Superstar 5.4 Direct Couloir, James Peak
My friend Dana was attempting to cross off her remaining pre-requisite couloirs in hopes of joining HAMS the following year. I convinced her to take a couple Friday’s off work and decided to help her knock out a few snow climbs for this goal. I threw her into the deep end early into her couloir climbing by taking her up Superstar via the direct 5.4 rock exit.
A classic line on James peak and highly prized route with several exit options. Snow conditions were softer than we typically like and not ideal for the 5.7 right exit, so we opted to solo the direct 5.4 rock exit instead.
The couloir was steep, although short, and exciting as we solo exited on rock and snow left of the cornice. This was a bit of a first for Dana and she was a little intimate but stepped up to the challenge and enjoyed the experience!
After exiting we quickly romped over to the summit of James peak, took some photos and snarfed some snacks before making our way back down to Saint Mary’s Glacier. Once we got down we were greeted by hoards of people and tourists. Not surprising for this area in general, but more traffic than usual given lockdown restrictions were just released for this area in Colorado. We had a great day on the mountain!
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.