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Vulgarian Ramblers
Summer 2013 Tour

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The 2013 tour included an attempt on Coxcomb Peak and a climb of Mt. Powell in Colorado, plus climbs of Mt. Winchell, Gendarme Peak and Picture Puzzle in California, plus a few other 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)

I reached Denver on August 1 and warmed up with 13,794' Square Top Mtn. in Guanella Pass. I then drove the good old Jeep to Grand Junction, where I met Chris "Schmed" Schneider. We Jeeped into a car campsite by a cow path, and hiked in the spotty rain over the pass to a barely-adequate campsite at the base of the climbing route to 13,656' Coxcomb Peak. The rain continued more or less steadily for the next two days; we were able to scout out the route to the start of the technical climb, but the rock was too wet for the roped technical climbing we'd need to be doing. So we had to leave empty-handed, but we did find a better campsite for next time, guarded by a marmot family.

We Jeeped up to the Vail area, a community specifically built for skiing and walking around. We secured a campsite near the Powell trailhead, then stayed in a pretty fancy (for us) motel. We met Alan "Tayls" Taylor at the campsite the following afternoon and hung out as the last of the rain moved out. Tayls brought us both dinner and breakfast. Jim "JC" Campbell and his dog Frodo joined us the next morning; Tayls hiked with us a while and turned back, while JC and Frodo hiked in with us to a gorgeous campsite under the highest trees in a high hanging valley below Mt. Powell. We followed a sketchy path up to the campsite, and at one point were forced to bushwhack through beautiful chest-high wildflowers. JC scouted out the route from camp to the pass that evening, but he had to leave in the morning. Schmed and I headed over the pass in the morning and up Powell for a fine celebration of the penultimate peak on the list, then hiked out and headed for Denver to switch the Jeep for the Prius.

We then drove to California with a night car-camped at Connor Summit, NV looking at the Perseids meteor shower. After one night packing up in Bishop, we hiked all the way in to the fine campsite in Sam Mack Meadow in one day, carrying a rope and a full rack of heavy climbing gear which Schmed assured me we'd need on 13,775' Mt. Winchell.

We climbed Winchell the next day; as we reached the summit pitch, Schmed realized that his memory had been faulty, and that we wouldn't need the rope or climbing gear at all on this trip. We proceeded non-technically and more or less uneventfully to the summit of Winchell, and back down to camp. We even had time to move camp down and around to an excellent and scenic site at Fifth Lake, caching the unnecessary climbing equipment along the way. Fine weather continued in the morning as we hiked up to the summit of 13,252' Gendarme Peak.

I hung out on that peak like a lizard in the sun while Schmed continued solo over to 13,287' Picture Puzzle Peak and returned. We found our way back to camp and met Scott "Schnart" Davis. In the morning, Schnart headed up the valley while Schmed and I retrieved the rope and climbing gear and packed out.

- Mike Bromberg