I did this climb on November 15, 2003 in winter conditions with a deep snowpack, but November 15 isn't quite close enough on the calendar to be a winter ascent.
From the trailhead, I followed the blocked-off road up the slope to the west. There was a well beaten path in the snow made by snowboarders that headed directly up the slope. The mountain above Berthoud Pass, was crawling with snowboarders, and I got alot of "Dude, where's your board?" questions. There were many snowboarders up to point 12,391, and then I was all alone for the rest of the trip.
There was an incredible view from point 12,391, but it was very cold and windy. The route was mostly easy to this point, other than an area where I was falling into the snow where it covered the krummholtz (dwarf trees). The ridge was then gentle for a long time, but it was very windy and cold.
My route took me over route the gentle summits of points 12,424, 12,507, and Stanley Mountain (12,521). After Stanley Mountain was the most difficult part of the climb. Descending the steep slope in the powder snow was very tricky as to avoid tumbling head over heals down to Vasquez Pass. After a tumble or two, and after breaking a pop-rivet on my snowshoe, I arrived at Vasquez Pass. From Vasquez Pass, the route was a bit easier over a moderately steep grade to peak 12,707. The hardest part of the ascent was now over with.
From peak 12,707, I continued west along the ridge to peak 12,900, and to the summit of Vasquez. The return route was easy except for the very steep climb from Vasquez Pass to Stanley Mountain! That was pretty dang tiring after an already long climb. I returned to the vehicle totally exhausted, but it was a good trip. Perhaps I should excersize more!
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