Several members of our group had scouted a route up to VB via Peak 6755 on Friday 11/11/11. They dead-ended into a heavily-vegetated gully and didn't gain the ridge. I went back with one of them (ElliottDavis below) on Sunday, and we managed to find a more direct route up than the South Gully. We also descended down the back side, along the blue route pictured here: http://www.summitpost.org/the-red-line-is-the-route/104096. I do not recommend that blue route to my worst enemy. It's horribly overgrown, and it's really easy to get trapped above one of the numerous cliff bands that run through there (not all of which are obvious on the topo.) Google Earth track of our route is here: http://www.12foothedgehog.com/vernon_bailey_full_traverse.kmz (NOTE: using the historical imagery feature is helpful, as the descent is in shadow on the latest satellite imagery.) If anyone else has completed a full traverse of VB, I'm interested to hear about it. As far as we can figure out, this is the first known ascent using this route and the first known full traverse of the mountain. Props to Elliott for his route finding skills, and to the Topo Maps iPhone app, without which I'd probably still be on the mountain. :| More photos and notes from the climb are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12fh/6441254489/in/set-72157628246067667
I'm still picking thorns out of my skin a couple of days later. =) The views to the west are stunning. Highly recommended if you are a little nutty.
Lots of thrashing to the top of a big beauty. Big Bend has a serious air quality problem that you have to be blind to overlook.It took a little shine off the summit.
Feburary 2006, perfect temperature but still a long sunny day
It was very hard.
After 2 hours of bushwacking up the gully, then another 2 1/2 across the North Rim, we made the summit. there aren't many signs of hiker traffic up there, but a small pile of rocks marks the summit. spectacular views make the whole ordeal worth it.