James Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: SE from Fall River rd trailhead
Posted On: 2016-06-22, By: ronbco
Info: Trail is 95% Clear of snow. Not even that wet. 
Route: St Mary's Glacier
Posted On: 2016-06-12, By: WillRobnett
Info: About half the route has snow coverage for skiing/snowboarding. Glissades are maybe 1/4 of the route. Pretty good 1000+ feet up from the summit though it's clear of snow on climber's right after the false summit. Coverage is probably 600 feet or so on the glacier. The flats below 12,000 are soaked.. 
Route: St Marys Glacier
Posted On: 2016-06-05, By: Paula
Info: Started at 6am with reasonably firm snow, finished at 2pm with a soupy mess on the glacier. About 50/50 mud and snow on the flat part after the glacier. Spikes were helpful, one group had snowshoes that were probably helpful in a few places, but we did fine without. 
Route: St. Mary's Glacier/Kingston Peak
Posted On: 2016-05-23, By: jaymz
Info: Skirted up the climber's right side of the glacier, along the south slopes of Kingston up to Jamaica flats. Snow was rock hard until about 9:30am, and then it started softening up quick. Spotty snow on Kingston, but it looked like continuous snow to James. Descending the glacier, would have needed floatation within another hour or two. Still quite a bit of snow from the TH to the lake - probably 80-90% coverage on the trail proper; microspikes would have been helpful, but not necessary. 
Route: Saint Mary's Glacier
Posted On: 2016-05-21, By: appleseeds
Info: There is still continuous snow to the summit from the bottom of the glacier, but it softened up pretty early (by 9). Flotation recommended. 
Route: Shooting Star Couloir
Posted On: 2016-05-03, By: AndyJB444
Info: Lots of snow on and around James Peak, and plenty of coverage across jamaica flats. Currently, a pretty nasty crust on most/all aspects this morning making for some spicy skiing. Some wind transport going on as well. Flotation recommended. 
Route: From St. Mary's Trailhead
Posted On: 2016-04-10, By: braydn75
Info: Summited James Peak from the St. Mary's Trailhead. Snow conditions started out nasty and hard going up the glacier, spikes very beneficial but not required. Hike through the flats and put on snowshoes as we started the climb up the south/east slopes. Things got a little tricky as conditions worsened and visibility dropped to about 25-30 yards. Worked our way to the east ridge and made the summit right at noon, visibility was about 30 feet at the summit. 5 minutes after starting our descent everything cleared up and the sun came out. Would have been a much different hike with good visibility and being able to see the peak on the way up. Snow really started to soften as the sun was out. 
Route: east slopes
Posted On: 2016-02-29, By: AlexeyD
Info: Climbed James Peak from the St. Mary's trailhead yesterday. 2 of us were on skis, and 1 on snowshoes. Conditions for skiing are downright crappy right now (particularly for skinning). Had to stop to take skis off/on at least 5 times throughout the ascent and descent. Even the normally continuous snowfield on the SE slopes of the summit cone is currently 3 separate sections with rocks in between. What snow does exist is mostly wind-packed, icy, and often covered in sastrugi. For those without skis/skins, some type of traction is very highly recommended - probably snowshoes, as there are some sections of breakable crust on the tundra and the upper slopes. On the plus side, we had the mountain completely to ourselves, did manage a few nice turns on the descent (best conditions were on the middle snowfield on the SE face), had a totally bluebird day (winds were high in the morning, but nearly died down by afternoon) and, in all technicality, did get a summit descent in (the final snowfield extends right up to the summit cairn). Still...for the skiers out there, I'd strongly recommend either waiting for more snow, or picking something else. 
Route: St Marys Glacier
Posted On: 2016-01-04, By: gspup
Info: For skiers...continuous snow from the parking lot to where I turned around, maybe halfway to James. Skiers ahead of me were still skinning up way in the distance. Snow was pretty hard packed and wind blown as expected. 
Route: St Marys Glacier
Posted On: 2015-06-29, By: Brian Thomas
Info: St Marys Glacier is holding a few hundred vertical feet of snow from just above the lake to the flats above the snowfield. Descending at 1:00pm was slushy but never sinking more than a few inches deep. Above the snowfield, all snow to summit is easily avoidable, see pic #1. On the traverse from Bancroft to James, snow is avoidable, see pic #2. 
Route: From Lock Lomond
Posted On: 2015-06-15, By: mmientka
Info: Top gate was still closed. After the first stream crossing ran into snow pack, looked continuous. Snow was super soft, still not freezing at night. Had my splitboard on my back, tried to start skinning, but ran into dirt about .25 miles in. Intermittent snow and road all the way to Loch, lots of water. Crossed the damn and up to the tundra, snow was melting fast and very intermittent. staying on snow or trail was really hard to manage until ~12000'. Then fairly continuous snow. Skied(snowboaded) down ~1200' vert in really soft snow. Booted the rest of the way out. Kind of no mans land right now. I would wait a week to melt and dry all the way out. Trail over to Saint Marys looked really intermittent snow and dirt. Road up to top gate is really nice, few puddles, all rocks are in good shape. 
Route: Standard
Posted On: 2015-05-30, By: MarkMadness
Info: Previous reports this month are still accurate. Mostly dry to the lake and then continuous snow to the summit. I‘ll echo the early start of a previous report or at least have flotation for the mostly flat tundra. We didn‘t take any and had a slow time on our way out at 9:45am. 
Route: Standard
Posted On: 2015-05-18, By: eskermo
Info: Adding to JtheChemE's report from a few days ago... James is still caked and looking great. Snow is on and off until the lake, then completely covered and skinnable from the base of the glacier to the summit. Snow was supportive in the morning with a fresh half inch of snow on top, making for great skinning. I turned around near ~12,300' and rode down to the lake on great snow. I cannot speak to the upper 1,000' of the mountain, but I would assume a summit ski is IN. One piece of advice I didn't consider until riding down: I would suggest starting this peak EARLY if the weather anticipates any sun coming out and warming of the snow. The long, mostly flat tundra that you have to cross between the top of St. Mary's Glacier and the slopes heading up to the summit is JUST enough of an incline that you can piece together a continuous line that will maintain your speed across the flats. However, the only reason I didn't get stuck is because there were small patches where the snow was still hard and crusty, and I was able to maintain/pick up some speed on these sections. If one were to allow the snow to heat up too much, I would imagine the traverse across the tundra being miserable and super slow. Thanks to JtheChemE for posting the conditions report a few days earlier! I wouldn't have gone up otherwise. 
Route: SE Ridge
Posted On: 2015-05-14, By: JtheChemE
Info: James is absolutely caked with snow. Continuous snow all the way to the bottom of the glacier. Stable snow conditions, great corn for skiers by 11am or so. Its melting out fast though. Large cornices abound on the ridge. 
Route: shooting star
Posted On: 2014-06-18, By: Monster5
Info: Hit the base at 11pm. Firm to mid foot punching all the way up. A few runnels, no rock fall issues though debris present. Bergschrund-like feature was a bit soft and tricky to find purchase - bypassable. No snowshoes. Std route was a mix of tundra and sun-cupped snow fields to St Mary's Glacier. 
Route: From St. Marys
Posted On: 2014-06-18, By: jaymz
Info: Some hard-packed snow drifts below treeline. The glacier is holding fairly firm snow in the morning, quite a bit softer in the afternoon, and extends just about all the way up to about 11,500. Some large sun-cupped snowfields past Jamaica flats. Post-holed in a couple of places after noon, primarily on the higher edges of the snowfields (hidden mini-bergschrunds). All in all, good snow conditions for hiking; no need for crampons or spikes. Floatation would be overkill, but was glad to have gaiters on the descent. Good glissading off the summit! Note: If you decide to ascend the via the ridgeline on the right, there are a couple of small cornices so stay left; the ridge itself is mostly dry, so they‘re easy to avoid. 
Route: St. Mary's Glacier
Posted On: 2014-06-10, By: fjallajokull
Info: There is fresh snow up there from a storm on the night 06/08. The hike to St. Mary‘s Glacier was clear of snow but the once you get to the glacier the snow continues all the way to the Summit. We went early in the morning so the snow was fairly hard on the way up and the micro-spikes we packed were useful on the way up the glacier; however, on the way down the snow began to soften and we were post-holing our way through the whole glacier. It would probably be perfect for back country skiers right about now. 
Route: standard
Posted On: 2014-06-08, By: habaceeba
Info: Skinned and hiked up half way to the summit today. Snow ends after St. Mary's Glacier all the way through the flats. The escalation to the summit is still in most of the way. 
Route: clockwise loop to Kingston
Posted On: 2012-11-08, By: powhound
Info: After St.Mary‘s most snow is avoidable if you want to add a little distance wandering about. I went for a more direct route. Broke through up to my knees in places. On the steeper slopes, some sections were hard and fast and an axe was nice to have for safety. Gaiters, spikes and poles were very helpful too. 
Route: Shooting Star
Posted On: 2012-06-10, By: Nathan Hoobler
Info: Shooting Star is still in fantastic shape for climbing. We measured a maximum of 53 degrees steepness, but it may have been slightly steeper a few places. An early start (4 am from St. Mary‘s trailhead) was key to our summit. Superstar is starting to look fairly nasty and melted out at the top. Sky Pilot (what we could see of it) looked pretty ugly as well. Starlight and Starbright looked pretty good. 

Return to the main Peak Conditions page
© 2022 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.