- Date Hiked: November 13, 2004
- Miles Hiked: 6.2
- Elevation Gain: 2,900'
- Hiking Partner(s): Scott
Waldick & Ryan Badtke
- James Peak is the Gilpin County Highpoint and the fifth highest point
in the Indian Peaks. This trip was originally planned for a 14er,
but after a less than promising forecast, we decided to scale back and
do something easier and closer to Denver. I hooked up Scott, whom
I met on the Culebra Peak group hike, and his hiking partner Ryan.
Ryan mentioned to Scott that he had wanted to snowboard off James Peak
which appealed to Scott, so I tagged along for the ride.
- To access James Peak, we used the St. Marys Glacier Trailhead and took
the standard route up the southeast slopes. We had initially
anticipated a cloud covered day, but we were fortunate to have
relatively clear skies and great views the entire day. I don't
know how many times the three of us stated how glad we were to have made
the trip despite the poor weather outlook.
- The trail climbs to the dam at the base of St. Marys Glacier, and
then you simply hike to the top of the glacier. Continuing west,
you reach a small spur and a large plateau that will lead to the base of
James Peak's slopes. From here you follow a gentle ridge to the
summit while taking in the views of James' rather impressive east
face. Scott and Ryan started boarding south off the peak and then
turned east to pick the trail up at the base of the ridge. After a
short hike across the plateau and meeting up with me, they were able to
get back on their boards at the top of the glacier and board to the dam.
- We used snowshoes all the way from the dam to the summit. Three
other people who summitted did not, but their tracks did show a bit of post holing. Once on the summit, I decided to attempt to speed up
the descent by removing my snowshoes. Scott and Ryan reported that
the snow was in good condition for boarding and they only hit a few
rocks. After returning to the vehicle, we stopped at Tommy
Knockers in Idaho Springs for a quick beer before going
- Click here
to view a 2D
map of the area where this hike is located.