The Secret To Adventure Is In The Going...
With the abundant spring snow fall in the Colorado high country the Nohku Crags were prime for a summer ski day. The weather in early and late May have set the snow up for consistent turns all year in 2019.
After skiing in the Flat Tops Wilderness the week before, I knew the Nohku Crags would hold some snowboarding. Normally the skis and snowboards are deep into storage this time of year, but this year is different.
The Nohku Couloirs
I have been to Cameron Pass and the Nokhu Crags before, I knew that there would still be plenty of snow to ride a classic line. In the Nokhu Basin there are five prominent couloirs, The Three Sisters, Grand Central, Breakfast, and Nokhoulior. All five are beautiful in their own right. We choose to ride the Nokhoulior which faces directly north and is in the very back on the basin.
The day started with rain showers on our tents, as we had slept at the trailhead the night before. We weren’t too optimistic that we were going to be able to ride our objective, but we headed out anyways.
There’s Optimism and There’s Reality
The Nokhu Crags are located in the Colorado Forest State Park, so we walked on a plowed road before we skinned to the foot of the basin. The rain had stopped shorty before we started to walk and the clouds began to clear. Our hopes began to lift.
We reached the bottom of the Nokhoulior the snow felt great, nice and supportive. We put on our crampons and pulled our ice axes off our backpacks and began the slow march up the couloir.
Within a few hundred feet we knew our day was over. The snow was completely saturated with water from the rain the night before. The conditions were not safe to ride on a slope this steep. We put our splitboards back together and rode some nice soft snow back down to the road.
Splitboarding Every Month In 2019
Though we didn’t get to ride what we planned we still had a wonderful day in the mountains. With the late season snow/ weather many of these great ski lines will be skiable for a few more weeks.
I know I will be snowboarding in July, and probably in August as well. Many will complain about not being able to hike to their favorite alpine lake, but there will be no complaining from me this year.