Andy in the Rockies

Trip reports, videos, and photos from hiking, climbing,
and mountaineering adventures in Colorado and beyond.

James Peak
May 31, 2008

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Panorama of James Peak's east face....Hiking into the basin below James Peak....Superstar Couloir....Some cornices near the top of James Peak.  I think the very left edge of th...Looking down Shooting Star Couloir.  This is one spectacular looking route ...Brian, Mike, and me on the summit....
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Trip Report [hide]

Brian, Mike and I had set out to climb Shooting Star Couloir, but we were just way too late given the temperatures and intense sun. We also made the mistake of dropping down to James Lakes instead of continuing closer to the summit before dropping down to the base of the couloirs.

As we were climbing away from James Lake we were already sinking knee deep into wet, slushy snow. Brian and I made the decision to bail on the climb there. However, Mike had never been on steep snow before so we found a nice slope to practice self arrest techniques and dorked around there for a little while before continuing on.

We made it up to the basin directly below James Peak's east face by about 10:00am just in time to watch some skiers drop into Sky Pilot Couloir. We watched 'em ski it and then chatted with them for a while before ascending out of the basin up to James Peak's east ridge.

At that point neither Brian nor I cared if we tagged the summit so we left the decision up to Mike. He was for it, so we slogged on. Mike had actually never been above 13,000' feet so it was cool for him to tag his first 13er. I'd also never been on the top of James Peak so it was a new summit for me too.

Anyway, even though we didn't get to hit the route we wanted we had a good time. Shooting Star Couloir does look spectacular though and I'd like to come back and give it a go soon!

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