Steep wide open bowl. The bowl tops out in the 30 degrees so only ski this in times of pretty safe avalanche conditions. If you go too far to the north there is a MONSTROUS cornice usually there so watch out for that. You'll ski down to a bench which makes a great island of safety to watch your buddies from (pick your location wisely). After that there are a few mellow tree shots that you can pick up further to the east that will add into the descent and take you right back to where the road first switchbacks. Be careful though, even these tree chutes can have pretty high avy danger.[more]
The area consists of high-elevation, mountainous lands extending north of the Interstate 70 corridor up to and including the U.S. Highway 40 corridor, and up to the Continental Divide to the west and north. The elevation range is 9,200 feet to 13,553 feet. The area has nine peaks over 13,000 feet. Approximately one-third of the area is above timberline, and consists of alpine meadow and rock. Lodgepole pine stands with a minor component of aspen and ponderosa pine occur at the lower elevations up to about 10,000 feet, and dense spruce and fir stands cover the area up to about 11,500 feet. There is a good mix of terrain, as there used to be an old ski resort at Berthoud Pass, which is no longer in existence. There is skiable terrain on every aspect of the snow, mostly consisting of short laps between the road cuts. On a weekend, you can expect to see people waiting for rides to get back up to the top of the pass, where there is a parking lot and a warming hut. There are mellow runs with slopes angles of 20-30, as well as much steeper terrain which is prone to avalanches. Check out Friends of Berthoud Pass for more info
How to Get There
Getting there is very easy. Go to exit 232 off of I-70, and go north on highway 40, towards Winter Park. There is a parking area at the top of the pass, with terrain both above and below the parking area. The top of the pass is located about 55 miles from Denver.
There are 3 campgrounds up at Berthoud, and there is also a hut in 2nd creek, but overall winter camping will be a little difficult. No long term parking is available
Bring your own food, or head to either side of the pass, as Empire will get you Jenny's, The Dairy King, the little burrito shop, and the $0.99 shake place. Winter Park on the other side of the pass has a lot more restaurants, from fancy to fast food
Berthoud Pass is a no snow mobile access zone.