Kachina Peaks

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Kachina Peaks

Submitted By: Y.C. on April 29, 2011

Administrator: Y.C.

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Featured Descent

Colorado » Front Range

The Knuckles

The descent for the Knuckles is extremely dangerous.  Do not go there unless you have experience with rocky terrain, steep runs, and variable snowpacks.  This part of Berthoud is prone to avalnaches and slides due to a rocky bed surface, limited anchors, and the solar activity that this area gets.  The entrance is not visible until you are right on top of the roll over, and very often people end up in the wrong spot.  The knuckles are defined by the steep rollover, above rocky chutes.  There is very little distance between treeline and the start of the rocky area.  Use caution coming out of tree line, and make sure to test the slope for stability.  If the snow slides, you will be dragged over sharp rocks and down a chute, into trees.  Alternative Routes are down the shoulder to the NW or to the South down High Tail Trees or Shop Chutes.  Exits for this descent are either the first turn off, or down the valley further to 7 mile.

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Details

The Kachina Peaks (AKA: San Francisco Peaks) are the tallest mountains in Arizona with some amazing backcountry.  One can find anything from cirques to chutes and long runs.  Even though this is Arizona, there is still high avalanche risks.  The only avalanche caused fatality in this desert state was in these mountains, be educated.   Every person needs a free permit from the U.S. Forest Service which can be obtained at the Peaks Ranger District.

How to Get There

The mountains are the largest peaks to the north of Flagstaff, Arizona.  From Flagstaff there is a few ways to reach the ski lines depending on what you are trying to do.  The easiest way is from the ski area, but if the ski area is not open it can be difficult to get to the backcountry ski runs.   There is also the east side from Lockett Meadow Rd which can be accessed from Hwy 89 or if the roads are open from the north via the Abineau trail.

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