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Northern Colorado Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding
By piero
Hi everyone,
we are a group of experienced Italians back-country skiers planning a 10-12 days February vacation on the mountains west of Denver. We will rent a house in a convenient place and move from there to various trail. I am familiar with the ski resort in the area but I never did backcountry skiing there. We would appreciate any suggestion on witch area to make base in order to find a good variety of trail within a short drive .

I have identify some possible areas on Google ( Grand Lake and Fraser, North of I-70 ; Twin Lakes, South of I-70) , can anyone tell me if there are good trails in these areas ?

Thanks in advance and best regards,
By IrvinCal
I've never heard about that website. Seems like a great resource. Thanks for sharing.
By piero
telejet9 wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:43 am Piero, yes there is good skiing all around those areas. Check out the Colorado Avalanche Information Center ( for all the latest weather/condition reports. PM me if you need more info.
Thanks for your replay. We will stay in a rented house on the north-east edge of Fraser. I know that in Berthoud Pass there are some good runs; do you know if there is anything near our house that we could reach without using the car ? We will be all equipped with rescue and search gears and two in our group are backcountry and alpine climbing instructors therefore we will play safe.
Thanks and best regards,
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By telejet9
I don't know of any areas right out of Fraser, but maybe other PBuzzers that are more familiar with the area can voice up. We are finally getting a good storm cycle, so conditions have improved drastically!
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By d-rock
@ Piero, not much skin to downhill stuff out of Fraser. The Fraser Trail is good for cross-country. That's about it. Berthoud Pass has plenty of options. Also, St. Louis Creek area, super long approaches, though.
By piero
Thanks a lot for the info; if we drive to St. Louis Creek winter parking, are we able to skin up from there? how about elevation drop, usually we do 3-4000 ft.
Thanks again and best regards, Piero
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By d-rock
Yes, you can. Your elevation at the parking area is around 9,000ft. Bottle Peak is 11,600ft, Ptarmigan Peak is 11,780ft and Byers Peak is 12,800ft. Do you have access to Google Earth? Its a great tool. It will give you a better idea of the terrain. Or pick up a Topo map. These peaks do have a considerable amount of avalanche terrain. They rarely get skied mid winter. Also, our forests around here are ravaged by the Pine Beetle epidemic (early 2000's), so skiing through the trees can be very challenging sometimes due to the downfall. Berthoud Pass would give you a higher base at 11,300ft. The options up there are endless. Cheers!
By johng
This site has good info for Berthoud Pass and other areas you might want to visit - check it out:

Do heed the warnings about avalanches. Colorado typically has a very unstable snowpack compared to areas farther north, and my impression is that this year is worse than average. We tend to have dry spells between snowfalls, so there are usually weak layers.

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