 AM

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Tons of snow up there. Should be very good through mid May. There will be turns up there probably through most of June. The biggest question is how warm will it get and will there be hard freezes overnight. Right now it's supposed to be 80 degrees in Denver today, so it will probably get to around 60 degrees at Bert. Not sure if it's freezing overnight or not. If it doesn't things are a lot more dangerous as water is percolating under the snowpack overnight and gets worse as the day warms up. Point release wet slides can happen, and a person can easily trigger a slide that goes to the ground. Early in the day. If you remember the avalanche that happened at A Basin a few years ago, the snowboard that was killed was the tipping point in these exact conditions. Keep your eyes on the CAIC forecast to see what sort of conditions can be expected. Regardless, unless a late season spring storm rolls in and dumps snow, it's best to plan to be out of there by 1pm at the latest. By 2pm you should be on a patio enjoying a beer.

On the flipside, snow can and does happen this late. I've had over a two foot powder day on May 19th up there. Looks like this weekend is going to get another shot of snow. Right now it's only predicted to be a few inches, but it could also evolve to something much more than that.

Let me know when you are coming out, maybe we can get something done.

snowvols 04-22-2009 12:13 PM

ok sweet. There will be me an my roommate and his brother. His brother gets skiddish easy on steep stuff. Thanks for the warning on avy stuff. We are hoping to just make a few laps and hitch hike back up and ride a basin a few days. Probably will be riding May 14-19 or so.

killclimbz 04-22-2009 12:36 PM

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There are definitely roadside runs at Bert, but at that time of year they are not very good quite frankly. All of them run down through treeline and conditions can be variable at best. On a very sunny day, you could get good spring corn, but the really good stuff is up high. About a 30-45 minute hike or longer. Loveland Pass has better access for this sort of thing than Bert does. You still have a bit of hiking to do, but it's quicker.

Skittish on the steep stuff? Man, most of the best lines start at 38 degrees and some of the most fun are over 50 degrees at the top. Low consequence falls for a majority of them, which is a good thing.

snowvols 04-22-2009 12:57 PM

Yea we got him to go down a double black in West Virginia this year and was pretty scared. So hopefully he will come around, but he is on skis. When I drove by berthoud pass last month I didnt realize how big the pass was I guess since I just assumed it was all road access. For the hiking part can one do it in boots? or wouls snowshoes or skins be really the only way?

killclimbz 04-22-2009 01:04 PM

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For a lot of it you can get away with boot packing it. Russel, No Name, and some of the other big lines are very accessible by foot. A lot more opens to you if you have snowshoes. At this time of year, the snow is generally fairly firm underfoot. Snowshoes give plenty of support. So a splitboard is not a necessary weapon to get out with. I will say that you should still carry full avy gear. If you time it right the likely hood of getting buried is pretty low, but it still can happen. If it does you're screwed if you don't have beacons or the gear to dig with. The snow hides what is going on underneath it, even digging a pit only tells you part of the story regulated to the area you are digging in. There are places that rent gear in Denver. All you would need is a pack to carry said gear and your board/skis. There is some amazing stuff that can be done at this time of year as long as the weather cooperates.

snowvols 04-22-2009 01:35 PM

I will look into the Denver stores for while we are out there. Thanks so much for your help as well. Hopefully this time we will be able to make some turns

killclimbz 04-22-2009 02:09 PM

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Check the Wildy and Confluence Kayaks. Both are close to each other in Downtown Denver. With it being late season a lot of places are probably scaling back on these types of rentals. The Wildy and Confluence are small enough they will probably still do beacon rentals that late in the year.

snowvols 04-29-2009 05:49 PM

Killz, is there anywhere to camp maybe to a two day trip? I called confluence kayaks and they have everything. Thanks a bunch for that info.

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