The Knuckles

What's in this Area?

The Knuckles

Submitted By: Dobish on May 01, 2010

Administrator: Dobish

Views: 679 page views

Rating: N/A

Route Type:
  • Ski Touring
Descent Difficulty:
Ascent Type
- Skin Track: Moderate
- Bootpack: moderate
- Mountaineering:
Starting Elevation: 11022 ft.
Elevation Gain: 428 ft.
High Point: 11450 ft.
Max Slope Angle: 45°


Go up the old ski area towards the weather station, then cut north for about 1300 feet at treeline.  If you want to continue higher up, this is possible as well, but normally the terrain is more windblown.  The approach to the knuckles heads along treeline, then drops in about 500 feet before the shoulder that heads NNW.  You cannot get a good view of the knuckles from the top, so you will want to make sure that you look at coverage from below, as well as take proper avy precautions.  This is not an area for novices.

Equipment Needs

This slides Regularly.  Do not assume that because there are tracks here means it is safe.  Bring avy gear and a partner, and experience.


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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