Date: 4 June Peak: James Peak (13,294) Length: 8 Miles Gain: 2,900 Feet Descent: 2,300 Feet Route: SE Slopes from St Mary's Riders: Kjkrow and Brandon
My buddy Brandon just got back from 4 years of school in New York and is home for the summer before going to Fort Rucker, Alabama. As a first intro to peak skiing, and to get him back to altitude on something a bit more moderate, we went with James Peak. We were the first car at the trailhead in the morning.
View of the summit shrouded by a cloud:
The climb up the lake, the glacier and onto the flats was straightforward as expected, though I was expecting the glacier to be steeper overall. We cruised across the flats and chose to hike to the summit, rather than skin.
Brandon nearing the summit:
After exploring the summit and looking down the airy east face, we geared up for the descent. Brandon dropping a knee for his first summit descent:
Kjkrow riding off the summit:
We leapfrogged down to the flats, and then hiked across to the top of the glacier. Skiing on a Monday is great. We didn't see a single person until on the glacier, and even then, the crowds were small. This was quite unlike the James I saw from Bancroft a few Saturdays ago, when strings of climbers were visible all along the SE slopes and the flats. We then rode the steep headwall on skiier's right down to the lake.
To enjoy the day a bit more, we sat by the lake for about 30 minutes in the relaxing sun before heading out to grab lunch. Not a steep or committing route, but a great day nonetheless and it turned out to be a great intro to peak skiing.
_________________ - Kyle
"Oh man, that's like releasing a pack of wild baboons onto a keg of Icehouse next to a tied-up and gagged Lindsay Lohan." - Luca Brasi on TGR