Post subject: James Peak, 4 8 12, Starlight Couloir Vid Content
Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:21 pm
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am Posts: 1504 Location: Colorado
As I am sure any riders in Colorado, Utah, and California can relate to, this season has been quite frustrating at best. While we watch our Northern neighbors post TRs about epic powder, and record snowfalls, we have been dealing with a season about as dry as I can remember. Either we just had virtually no snow at all, or, when it finally did snow a little, we had to stay away from any bigger lines for weeks at a time because of high avy danger. I had hoped that the spring season would finally deliver some storms, and consistent corn snow for steep lines, but the typical spring storms never materialized and many lines are non-existant or icy and bony. In any case, I am a snowboarder, so I have continued to try and get out. Sunday, Braal and I headed out to James Peak for an attempt at its prime line, the Shooting Star Couloir. Unfortunately, Shooting Star was in poor shape, we hiked all along the edge of James' E. Face, getting various views of the line, and it was clear that it was icy, and barely filled in. A pair of skiers had made a descent of it in the last couple of days, and had side stepped down the entire first half of the couloir before making a turn. We had a rope, and some gear, and could have made a descent with a few rappels, some icy sideslips, and some sketchy turns in the lower section, but Shooting Star is a really nice line, and neither of us had any desire to ride it in such a way. We took an alternative line, the Starlight Couloir is lower angle than Shooting Star, so we figured we could actually ride despite marginal snow conditions, and we thought it might even hold some pow (being north facing) if we were really lucky. Here with some POV, the first couloir shown is Shooting Star, usually the entrance is wide, with plenty of room for turns.