James Peak Wilderness Area
Submitted By: Dobish on April 08, 2010
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The right of the Y is a little bit more mellow, about 30-32 degrees throughout the top section. It is often very windy up at the very top, so you will want to keep a lookout for large windslabs. The left of the Y is closer to 35 at some points. You can also ski the trees in between the two chutes, which holds the snow a little bit better, but it can be steeper. Once you are in the chute, it is wide enough to make turns down (about 30 ft) but you want to be prepared to get a lot of varying snow. The whole slide path is a terrain trap, and you can see visible signs of flagging and avy activity. The trees on the sides of the gully are pretty tight. When you get to the bottom, head to the right, and you will cross under the K and into a big meadow, and then you can head to the road.[more]
Windy, Cold, and has some really good skiing. It is easily accessible, and there is plenty of stuff to ski, even with elevated avalanche forecasts. There are also some really steep lines, that are great for ski mountaineering practice, as well as everything in between.
How to Get There
Located just west of Idaho Springs, there are a couple of different ways to access the trailheads. There are some access issues, so make sure to pay attention to signs.
There is camping here all year long, just make sure you are obeying private property signs.
Not a lot of options for food, so go back to Idaho Springs.
Much of this land is either forest service or private land. Please be courteous and make sure you obey all posted signs.