California Thirteeners List
Vulgarian Ramblers
Summer 2001 Tour

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The 2001 tour had four segments, the first a continuation of Muss, Ken, Tayls, and Schmed’s 40th birthday party, with twelve attendees. Foo’ball and Schmed continued with the following three segments, escaping back to Bishop after each for a night in a motel before the next one began.

Humphreys Segment

Nine of us entered via the Piute Pass trailhead on Tuesday (7/10). We hiked to the pass, where Ken, Mike D., and Schmed headed N across benches to the highest of the Humphreys Lakes, just to the west of the mountain. Doug, Kathy, Puppy, Jim, Ken, and Randu followed the trail further W before striking NE to meet up with us only a half hour or so before the first of three major hailstorms broke overhead. The lightning struck the ridge just 1/4 mile or so to the S of us - very exciting!

Muss, Jordan, and Foo’ball (travelling separately) were all caught in this unusual weather, and didn’t make it to the lake until Wednesday morning (7/11), after we’d left to climb 13,986' Mt. Humphreys via the SW Slope and NW Face route (class 4). We all reached the notch OK, but Doug got very cold leading the first two pitches from there. The hail had formed a blanket of ice all over the route, which convinced us to send the less experienced climbers down, and only Doug, Kathy and Schmed went on to the summit - bummer!

On Thursday (7/12), Foo’ball, Muss, Jordan, Randu, Tayls, Jim, Mike D., and Schmed climbed 13,121' Checkered Demon. After the rest left, Foo’ball, Jim, Mike D., and Schmed stuck around on the summit for several hours.

The four of us stayed another night, and on Friday (7/13), all but Michael climbed 13,204' Mt. Emerson via its interminable W ridge, over, below, and/or around each of its thousand class 3 buttresses. Mike D. headed down alone and checked himself into the hospital, where he was diagnosed with an altitude exaggerated chest cold. Michael felt fine at the Bishop elevation, so after a bunch of tests, they released him to enjoy pizza and beer with us.

Norman Clyde Segment

Doug, Kathy, and Jim hiked in with Foo’ball and Schmed via the south fork of Big Pine Creek on Saturday (7/14), and then camped at Brainerd Lake. Much good wine, bread and brie were consumed that night!

After the others left on Sunday (7/15), Foo’ball and I moved our camp up to Finger Lake, and then bivouacked after dinner on the Firebird Ridge just before it heads up the side of Norman Clyde.

On Monday (7/16), we climbed 13,855' Norman Clyde Peak via the NNE Ridge route (class 3-4). We found the climbing easy, with only 2 very short class 4 sections, and left the gear in the packs all the way to the summit. We rappelled off, returned to our camp at Finger Lake for another night, then hiked out on Tuesday morning (7/17).

Swiss Arête Segment

Doug, Foo’ball and Schmed hiked in Wednesday (7/18) via the north fork of Big Pine Creek, and then camped between Third Lake and Sam Mack Meadow.

On Thursday (7/19), we moved a bivvy up to Glacier Camp, and Doug amused us with his “egret” constructions. For the uninitiated, these are ducks (cairns) built so high and unstable that the wind knocks them over within a few hours.

We climbed to Glacier Notch early Friday morning (7/20), and continued up the Swiss Arête route (grade II-III, 5.6-5.7) to the summit of 14,153' Mt. Sill. The climb was quite enjoyable (tons of exposure!), but unfortunately didn’t leave us time to do 13,962' UTM662058 (which doesn’t quite count) afterward. Although it didn’t look like it had a 300' deep saddle, Foo’ball has vowed to return someday soon. We stayed on Apex Peak’s N ridge during the descent, avoiding the snow in the N couloir until the angle became a bit more forgiving. We broke down the bivvy, headed down to our camp below Sam Mack Meadows for the night, and then hiked out on Saturday morning (7/21).

LeConte Segment

Foo’ball, Ken and Schmed hiked in on Sunday (7/22) via the Meysan Lake trail, and then continued up to the plateau below Mallory and Irvine via the E chute, which was a little loose. We found good water there, but no shade.

On Monday (7/23), the three of us climbed 13,845' Mt. Mallory, then hiked S across the plateau. Ken waited while Foo’ball and Schmed climbed Mt. LeConte via its class 3 NW chute. The Waterfall Pitch wasn’t much fun, even though it was pretty dry. The three of us then returned to our plateau camp for the night.

We climbed up 13,780' Mt. Irvine (which doesn’t count) on Tuesday morning (7/24), then Foo’ball and I crossed Arc Pass to reach the E ridge on Mt. McAdie (class 3). Although the guidebook description is complex, we found the route solid, easy to follow, and absolutely beautiful. We moved our camp down to the higher Meysan Lake, then hiked out Wednesday morning (7/25).