Berthoud Pass, CO Conditions Report & Photo Tour | Powdah Oct. 19th, 2013

SnowBrains | BackcountryBackcountry | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Mike shredding the far shoulder. [Skier: Mike Olson, Photo: Aaron Rice]

all words and photos by Aaron Rice & 1st Law Productions

This past Saturday, October 19th, 2013, was the 4th bluebird Saturday after a Friday storm in a row!! Colorado is absolutely killing the early season this year! Saturday bright and early John and I headed up to Berthoud pass.

Leaving Boulder at 6:30 and stopping at Big Daddy’s Bagel’s in Golden, we arrived at Berthoud pass right around 8. We met up with new found ski buddy Mike Olsen. Mines peak to the East was under a spectacular cap cloud that kept us cold for the morning hours.

Under the cap cloud. [Photo: Aaron Rice]

We took a quick lap just above the pass, but it was a bit thin so we decided to venture further. We headed up the continental divide to Russell peak as the cap cloud finally burned off leaving us with bluebird conditions.

John booting up to Russell peak. [Photo: Aaron Rice]

Mike coming up Russell peak. [Photo: Aaron Rice]

After peeing a bit into the Atlantic and a bit into the Pacific Ocean, we skied down the ridge to the far west shoulder where the snow looked the deepest.

Laying down nice turns on the far shoulder. [Photo: Aaron Rice]

There was a bit of wind crust at the top of the ridge, but the turns were still very nice and mostly rock free. Across the bowl we could see remnants from an avalanche from the last storm. A reminder that just because it is early season, does not mean there is no avalanche danger. Especially in Colorado.

Avalanche from a couple days ago [Photo: Aaron Rice]

For sure some spots were thin, but where the snow had drifted, it was really good!

Mike sending it. [Skier: Mike Olson, Photo: Aaron Rice]

Finding my paradise. 25°, bluebird conditions, up in the mountains getting October turns, and a muffin to top it all off!

If this isn’t paradise, I don’t know what is. [Photo: Aaron Rice]

Some of the best snow we found was right at treeline, where the wind hadn’t jacked everything, but not so low that the snow was too thin.

Mike finding some deep snow. [Skier: Mike Olson, Photo: Aaron Rice]

Shallow pow. [Photo: Aaron Rice]

On our last run we skied down past the aqueduct to the lower lot, where a nice man was seemingly waiting for us in the parking lot and gave us a ride back to the top.

Hitched a ride back up to the top. [Photo: Aaron Rice]

Back at the parking lot, the crowds had arrived. Anything you could see from the lot was tracked out, Tailgaters were blasting Miley and kids were sledding on the hill above the lot. Quite an opposing scene from the empty backcountry just a mile away.

Everybody got the word that skiing was going off. [Photo: Aaron Rice]

All in all a beautiful sunny day with good conditions for October at Berthoud pass!

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