California Thirteeners List
Vulgarian Ramblers
Summer 2007 Tour

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The 2007 tour included climbs in Colorado and California, plus yet another climb of Mt. Rainier in Washington.

Colorado (2007-06-22 through 2007-07-11)

When I reached Denver, I had no trouble starting the Jeep. I climbed 13,783' Rinker Peak near Independence Pass solo. I met Tom Houghtby ’84 in Durango, and we Jeeped into a scenic campsite on Cascade Creek for a climb of 13,738' Grizzly Peak that actually did turn out to be a good warmup.

We took the narrow-gauge railroad to Needleton and hiked into scenic Ruby Basin to a fine shady campsite at Ruby Lake. We climbed 13,835' Turret Peak and split up; Tom headed back to Ruby Lake to fish, and I moved a bivy around to the base of the climb for 13,700' Peak Fifteen, but found to my dismay that the guidebook severely underestimated the difficulty of the climb (rope needed). I climbed insignificant 13,500' Peak Sixteen instead and returned to camp empty-handed, to find that Tom hadn’t caught any fish either. So we took the train out a day early, and went for an enjoyable Jeep camp and climb of 13,693' Rolling Mtn.

I dropped off Hoboy in Durango, and now solo, I packed into Lower Ice Lake Basin for a climb of 13,767' U.S. Grant Peak. I then drove to a Jeep camp on the Little Cimarron River, and went for a 19-mile 15-hour loop day hike over 13,714' Silver Mtn. and UN13681.

After the Golden Fleece Run, I drove to Westcliffe and four-wheeled into a remote trailhead, then backpacked high up into Upper Sand Creek Basin. I climbed 13,611' Pico Asilado by the 16-mile-long easier route. On the return, I was hit with a 20-minute hailstorm in the basin and had to sit it out under my pack; a baseball cap is no protection for a bald paté when the hailstones reach marble size! The next day I climbed 13,604' Tijeras Peak, involving one interesting move up a narrow slot in the rock, then I packed out and Jeeped out for the ride west.

- Mike Bromberg

Bear Creek Spire (2007-07-16 through 2007-07-21)

Doug Virtue and I walked up 13,748' Mt. Morgan via Francis Lake; a long, easy, sunny day. We sighted four bighorn sheep on the climb, and returned to the same campground to meet Jeff Muss ’83 and Dan Blodgett ’71. We packed into Dade Lake, found a fine campsite in the scrub, and climbed over a pass to 13,734' Bear Creek Spire which involved roping up for the final pitch (except for Muff, who scrambled up the route unprotected then had to learn how to rappel to get down). We had to rope up separately to climb the summit boulder. Doug and Muff headed out, and Dan and I went up over the pass again for a lengthy attempt on 13,741' Mt. Gabb. Once again the guidebook misled us; we were blocked by a technical pitch on the route, and we also punted an attempt on 13,704' Mt. Abbot. So I still have five 13,7ers to go in California, not really in a hurry to finish that list.

- Mike Bromberg

Mt. Rainier (2007-07-27 through 2007-07-30)

Randy Schweickart ’83 and I picked up Chris Schneider ’83 at the airport and drove to Rainier. We hiked in to Glacier Basin campsite on a badly washed-out trail, then climbed to Camp Schurman for our high camp. With a relatively early start, we climbed the well-beaten trail with the intent of leaving the route in the Rainier-Liberty Cap col to go for 14,112' Liberty Cap. But, alas, this year the beaten trail went nowhere near that col because of deep crevasses enroute; instead, it headed up over the bergschrund directly for the summit. By the time we would have been able to cross safely to Liberty Cap, we were almost on the summit of Rainier. So we reluctantly postponed Liberty Cap to a future year and re-bagged 14,410' Mt. Rainier instead, Schmed’s first ascent. We had a great glissade on the hike out.

- Mike Bromberg

Krugle Climbing Trip (2007-09-07 through 2007-09-11)

Although not technically a VRMC event, I led a couple of my colleagues from Krugle, Inc. (Stefan Groschupf and Grant Glouser) up to Dade Lake (see the Bear Creek Spire trip description above). We climbed Pyramid Peak, then met up with Ken Krugler ’83 as he and Dave White came over Cox Col. After another night at Dade Lake, I headed over Treasure Saddle for a few more days of solo climbing. My trip was cut short, though, after I slid out of the North Couloir on Mt. Abbot and lost a bunch of skin to a high speed self arrest down the hard ice. Zero progress this year on the California Thirteeners for me!

- Chris Schneider