Forums TR Archive Colorado James Pk Wilderness, CO
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    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    What a difference a week of snowstorms will make! First skinned up to A-Lakes a couple weeks ago, then went back up after last weeks storms with a couple friends. This place is good to go now. Ironically, the snow down low was skiing much better than the snow up high. Previous to the storm, everything in the trees was recycled sugar, and most everything above treeline was leftovers from last season or bullet prrof wind slab. Now, above treeline is a mixed bag that needs to be closely evaluated, and below treeline is mostly good.

    Someone who got up before us dug a couple pits (we followed their skin track up in lieu of breaking our own), and if the pit diggers are reading this, take a level2 avy course or take it again! The pit locations were in terrible spots and not even representative of the slopes nearby that you’d ski (sorry no pics, didn’t want anyone to confuse my knowledge with someones lack of). Now that I got that out of the way…

    The skin in

    First skiable pitch, we should have hit this right off the bat, but part of the tour was to get up high and assess higher conditions.

    Up above the lower lakers. We really spread it out coming up this for safety’s sake… is a mild slope depending on how it’s approached, but it was a little rotten in places.

    Plenty of pow in the gulley

    more pow in the gulley

    And the good old Stage Stop (which was closed!), my buddy was happy to know he was welcomed 😆

    312 Posts

    is that heading out from east portal?

    bones get broke
    298 Posts

    Nice job. It looks like Ullr is thinking about letting up his relentless teabagging of CO.

    It’s funny (or maybe not) how many pits that I’ve found which have zero representation of the slopes that get skied. It’s like guys are digging pits at convenient locations with no real thought about what they’re doing. I just hope this doesn’t every result in someone getting hurt or worse.

    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Yep, accessed from East Portal / Moffat Tunnel. There’s quite a bit of terrain in James Peak Wilderness, but it’s all a long skin in.


    Well done man! I love that area, but, yeah, it’s all long skins in.
    Can’t wait to get out, not cleared till January after shoulder surgery 😥

    1165 Posts

    Looks great. Love the A lakes area. It’s not that bad of a skin in. It’s good to see Colorado getting going.

    312 Posts

    I’ll make the claim that East Portal contains the best stash of steep tree skiing in the FR, hands down. Dont think its at A-lakes though, its at a different spot. Its the goods, 1,500 vert of 40-50 degree old growth loaded with rock features, pillows, drops etc. And holds perfect snow. Found it a few years ago. Best FR riding on storm/high danger dayz. Well worth the 2 mi. skin in!! Glad to see you all out that way.

    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Was back up there again last Saturday introducing a newb to her splitboard (actually had two ladies on splitboards, how awesome!), so kept it close, mellow, and fun!

    (please no dog in bc hate, they’re great dogs, weren’t wearing beacons, and were in mellow/safe terrain).

    First time on her new splitboard!

    mini pow slash

    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    Thought I’d give a more recent update on JPW. Was up there last Thursday w/Kingpine for some fun pow turns, but didn’t take many pics. Then again on Saturday with some other friends for another great bc tour. Snow was still holding up good on northern aspects, but most everything above treeline was pretty hammered by last weeks winds, and I imagine most southern faces are pretty good and baked by now thanks to the warm sunny days. I’m really enjoying the warm sun today :bananas: compared to the cold windy weather we started the year off with!

    James Pk

    Skinning up. That shadowy tree’d face in the background is where Kinpine and I shralped the pow last Thursday.

    Dropping in.

    s’more turns

    dog loves powder!

    116 Posts

    Thanks for the update! Nice photo of James Peak. The bowl low on the North Face is great riding when the snow is stable.

    467 Posts

    Is that first photo of the west ridge? (Looks like the north face on the left side). I’ve only climbed the east ridge (from St. Mary’s) so its good to see the other ascent.

    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    The pic of James is from the north side. Shoulder to lookers left can be accessed by the Ute trail which wraps around to the mini parking lot east of James via Mammoth Basin Rd. Shoulder to the right is accessed by the Continental Divide Trail and the Rogers Pass trail from James Pk Wilderness/East Portal, but can also be accessed via Winterpark side too.

    This old pic is taken where the Divide trail meets the Ute trail at about 12,800 ft. and looking north.

    467 Posts

    @rky mtn srfr wrote:

    This old pic is taken where the Divide trail meets the Ute trail at about 12,800 ft. and looking north.

    By ‘old pic’ do you mean before it became a wilderness? Or can you still bike that trail today?

    rky mtn srfr
    152 Posts

    It’s not open to bikes. Didn’t know that until I got a newer map several years ago… haven’t had a bike up there since this shot.

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