||Trad, Alpine, 1000'
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|Submitted By: ||Rog on Jun 30, 2002|
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Sky Pilot is the easiest couloir on James Peak, but still has enough challenge to keep one on their toes.
See the James Peak 'rock' description for directions. I would suggest the Upper or Lower Mammoth Gulch trailheads, we parked at the lower trailhead and had an enjoyable hike in - we estimated it to be about 6-7 miles round trip.
Keep your eyes open and up as you approach the base of the route. At several times there should be good views of the face and the couloirs. Sky Pilot is the lower angled couloir rising to the left.
After starting up the opening snow ramp Sky Pilot will continue left while Shooting Star
and Super Star
rise directly above. The Sky Pilot couloir starts out rather wide and gradually narrows as you ascend. We caught it a bit late and the snow was already melted out in a couple areas.
As you near the top, the couloir splits. Going to the left is said to be a bit easier; on our trip there was more snow on the right, so our decision was made. At the very top the snow finally gave way to loose rock on a steep slope. The trail is right there & the summit just a short ways away.
We had a fun time on Sky Pilot. The slope of the snow stays moderate, making it a nice climb to work on technique or be introduced to the medium.
A couple pickets, a couple flukes, maybe some nuts.