California Thirteeners List
Vulgarian Ramblers
Summer 2002 Tour

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The 2002 tour had five segments, two in Colorado and the remainder in California. Mt. Darwin was the last* peak on Foo’ball’s 100 Highest of the Contiguous USA list (*one marginal peak remaining), and Schmed bagged ten more California 13’ers. The tour included two SPS Emblem summits: 13,986' Mt. Humphreys and 13,831' Mt. Darwin.

Julius Caesar Segment

On Saturday (7/27) Schmed, Ken Krugler, Christine Krugler, Leslie Stenger, and Tasha Trumbo & Marija Vulfs (two of Schmed’s former high school students) hiked up the Pine Creek & Italy Pass Trails then found a campsite with a lovely view high on the slopes W of Honeymoon Lake (5 miles, 3200' gain, 7400=>10600).

On Sunday (7/28) we all hiked up the Italy Pass trail and then climbed 13,200+' Mt. Julius Caesar via the class 2 SW Slopes/S Ridge. Amazingly, we convinced Christine to scramble over talus blocks all the way to the summit. She has since decided to be a confirmed “pass bagger”. After a swim in Lake 11800, we returned to camp (10 miles, 2600' gain, 10600<=>13200+).

On Monday (7/29) Ken and Christine hiked out to the Pine Creek trailhead (5 miles; 10440=>7400). The rest of us hiked cross-country to Royce Lake 3 and camped there (1-2 miles, 1360' gain, 10440=>11800=>11725).

On Turesday (7/30) Schmed soloed 13,242' Feather Peak via the class 2-3 SE Slope, and then dropped back down to Royce Lake 3 (2 miles, 1517' gain, 11725<=>13242). The icyness of the sloped proved a bit dicey (especially on the way down), as Schmed had only his axe and no crampons. Leslie, Tasha and Marija hiked S to look over the falls above French Canyon.

On Wednesday (7/31) Schmed taught Lesie, Tasha and Maria self-arrest technique below the Royce-Merriam saddle, then we climbed 13,103' Merriam Peak via the class 2 NW Ridge. After returning to the saddle, the others headed back to camp while Schmed soloed 13,280+' Royce Peak via the class 2 SE Ridge and returned to camp (4 miles, 2250' gain, 11725=>13103=>12400=>13280+=>11725). On his way back, a nearby camper calls out, “Are you a Vulgarian?” and shows him a copy of their itinerary downloaded from the web!

On Thursday (8/1) we hiked cross-country SE, then E around the nose of the ridge, picked up the Pine Creek Trail near Pine Creek Pass, and hiked all the way out (9 miles, 11725=>7400).

Denver Segment

Foo’ball bagged a couple of Denver area Thirteeners, including Mosquito Peak before heading to the San Juans.

Weminuche Segment

Foo’ball day hiked White Dome and Peak One before returning to Jeep camp outside the Wilderness the first night, then backpacked back in for 5 days. He climbed The Guardan, which had eluded him last year, and Peak Seven. Boot/foot problems forced him to punt Storm King, and Jeep/varmint problems nearly cost him his trip to California.

Humphreys Segment

Foo’ball, Doug Virtue & Kathy Day climbed 13,986' Mt. Humphreys via the class 4 E side from the Buttermilk Meadows. They had to circle around sixteen rock ribs to get to the usual ascent route, an exhilarating 3rd class climb followed by two roped 4th class pitches.

Lamarck Segment

On Saturday (8/10) Schmed, Leslie Stenger, and Kirsten Uttam hiked up the Lamarck Lakes Trail to Upper Lamarck Lake (2 miles, 1600' gain, 9320=>10918) and camped for the night.

On Sunday (8/11) we took the use trail to Lamarck Col Lake and dropped our camp there (2 miles, 1780' gain, 10918=>12700), then climbed both 13,417' Mt. Lamarck (doesn’t count - it’s almost as if they named the wrong summit just to chastise him for having the wrong evolutionary theory) and its NW summit, 13,464' UTM515178 via the class 2 SE Ridge/S Slopes from Lamarck Col. Back at the col around 5:40pm, we hear a dog barking and realize that the Ice-9 climbers we saw earlier aren’t back yet. Eventually we see them on top through the binoculars so we return to camp (2 miles, 764' gain, 12700<=>13464). Schmed then soloed 13,172' UTM528173 via an undocumented traverse onto the NW slopes, then descend class 2 slopes back to Lamarck Col Lake (1+ miles, 472' gain, 12700<=>13172). The Ice-9 dudes finally return through the dark at 8:30pm.

On Monday (8/12) (after her third restless night) Kirsten hiked back down to the Lamarck Lakes trailhead (4 miles, 12700=>9320). Leslie and Schmed moved camp past naked Ice-9 party, over Lamarck Col and down to the highest Darwin Canyon Lake (1 mile, 200' gain, 12700=>12900=>11750). After lunch, Schmed soloed 13,385' UTM504160 via the undocumented SE slopes (one very exposed class 4 move and then patient route finding) and returned to the highest Darwin Canyon Lake (2 miles, 1635' gain, 11750<=>13385).

On Tuesday (8/13), Leslie and Schmed headed up 13,253' “Mt. Tom Ross” via the class 3 N Ridge. Leslie eventually decided to bag a few more pages in her book while Schmed soloed the rest of this fine, exposed ridge to the summit, where he found that some scoundrel had absconded with the register. After sacrificing his notebook and mandarin oranges can for those who would follow, Schmed climbed back down to Leslie, and they returned to camp (1.5 miles, 1503' gain, 11750<=>13253). Foo’ball, Tad Maddox and Jim Wahl finally arrive at 7:30pm after an all-out 12 hour assault on Lamarck Col.

On Wednesday (8/14) Schmed, Foo’ball, Tad and Jim set out for 13,831' Mt. Darwin, beginning with a somewhat unsettling traverse across the N face of the W ridge (just above the glacier), then climbed to the notch. From here, we followed the class 3 W ridge to the plateau, which we found quite similar to the top of Whitney (until you get to the summit pinnacle, which looks like a 50 foot cairn). While the rest of the party was surveying the published route around the right side of the “cairn”, Jim solos the descent into the gash, back up and around the left side of it, and suddenly appears atop the summit! The rest of us followed him (no rope needed), and after as Vulgarian a celebration as was possible atop this airy perch, we returned to camp (2 miles, 2080' gain, 11750<=>13831).

Ken, who’d hiked in solo from the W side of the range, arrived in camp soon after we’d left for Darwin. Leslie then convinced him to backtrack down Darwin Canyon to see Evolution Lake.

On Thursday (8/15) Schmed, Leslie and Ken climbed back over Lamarck Col, hiked down to the Lamarck Lakes trailhead (5 miles, 1150' gain, 11750=>12900=>9320). Foo’ball, Tad and Jim followed later that day via the same route, thus punting plans to hike into the Palisades and attempt 13,962' UTM662058 (doesn’t quite count).