Peak(s):  James Pk  -  13,294 feet
Post Date:  02/07/2009
Modified:  02/11/2009
Date Climbed:   02/07/2009
Posted By:  Perea

 1st Solo Winter Ascent  

After a stressful week at work and not having climbed in about a month I made A last minute decision about 7PM Friday night to climb James Peak on Saturday. I decided to go solo as I figured I would have company at the trailhead. I left Aurora at 5:30AM and was at the trailhead at 7AM. I was the first one to hit the trail. The temperature was about 30 degrees not bad.

I hit the trail to the glacier as the sun was coming up and tried to snap a shot with my new Nikkon 10MP camera and it would not turn on (dead battery). I thought to myself this is not good when snap I remembered my phone has a camera on it 2MP but better than nothing.

Here is the first shot I got from the beginning of the glacier.

Halfway up glacier
Looking up at final remaining portion of snowfield/glacier
First glimpse of James Peak in the clouds
A look at Gray & Torreys in the distance
Beautiful day not much snow for this time of year
Looking back East toward Denver and the glacier
Starting to gain some elevation
Mt Evans/Bierstadt in the distance
By this time I'm breathing hard and thinking back to a thread on this site earlier in the week debating if mountaineering was really a sport. I think to myself if ESPN and other networks have Poker, Race Car Driving, and Golf on TV as sports (Super Star athletes)then this definitely is a sport. You vs the mountain sometimes you win sometimes you lose.
I'm glad I didn't take this route!
From the summit looking down at Winter Park Ski area.
Not sure the name of this peak but I may attempt it the next nice weekend we get.
The old take a picture of yourself mug shot to prove I was there photo. I am sporting the newest and hippest hair style. Don't be surprised if you run into other members trying to emulate the style.
Decisions, Decisions a cold can of Progresso soup or a cold left over hamburger from Good Times. A meal like this would make Bear Grylls from the show Man vs Wild jealous.I decided to pass on both.
At the summit I was joined by a group of elite climbers one of which was a 65 yr old man(sorry for disclosing age) named Chuck. He told us a story about how he had climbed Everest as a young man. I would have asked for an autograph had the pen not been frozen. I also talked Haliku's(a Orizaba climbing guide) ears off on the way down. Picking his brain about El Pico De Orizaba elevation 18,405 in Mexico which is on my wish list. He gave me some valuable and much appreciated information. I will more than likely use him as my guide service in November if we can gather enough people.

Great day on the mountain didn't worry about the economy or anything else other than making it to the top.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Parry Peak...
02/08/2009 15:49
is the name of the peak in your photo - the one you want to climb. Parry Peak is the tallest mountain in the James group. Mount Bancroft, another 13er, is to Parry‘s left, along the ridge that connects with James Peak. I hear the two mountains make a good combo in the summer - not sure about winter and avy danger. I want to summit James Peak soon - thanks for the detailed report on the conditions.


nice hike!
02/09/2009 12:58
Paul: Good seeing your pics. Hope you can fit some more hikes in this winter. -NC Paul

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