This is a fairly steep avalanche path at First Creek in the Winter Park side of Berthoud Pass. First Creek is not a typical destination when skiing at Berthoud.
When standing in the parking lot, Chimney Chute is up on the north-facing ridge, only about 600 ft above the parking lot. Actually only the top and the bottom of the Chute can be seen from the parking lot. The rest is hidden by a rocky ridge that is part of another run called Chimney Cliffs.
This run is very close to the road, but still has all of the dangers as the routes up high.
- Be sure you visit the CAIC website for current conditions
- Carry all of the proper gear, transceiver, shovel, probe
- Park at First Creek on the Winter Park side of Berthoud
- Follow the skin track heading south, paralleling the road heading toward the North Ridge
- Trail is in late season, might not be in early season
- This is a steep skin, normally will never enter into the east side of the Parking Lot Glades
- After hitting the ridge, you can see Highway 40 and the Second Creek trailhead
- Typically if the skin track is put in, the Chimney Chute will be at the end of the skin track on the right side
After Finding Chimney Chute:
- Be confident that the conditions justify the ski descent, this is a very avalanche-prone ski run
- Drop in is fairly simple, steep double fall line, bordered by rocks on the right after the initial trees on the top right
- There is an exit halfway down, on the right side entering into the bottom of the Chimney Cliffs
- Chute exit goes through the actual " Chimney", two sets of rocks at the very bottom
- After exiting, head hard right and head back toward the parking lot, if you're careful it is possible to ski all the way back without skinning