TR: Nokhu Crags Backcountry Skiing (11 April 2016)
(Last Updated On: April 26, 2016)
Nokhu Crags is a place I’ve heard mention of many times in regards to backcountry skiing. But, Cameron Pass is pretty darned far away from Crested Butte and not easy for us to get to. However, if you’ve been following us, you’ve noticed we’ve been spending some time exploring the backcountry skiing options in the northern parts of Colorado. And, it would be a shame to skip over one of the best backcountry zones in the area.
After spending some time researching the Nokhu area, and armed with some valuable insights from Rob Writz of frontrangeskimo.com, I then convinced our friend Larry to join me on my exploration adventure.
The day was snowy, because April seems to have become the month with the most precipitation in Colorado in recent years. The approach road went a little slow at first, but then we started to see the lines that backcountry skiers love.
The sun began to shine and we were instantly hot. I thought it might be powerful enough to break up the low-hanging clouds. But, it was not. We didn’t see the sun again for hours.
Welcome to Nokhu Crags, which should be renamed “Couloir City” – because there’s at least a couple of couloirs here for every day of the week!
Every corner we turned, we spotted another couloir. “Should we ski that? Or this? Or wait, over there too?”
“How about this one?” One of the Three Sisters….
I love booting – well, most of the time. I know it’s weird. But I do. And I haven’t had much of a chance to get my booting-on this season. So, it was fun to finally kick a staircase into the snow.
With a few inches of fresh on otherwise stable snow, the skiing was pretty darned good. Larry dropping in.
A couple pics of me.
But, when you visit Couloir City, I mean Nohku Crags, you don’t just come for one couloir…. We headed up valley to do Nokhouloir and Grand Central. But, as we climbed, we saw some debris coming down off of the rocks that hung near the summit towering above Grand Central. We decided not to go that way and to stick to Nokhouloir instead.
At the top, we caught a nice glimpse of Mount Mahler.
The skiing in Nokhouloir was great too. Larry.
After that, we decided it was a wrap for the day. We made our way down the morraine and into the valley, descending the road back to our car. One more look at Couloir City, Nokhu Crags.
This is a zone I’d love to return to some day! There’s much to explore! Many thanks to Rob Writz for valuable insights!
Brittany Walker Konsella
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6 thoughts on “TR: Nokhu Crags Backcountry Skiing (11 April 2016)”
Dude, that is awesome.
Brittany – Great write up and awesome photos. We’re headed there this weekend and looking for a bit of beta. Which of the 3 sisters did you ski (based on the last blog photo) and would you recommend it as the best one? Also in round figures about how long is the climb (time or feet)? Not a lot of info out there on them but spotted in a couple photos earlier this week and was hoping to do one or two. Thanks!
Glad you like it Dan!
Hi Michael! Glad you liked the report! We skied the Three Sisters couloir that is furthest looker’s left, which happens to be the widest one. It looked the best of the three to us because it was the widest. It was about a 3.5 mile approach to the upper part of the moraine where a lot of the couloirs start. From there, the couloirs are pretty short, generally ranging from 700 to 1000 vertical feet or so for the most part. But you’ll see plenty of worthy ones! Have fun this weekend!
Great report, Brittany! Glad you could get up to NoCo and Cameron Pass. The Never Summers are addicting and when you get up high you see even more to ski!
Thanks Rob! Glad you liked the report and thanks again for providing valuable info!