Starlight Couloir, James Peak
After all the shenanigans of COVID and lockdown in 2020 my partner and I decided to celebrate the huge relief that was being released from lockdown restrictions. Our window for couloir season was shortened by both the lockdown itself and our diminished fitness levels given lost several weeks in the mountains at elevation.
Starlight was a quick couloir option close to Denver that we felt confident in despite being someone out of couloir shape. We decided this was the perfect option for our couch to couloir season opener.
Starlight itself isn’t a hyped up route given all the other classic fun lines on James Peak. That said it delivered an unexpected yet welcome amount of spice we did not anticipate. The exit was just enough spicy with a narrow exit and some rock and snow climbing to get up and out onto the top.
We had such a mellow day we didn’t even walk the short distance to the top of James and instead decided to descend back to Saint Mary’s Glacier.
If you're new to Colorado or looking for recommended places to stop when passing through Idaho Springs, check out these local spots.
Be sure to stop for a post-hike beverage and snack at Westbound and Down.
Or spend time exploring the mines, hot springs, or shops around town. Check Idaho Springs official page.