Spring is starting to show its colors on the front range so we decided to welcome the new season with a trip to the often overlooked mountains of the Never Summer Range. Benton and myself made our way up to the base of the ominous Nokhu Crags early Friday morning. We had sherpa duty on the way in with a $20 sled overflowing with about 70 pounds of gear and food (see: beer). After some sled modifications and a slog into the hut, we dropped off gear and made our way to some sheltered tree runs before the sun set. We were pleasantly surprised by soft turns and a system moving in that carried more snow than we had expected.
Our night at the hut was fueled by tacos, whiskey and the the rest of our party showing up throughout the evening. After 10 hours of sleep, some breakfast burritos and a few cups of coffee provided by Josh, everyone was psyched to go explore the surrounding areas and enjoy the soft snow that had been depositing throughout the night. We meandered our way to Lake Agnes with hopes of riding some of the bigger lines in the cirque that loomed over the lake but were ultimately shut down by snow that didn’t feel as stable as we had hoped and low visibility. We snaked our way back through the trees for the remainder of the days as the snow continued to pour down. After a full day of riding we returned back to the hut to enjoy some dinner and attempt to finish off the beers we had hauled in.
On Sunday morning we were greeted with our first sights of the sun and very warm temperatures. We decided to check out a gully we had seen from the basin we rode the previous day. Before we reached our drop in spot, we found a cliffed area that was untouched when we arrived. It provided a couple hours of unplanned fun before we made our way to the run we originally had our eyes on.
The descents through this gully were filled with laughter and yalps of joy. Incredibly light, soft snow, a fantastic group of people and the beauty of this area came together to provide us all with what we agreed were some of the most fun runs of the season.
Our last hut trip of this winter was a fantastic one. Now, with warming temperatures and snowflakes turning into raindrops for the forecast, we openly welcome a new season.