Took me less than five hour round trip. Sunny day with some wind.
All in winter.
So, a few things should be noted on the main page. First off, let me say that I'm a pretty adept climber and mountaineer. I've done dozens of alpine climbs, ice climbs, and scrambles and I feel like I'm in pretty good shape. I wanted to go up to James Peak today because I've never actually been and my plans for the Bells traverse fell through.
Unless I'm mistaken, you have to park in one of two $5 parking lots. I'm glad I had cash on me, but I normally don't. I'm not sure how often they actually check the parking passes and such, but if they did today, they were kind enough not to tow me for shorting them a dollar because I didn't have any more cash on me.
It's a great climb/hike (honestly, mostly a hike). It's just a lot longer than I expected. My GPS read 9 miles round trip from the St. Mary's parking lots. I was hoping to make the traverse to Bancroft and even Parry if I was up to it, but I just didn't have the steam left for some reason.
No big deal, but I would have definitely taken my lifted 4runner up to Loch Lomond to get more vertical out of the day. I'm pretty excited to go back and climb the technical east ridge of Bancroft, so it was a great scouting mission.
Took my dogs up with me. Camped out in Jamaica Flats for fun (totally unnecessary). Hiked straight through the snowy slopes of James and along ridge where we met back up with the marked trail to the summit. Great views if it is clear. I've since been back several times to ski around on St. Mary's Glacier.
A fun early season climb and ski.