Forest Service keeps Berthoud Pass closed to sledding to prevent accidents | SkyHiNews.com

Forest Service keeps Berthoud Pass closed to sledding to prevent accidents

Because of serious accidents in the past, the former Berthoud Pass ski area remains closed to sledding.

The area is posted and violators will be ticketed for sledding in the closure area.

Violation of this sledding closure is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual, $10,000 for an organization, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

Three years ago, after numerous accidents, many of them serious and requiring emergency assistance, U. S. Forest Service officials closed the former Berthoud Pass ski area to sledding. The area is adjacent to U.S. Highway 40 on the Arapaho National Forest.

Also temporarily off limits is an unfinished building at the trailhead parking area that will serve as a warming hut and rest-room facility when completed and open to the public next year. This closure is in place to protect the building and to protect visitors from hazards associated with the unfinished building.

“This is not a safe place to sled. Injuries to people sledding in 2004 were so severe that Flight for Life had to be used to transport people to hospitals,” said Daniel Lovato, Clear Creek District Ranger for the Arapaho National Forest.

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Visitors can still enjoy backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, hiking, photography and parking to enjoy the scenery on Berthoud Pass.

There are also other safe places for sledding. Two free sledding hills are located at Carter Park in Breckenridge and Rainbow Park in Silverthorne.

Some areas that charge a fee are Snow Mountain Ranch/YMCA of the Rockies

(970) 887-2152, Fraser Tubing Hill (970) 726-5954, Keystone (970) 496-4386 and Copper Mountain (866) 416-9874.

The Forest Service needs your cooperation to make this closure effective. Please inform your friends and family of this closure so everyone can enjoy the winter season safely.

For more information, contact the Clear Creek Ranger District at (303) 567-3000.

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