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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    right behind you!
    Posts
    5,193

    Berthoud Pass warming hut

    Hey all,

    This morning was a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new warming hut and Continental Divide Trail trailhead at the summit of Berthoud Pass.

    The shelter is the product of a lot of different parties coming together to get a project completed in record time. Partners in this project included the US Forest Service, Great Outdoors Colorado, Colorado State Parks, the Continental Divide Trail Alliance, the county commissioners from Clear Creek and Grand counties and Friends of Berthoud Pass.

    One of my contacts at the US Forest Service told me, "I've been a ranger for more than 20 years and I've never seen a project come together so quickly." Just three years ago this was nothing more than an idea. The conceptual elements, environmental studies, needs analysis and funding fell into place in good order, and this is what we've got...

    The new shelter is situated just north of the old lodge, right overlooking the Shop Chutes. I didn't take pictures of the entire site, and now wish I had. The Continental Divide marker has been pushed back from it's old location in the middle of the parking area, to a location about fifty feet to the south-east of the new building. The parking area accommodates roughly 120 cars, though I'm certain with smart placement, we can squeeze in a few more on busy winter weekends. There is a single, dedicated vehicle entrance to the lot, with good sightlines in both directions over US40, so merging on and off should be easier. Pedestrian crossing, in the form of a zebra crossing with blinking lights, is going to come in Phase II (whenever that happens).



    The interior is sparse, but utilitarian. The walls are treated particleboard, and corrugated aluminum, the floors are concrete. There are large south-facing windows to absorb solar heat as well as a radiant heat system through the floors. There is a bench around the entire room and a picnic table will be added in the near future. There is minimal florescent lighting.



    We would have liked to see solar or wind-generated power for the project, and that might still come in the future. The room is coded to hold as many as 80 people, but realistically I'd think it'd be a tight squeeze with more than about 40. The windows are double-paned and eventually there will be some sort of metal grate over the lowermost portion to prevent accidental breakage. There also is a provision for some signage inside. We're putting together a draft of what we'd like to see as far as information on basic avalanche awareness, and contact numbers for avy reports, Friends of Berthoud Pass, local rescue groups etc. There is an outside chance that we'll be able to use a small storeroom at the rear of the building to cache some ski patrol rescue gear, but those details won't be worked out for at least a couple of months. Any ideas on that are welcome.



    This is what you were really looking forward to, I know. Me too. Low-tech composting toilets. Separate ones for the menfolk and for the wimmins. I don't know the technical specs of the facilities, but I'm sure the USFS could provide that without too much trouble.



    No running water. No sinks. No mirrors. Just what ya need. There will be small waste receptacles in the bathrooms, but at present there is no plan for trash bins anywhere at the summit. This had me a bit miffed initially, but in thinking it through, it sort of makes sense, insofar as minimizing trash on the whole. With barrels or bins up there, the tendency is that people dump everything out of their car into the receptacles available. There is a high cost logistically, as well as monetarily to remove trash, especially in the winter, so the govt is loathe to get into it.



    It's a decent structure, and one that we hope will last for a while. Our role as good citizens, and as concerned users of the Pass, will be to do our best to maintain the facility. This means not tagging or littering the place, doing our part to remove trash and ice, educating others about following our lead, and helping to make vandalism a non-issue.

    I can't stress how important this is.
    Right now the plan is to keep the building open every day all day. 365, 24-7. This will change the minute it has to. That is, if people start using it to camp out in, party in, etc. we'll lose it. It's designated a day-use area, and law enforcement likely will kick you out if you're using it after hours for more than emergency or rest use. There is a very small staff of Forest Rangers who will be up there periodically to shovel snow, and generally keep the place up. If you run into them, introduce yourself, tell them you're a Friend of Berthoud Pass and ask if there's anything you can do to help them. They're good people and they'll certainly appreciate the friendliness. I'm pretty certain they're installing security cams, and they might wire them to the web if we're lucky, so we entire Internetz can monitor the place. Kewl.

    Friends of Berthoud Pass will be taking it upon ourselves to provide trash collection and facility maintenance on an individual basis. That means every day I ski up there, before I head out, I'll take five minutes to pick up any litter I see on the ground, tie a trash bag to my bumper, or somewhere useful, and at the end of the day, spend another five minutes picking up and then haul my stuff off the Pass. The Forest Service has offered us free bags and use of the dumpsters at the district ranger offices, which is pretty cool. If I see an unsafe condition, I'll try to fix it and then report it back to the district ranger to be properly addressed. I urge you to do so also.

    We're pleased with what they've done and proud of our role in making it happen. Is it perfect? Hell no. Is it better than we had last season? Absolutely.

    Let us know what you think. Any ideas you have as far as interpretive and informational signage, designing a protocol for rescue equipment, building maintenance or other issues, please let us know and we'll work with the land managers to implement as best as we're able.

    Cheers, see ya at the Pass!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    ColoRADo
    Posts
    5,694
    HELL YEAH!!! Nice work...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Pugetopolis,WA
    Posts
    1,385
    Ballin!!
    So local it hurts...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    tree OH TREE!!!!!
    Posts
    3,056
    VERY NICE WORK!!!! Thank you FOBP and the rest!!!!

    Thank you also for reminding us all that this is a self policing situation to keep things in check.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    WHEREAS,
    Posts
    13,006
    Nice work, Pinner. The lodge looks great and will make for a great place to stop between laps.

    Think snow! Cannot wait to ski the pass.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Front Strange
    Posts
    354
    That looks great. A huge improvement over what we had, nothing.

    My only suggestion would be to install some hand sanitizer dispensers in the restrooms- no waste and peeps can still clean their hands off after doing the bizness.
    I don't like being outdoors Smithers, for one thing, there's too many fat children.

    - Mr. Burns

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    20,456
    Well done!

    Now, Herr Commandant, when do the lifts go in?
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    6,239
    Nice! Congrats S, that is awesome. I mean, not as awesome as the old lodge and lifts, but whatcanyado? Very cool to see FOBP making a big difference up there.
    I'm so hardcore, I'm gnarcore.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    right behind you!
    Posts
    5,193
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    when do the lifts go in?
    you lazy sacka....


    handsanitizer. done.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Pemberton, BC
    Posts
    1,455
    nice work. thank you.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    The Continental Divide
    Posts
    7,278

    Thumbs up

    That is amazing! Well done! A much better use of your time than various aliaii on TGR.

    I'll head over there with the next good snowfall and warm myself.
    Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
    Henry David Thoreau

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    funland
    Posts
    4,447
    this is awesome.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
    Posts
    21,398
    Way cool thing to do. Props to all involved.

    Let's just hope the first person to try a fuck it up gets really fucked by the locals.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    The land of lot's of houses, CO
    Posts
    250
    Nice job FOBP, that place is sick.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Republik Indonesia
    Posts
    8,354
    XYZ--now you can just sleep there instead of going all the way home after work.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    right behind you!
    Posts
    5,193
    Thanks for the thanks, but it wasn't just FOBP. We really did this together.

    Remember?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    118
    Awesome! Very nice!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    SF
    Posts
    3,638
    Congrats!
    Craig Kelly is my co-pilot.

    Buy Your Lift Tickets in Advance and Save

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Golden CO
    Posts
    2,339
    nice work
    smile when you are going down, it looks more graceful
    dobish.blogspot.com Dynafit & O1 Adapter or AXL/2nd Ski Kit Sandwich Blog

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,794
    Awesome!!!
    Ride Fast, Live slow.

    We're mountain people. This is what we do, this is how we live. -D.C.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    below the king
    Posts
    1,284
    AWESOME! Really nice work dude, thanks for the self policing reminder. Can't wait to get there to check it out after the next foot and a half o' snow....

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    J Hole
    Posts
    46
    great work, thanks for the update.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    next to the great wall, on the good side
    Posts
    235
    Well done man!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Golden, CO
    Posts
    465
    Quote Originally Posted by Franz View Post
    Can't wait to get there to check it out after the next foot and a half o' snow....
    Doesn't that first big storm usually happen by now . Maybe weekend after this.

    Shelter came together nicely.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    527
    Looks nice. Now when folks make plans to meet on the Pass, we can meet in the shelter and not walk around creepily looking in car windows.

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