Both couloirs are pretty simple. Kinda boring slogs actually.
Spent a good deal of time here in jan and Feb of 05, many fun trips
Starting from Rogers Pass Trailhead. Climbed James Peak twice this day - before and after the peaks to the south. On the way down I met a man who is hiking the Continental Divide (starting June 8 in Canada). He was almost out of water, having not found the last two springs he was looking for. I hadn't seen a water source all day long, so he started down the trail with me until we found a small spring just above timberline. It really made him happy to see water running!!
Climbed this one with a friend and got caught in a nasty storm just after summiting. Compass?
I thought you brought one!
Dude, I thought YOU brought one!
Ended up descending the completely wrong side of the mountain and having to get a ride back to the car the next day... what idiots.
We did sky pilot today, there was some fun snow in the basin below the east face, and up into the first turn up into sky pilot (left). two more sections of snow and two nasty rotted rock sections and we gained the summit ridge.
From FDR353 out of Tolland or Apex there is still a snow field leaving you about a mile short of the James Peak Lake TH. Some vehicles where driving around road closed signs to avoid the main road and reach the TH. (whats wrong with a little more exercise?Just hike it).
Route climbed with Tim Stich. The couloir does not appear to be as steep as Shooting Star but its hard to tell until you're right on it. Tim and I simuclimbed the route. I placed 1 picket during the climb but really, that wasn't even necessary. For the most part, we soloed it. Steeper sections were encountered towards the top with hard/icey snow. Topped out on the route and snow started falling. After descending another 600', the sun was shining and we were taking off the layers. Gotta love the diversity of Colorado weather!!!
A great route, not difficult, but make sure you set out early enough to have firm snow...otherwise, this could be a LONG day.
Set out at 6am, gained summit at 8:30, back to car by 10am thanks to a lot of glissading. Crampons unnecessary, snowshoes used on glacier and on East slope/summit ridge, heel risers VERY handy. Flats were mostly thawed out and soggy.
Snow was a little unconsolidated on this early climb. Start this climb very early to avoid the early sunhit. We were late and took some falling debris about halfway up. Sprinted up after that. Sustained 50 to 60 degree snow with an even steeper crux.
Very nice day, beautiful route! Schlepped straight up the glacier, across the 4wd roads to the NE side of the moutain, straight up from there. Still a lot of snow, which made the descent a BREEZE! No gear needed but good boots and maybe gators.
Spent a good full day on the St. Mary's Glacier teaching a few friends use of crampons, ice axe, arresting a fall on snow, and roped glacier travel. Then we headed across the tundra and down to James Pk. Lake for the night - a very beautiful spot. The next morning we headed up and climbed 'Superstar Couloir' on the E. Face (see Paul's route page for the report - I'm the Michael referred to in the report). Excellent first technical alpine climb for my friends - a bit of steep snow, a bit of rock climbing, and not a long route so we could take our time to talk everything out (when needed).
Started from St Mary's Lake at 7am, summited at 10am, back to the lake by noon. The glacier was firm in the morning, the flats near "Jamaica" were half snow covered, and the upper slopes were snowy buy softening up by 9am. I was glad to have snowshoes on the flats on the way down. No crampons necessary. There is still a big cornice on superstar couloir.
Nice hike, although the winds were pretty constant most of the trip up. The snow was solid on the way up, but softened on the way down. All in all it was a good trip with alot of nice views of the surrounding areas. The weather was beautiful - not too hot or cold!
Amazing conditions to ski James Peak via St Mary's Glacier, especially compared to an attempt in February this year (out of control winds!). The dogs and I had a blast and we were back to the truck in little over (4) hours!
I climbed this peak in a sixteen mile monster shuttle hike between Bertoud Pass and Rollins Pass. Spectacular views of the Indian Peaks are visible from the top.
This was a car shuttle hike with the CMC. We bagan the hike near Alice, where the 4WD portion of the road begins. We hiked up this road to Loch Lomond. Then we ascended Mt. Bancroft's SE Ridge. From there we descended down it's steep north ridge to the narrow ridge and saddle above Ice Lake. from this saddle there is 200-300 feet of steep scrambling before reaching the summit plateau. A half mile stroll reaches the summit of James. It was many years ago, but I would guess that this ridge is rated either Class II+ or maybe even III.
Just after leaving this summit, I had an eerie deja vu sensation...really odd. We descended the east ridge down to St. Mary's Glacier and then to it's parking area below. We rested while other members of the party retrieved the other vehicles.
Really not a bad day considering it is December. Be prepared for wind up on the flats though. Glacier was hard as a rock and we did some crampon practice on the way down. People were trying to ski and snowboard but weren't having much luck.
I'll be doing this in winter again. This is a nice fairly safe mountain to do this time of year.
Easy trail to follow. Be prepared for much cooler temps. and wind on the summit. Summit log was missing.
Wonderful mountain. Beautiful day!