California Thirteeners List
Vulgarian Ramblers
Summer 2012 Tour

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YouTube Video

The 2012 tour included climbs of Mt. Gabb and Mt. Abbot in California, plus a few Colorado peaks before and afterward. I posted a video on YouTube containing slideshows and short video clips with annotations (a more detailed trip report can be found below).

Note: It’s definitely worth choosing full-screen and leaving it in 1080p if you’ve got the bandwidth.

Many thanks to Mike Bromberg (aka Foo’ball) for providing some of the best pictures!

- Chris Schneider (aka Schmed)

Foo’ball’s Trip Report (somewhat abridged)

Once in Colorado, I climbed familiar 14,060' Mt. Bierstadt as a warmup, along with literally hundreds of other people. After Bierstadt, I set off on my latest goal of climbing Colorado 13,500-footers. I headed up to Nederland CO for a trip into the Arapaho Peaks. South Arapaho is popular and reached by a trail of sorts (although it doesn't officially count as a peak), while 13,502' North Arapaho is an invigorating 3rd class ridge walk. Although Colorado was in the midst of a record drought, I did have some rain every evening, although it usually waited until I was done hiking for the day.

Following that trip, I headed into Conundrum Hot Springs near Aspen, a long tedious backpack. I arrived too late to get a prized campsite right by the hot springs, but my site was only 1/4 mile away and right next to a stream. I climbed unnamed 13,537 above the hot springs, a fairly easy climb most of the way with a slippery scrabbly final 200 foot couloir to climb, but I pulled a muscle in my leg on the descent. Soaking in the hot springs with the miserable Aspen yuppies felt good, but didn't cure the muscle pull, so I had to hike all the way out without attempting a second nearby peak.

I then drove out to California in the Prius; luckily the leg mended itself on the way out. I picked up permits in Bishop, and spent a couple of nights camped in the desert in Buttermilk Country.

I met Schmed at the Little Lakes Trailhead, waited out the afternoon rain (yes, the Colorado monsoon followed me to record-drought California and we got rain every afternoon there as well), and we hiked into a favorite campsite at Dade Lake. The next day we climbed over testy Cox Col and located a scenic sandy campsite by a tarn just below Mt. Gabb. Next day, we climbed 13,741' Gabb by a southeast rib, third-class and not too tough although loose rock was a constant danger. Schmed left a register on the summit, which has very little lounging room. One day later, we climbed 13,704' Mt. Abbot by a southwest chute, again third-class and again gingerly avoiding much loose rock. Abbot has a much more inviting summit area than Gabb, and we lounged about enjoying the sunshine and the celebratory peakbag food. We had to sit out another rainstorm in the tent that afternoon before packing up and moving camp back over Cox Col, used a different but not really much easier route, and landed back at Dade Lake where we enjoyed some wine and watched a beautiful sunset. We hiked out and parted ways the following day.

Once back in Colorado, I took the Jeep into the woods high above Alpine, CO (the road to Fourteener Mt. Antero) and located yet another excellent car campsite on the rough jeep road. I hiked all the way up to 13,528' Boulder Mountain and back, although the Jeep could have easily navigated the old mine road to within a couple hundred feet of the summit.

- Mike Bromberg