Denver has a big airport. After getting the snowboard bag out of a upright coffin dispenser-looking contraption, group member 2, Loren aka. Lorenzo, was there to pick me up in a nice ice storm around midnight. It was nice because we knew that meant snow up at higher elevations and hopefully good lucky powder days to come! Loren had been in Telluride, CO for a week already and is driving back to California to work in Tahoe after this next leg of the trip finishes. We had a slippery, dark ride through Denver but had the right vehicle and tires and so we talked through a rough plan as to how to hit a few new ski resorts in Colorado on the IKON pass and end up sleeping at our friends rustic ranch near Vail tomorrow night. With snow falling, and looking at the map on our route, we decided Berthound Pass would be a good area… and the resort – Winterpark. At 1am in the morning, we arrived at our roadside hotel, later to be known as the Door Slammin’ Inn.
In the morning, after a slow start we etched our way up the highway. Loren is a mountain man and he knows how to drive in many types of conditions. I fed my information addiction and checked twitter… Lucky I did , record breaking avalanches were occurring near all the area’s we planned to go, including a slide blocking both lanes on the highway to Winterpark and all the resorts! We pulled over to eat and think this through at a small mining town diner off highway 70.
The other folks arriving at the restaurant warned us that they might not open the road for the entire day. Darn it! We know some area’s and resorts have a unappreciated habit of slow opening or not opening at all for when conditions are the best, but Colorado was supposed to be exempt from that status. With all this snow , is there too much of a good thing again? This isn’t Squaw Valley, this is the Rockies with steeper and longer runs and trained patrollers. This can not be! The waitress tried to offer some alternatives, like moose viewing my the creek or visiting the town library. As our brainstorming continued, I checked Twitter again and after about an hour, we got word – The pass has been cleared and is open. We jumped back in the car and headed up Berthound Pass.