Berthoud Pass: Hidden Knoll

Hidden Knoll from the North.  Photo: Rob Writz

Hidden Knoll is truly hidden from view. The best places to see it are from the Postage Stamp and 110s area in Current Creek and from Mount Russell. It is situated in the Current Creek drainage below Mount Russell, and it requires an approach using skins or snowshoes to access. The distance from the hustle and bustle of the Pass means fewer people. Add to that the high quality leeward facing lines, and the great views of Current Creek and it quickly becomes a favorite of local backcountry skiers. This area is all about bowl and chute skiing!

The Berthoud Pass Ditch (Aqueduct) bisects this area. The Aqueduct is positioned lower on the flanks of Hidden Knoll than it is on the 90s near the Pass. The skin track in brings you past the Peter Rabbit Hut and up to the Aqueduct. The Aqueduct is not flat here and you climb up it to the East or West to access the sides of Hidden Knoll.

+ ROUTES

Berthoud Pass Hidden Knoll

  • Season: Winter
  • Summit Elevation: 11,900’
  • Aspect: North, Northeast, East, Southeast
  • Elevation Range: 10,800’ – 11,900’
  • Vertical: 700’
  • Trailhead: Current Creek (10,800’)
  • Snowmobile Access: Snowmobiles are not allowed at Berthoud Pass.

Skin Track:

The skin track departs the southwest corner of the parking lot heading west into the trees. There is a road on the left and this is the exit from the 90s. The skin track quickly splits with a west (left) line following Current Creek and going to the Hidden Knoll area. This is frequently called the Bobsled Run. The right line climbs to the 110s area. Proceed west up the skin track following Current Creek. At approximately 0.5 miles you will reach the Peter Rabbit Hut. Just past this there is a brief climb to the Aqueduct. The area below the Aqueduct is called the Cemetery due to the rocks that get covered with snow. You can use the Aqueduct to climb east to the bowl below the South Chutes of Hidden Knoll or climb west to XYZ and Moonlight Bowl.

Exit:

The Hidden Knoll routes eventually bring skiers back to the Aqueduct. You can access Hidden Knob from the South Chutes, and there are several chutes below XYZ in the trees to the Aqueduct. The large cliffs above the Aqueduct are called the Swiss Horn. From the Aqueduct follow the skin track follow past Peter Rabbit Hut to Current Creek and then the trailhead.

Routes:

59 - Halfpipe – Halfpipe is an extension of the bowl below the South Chutes of Hidden Knoll that terminates behind the knoll. On the Aqueduct, climb east several hundred feet and then climb steeply through the woods to the south in the open flat bowl that leads to Halfpipe and the chutes.

60 - South Chutes of Hidden Knoll – The South Chutes are east/southeast facing and frequently get cooked by the sun. Get here early, and be aware that this area can frequently slide.

61 - Hidden Knob – Hidden Knob is an area unto itself. There are numerous chutes and rocks on the Knob. Access this from the bottom of the South Chutes or the bottom of Y Chute.

62 - Y Chute – The XYZ chutes and bowls are accessible by climbing Halfpipe or Moonlight Bowl to the top of Hidden Knoll. Y Chute is the steepest of the chutes.

63 - Z Chute – Z Chute empties directly into Aqueduct.

64 - X Bowls – The X Bowls are not as steep as Y Chute and Z Chute but they are in the mid-30 degree range and have high avalanche potential.

65 - Moonlight Bowl – Moonlight Bowl is the basin below XYZ that wraps around the north side of Hidden Knoll.

+ TRAILHEAD

Current Creek (10,800’)

The Current Creek Trailhead is the large turnout off of US Highway 40 Berthoud Pass Road approximately 2 miles from the summit and 9.3 miles from Winter Park. [39.8102, -105.7785] There is a parking lot on the west side of the highway next to the start of the skin track. Additionally, there is more parking just north and across Highway 40. This second lot may not be plowed after a major storm.

+ MAPS & PICTURES

Below we have included a link to a Google interactive map and a curated list of photos of the mountain.

Clicking on map above will open interactive Google map website

Clicking on map above will open interactive Google map website