Berthoud Powder Guides Open Early

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The Waiting Game- skier

Winter Park, Colo. Nov. 14, 2002--The Berthoud Powder Guides' snowcat ski and ride service will begin their season on Nov. 30, due to early season snowfalls that have been above average for this time of year. The opening comes two weeks earlier than scheduled.

"This is the best early season we've seen in a long time," said JamieWolter, mountain operations manager for the Berthoud Powder Guides.Six feet of snow has fallen on Berthoud Pass since mid September,contributing to a 32-inch settled base. A good indication of theabove-average early season snowfall is the high number of skiers and riders already hiking the terrain at Berthoud Pass, which has been a favorite backcountry place to ski since the late 1800's. The Berthoud Powder Guides operate within the boundaries of a 1,700-acre special use permit from the Arapaho National Forest.

The Powder Guides have begun taking reservations. Single-seat reservations may be made on a limited space-available basis.

An off-season rate will be offered before Dec. 14, and after April 13, 2003.A full cat is $1,900 (up to 12 people) and individual seats are $195. AfterDec. 14, the cat is $2,400 and single seats are $225 per person. The priceincludes breakfast, powder ski demos, lunch, afternoon refreshments, andguide service and instruction by two guides. The guided snowcat ski andride service will run through April 13, 2003.

For the third year in a row, the Berthoud Powder Guides have partnered with the REI Outdoor School in Denver to teach free avalanche awareness classes at area REI stores. The class instructs anyone who spends time in the backcountry on how to avoid being caught in an avalanche and what to do if they find themselves at risk. On-mountain avalanche awareness classes are taught at Berthoud Pass.

For more information please check out our web site at berthoudpowderguides.com or call 800-SKI-BERT ext. 15. Office hours areMonday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.