This route may be considered a variation on the Starlight Couloir of James Peak. Although this route is less worthy than Shooting Star and Super Star, it is certainly a more interesting climb than Starlight, so it deserves a name. Begin by climbing about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way up Starlight Couloir. Climb up and right into a slightly steeper couloir that drains into Starlight from the west. About 200 feet up the route takes a turn to the left and proceeds parallel (and above) Starlight Couloir until it reaches the gentle SE ridge of James Peak at about 13,050 feet.
This route can be approached from either St. Mary's Glacier or from Mammoth Gulch. From St. Mary's Glacier, ascend to about 12,750' on the SE ridge. Traverse across the top of the "Bailout" ski route and descend north into the basin below the East Face of James Peak (12,200'). Do not descend Bailout.
Snow pickets and flukes (optional).
The snow was rotten at the top.
KC climbing up a branch to the right of Starlight ...
KC approaching the top of the route.
KC at the second (left) turn.
KC topping out.
Jun 22, 2009
I posted this route yesterday. It seems likely that someone would have climbed it previously. If anyone knows of a prior ascent or an established name for the route please post that information. I welcome any corrections or feedback. Otherwise, I am calling the route First Star Couloir.
There was at least one ski descent of Starlight Couloir on Saturday (6/20/09). I was confused and gave a skier some bad beta at the top of Starlight. Sorry dude.