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Mt. Princeton  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-12-13  East Slopes  Perfect day on the mountain. Conditions were amazing. There is some snow on the road above the radio towers, but it can easily be skirted. Once you leave the road the trail is easy to follow. Eastern and southern facing slopes are bare of snow. The trail eventually becomes a hard snow sidewalk all the way to the saddle. Micro spikes are not required, but are highly encouraged. Especially for the descent. Above the saddle on the summit push you will have to pick your own route. Even if the mountain gets 3-4" of snow tonight, the route should still be fine. dogballs   2014-12-13  0     Edit Delete 
2014-12-11  East Slopes  June-like conditions on Princeton. Road has patches of snow/ice above lower th at 8900ft, some areas with significant drifts that I don‘t know how anyone would drive past, but I did see an AT&T truck going up at some point during descent. The small cairn and the steps marking where the Mt. Princeton trail starts from the road are easy to miss (especially at night) and partially buried, but the trail is clear beyond that until reaching the long ascent along the slope of Tigger Peak, which is then hard-packed, icy snow until beyond the shadow of Tigger. The trail here seemed to disappear on me, and I went farther than I should have, I think the best route would be to go straight up to the ridge at its lowest point between Tigger and Princeton. There is no real packed trail here and everyone seems to be making their own. Patches of sugar snow cover loose talus, making for a slow and sometimes painful ascent/descent, as legs sink hip deep through snow and holes in the talus, for a foot wedging, shin-banging good time. On the ridge, between 13,800 and the summit, it is mostly dry, a couple of patches of icy snow to watch out of for, but otherwise, it‘s somewhat summery in the southern Sawatch. Also - to the lady who lost her hat, I put it on a stick in the middle of the road, I hope you found it and the AT&T man didn‘t run it over. *Microspikes and trekking poles SUPER useful. RockyMountainMustang   2014-12-12 4     Edit Delete 
2014-11-23  East Slopes  Came back to settle last weekend‘s unfinished business. It seems every time I attempt Princeton a storm blows in the night before. Drove to about 10400‘. 8.35 miles and 6 hours later, I found myself back where I started, but this time with a W. codydonahue   2014-11-23 3  2    Edit Delete 
2014-11-16  East Slopes  Turned back at 12700‘ because partner experienced onset of altitude sickness. Other than harsh wind starting at 12300‘, a very enjoyable hike. Summit definitely attainable under current conditions. Snowshoes a must. codydonahue   2014-11-16 3  1    Edit Delete 
2014-10-29  Southwest Ridge  Climbed Princeton solo via the standard route Wednesday (second ascent, first was in summer conditions). No one else up there. Was alone all day. From the steps off the road, the trail climbs to a switchback. After the switchback, the trail tops a rise, and much of the route is visible. Shortly past the rise, the trail becomes snowpacked and icy. You can avoid the ice for maybe a hundred yards by walking alongside the trail. Instead, I put on traction right there (Polar Trax), and kept it on for the whole ascent/descent until I was back to the rise. I don‘t think I could have completed the climb without traction. Best advice: follow footsteps. On trail, in the footsteps, the snow is consolidated and held my weight. Off-trail and out of the steps, I broke through a thin crust into powder. Faster to stay on top with traction. Snow is drifted knee-deep in places. I wore regular gaiters, and needed them. The "wall" that diverts climbers to the new ridge route and off the old one, is buried in snow but you can still see a few exposed rocks. The new route is completely covered, and you can‘t see where it goes. Shortly after the wall, footsteps of most climbers headed to the ridgeline by guess and by golly. I made the mistake of following the old route, and the footsteps gradually thinned out until only one other climber had gone before me. I followed his footprints up to the ridgeline through the talus. Broke through the crust quite often. Didn‘t bring an ice axe, but carried a trekking pole and was glad I had it. It helped me keep my balance on the break-throughs. The ridgeline is the best path of travel because right now anyway it has been blasted by the wind mostly snow-free. Wind was not bad until the final summit push up the pyramid. There, it was bad. Once on the summit, I took off my gloves to snap some photos, and my hands immediately began to numb. Couldn‘t hear the camera shutter or the film advance, and with my cold hands I inadvertently snapped off 5 or 6 frames unintentionally. Didn‘t linger. Headed down. Once I had dropped off the ridgeline and was sheltered from the wind, found a sunny snow-free spot to eat, drink, and replenish sunscreen. Hike out was a repeat of the hike in. A satisfying day and climb despite that awful wind up high! flyingmagpie   2014-10-30  0  1    Edit Delete 
2014-10-25  East Slopes  Trail is snow free until ~12,050. Started using microspikes from ~12,200 to the ridge. RockCaCO3   2014-10-25 1     Edit Delete 
2014-10-11  East Slopes  Road to trailhead did not have too much snow. The Subaru that was following me made it to the radio towers. About 1-2‘ of snow on the mountain itself. We missed the turnoff for the trail from the jeep road, and endind up having to break trail across the ridge to cut our way back. We saw the trail but never connected with it. This made the ridge more like a class 3, but it was doable with the right warm weather gear. Storm rolled in and chased us down. windwaker   2014-10-20  0     Edit Delete 
2014-10-11  East Slopes  Winter conditions were in full effect on Princeton Saturday. We were able to drive past the radio towers though I suspect this may no longer be possible. Route finding through several feet of snow (at times) and talus made for a rough day. Recommend snow shoes and spikes. And make sure you‘re familiar with where the route veers off right from the road after the third switchback (from the upper TH parking area). We missed this and ended up way off route. krojanen   2014-10-13  0  1    Edit Delete 
2014-10-06  East Slopes  Previous report still valid. Almost zero snow. Road to the upper trail head is fine. I parked just past the radio towers. Had no issues on the road in a jeep liberty. aim54pheonix   2014-10-07  0     Edit Delete 
2014-09-28  East Slopes  Peak is still in perfect condition -- no snow or other issues. Driving my 2014 Forester to the campsites above the radio towers was trivial, and I think I could have driven to where the trail leaves the road had I wanted to (saw a 4-Runner up there). Weather was questionable (heavy clouds, light precip, medium wind near the summit), but startlingly warm the whole time -- I don‘t think it dropped below 40 F overnight at the 11K campsites! robinbk   2014-09-29  0     Edit Delete 
2014-09-18  East Slopes  The Peak was in prime condition! There was no snow whatsoever and some trees had started turning yellow. The temperature was extremely warm and there was no need for any windbreaker except in the last push when there was a slight breeze. The road up to the radio towers was passable with a Honda CRV though driving required special attention due to all the ruts and divots in the road as well as the fact that it tended to slope towards the edge of the mountain. YearlyClimber   2014-09-23 2  1  Edit Delete 
2014-08-22  East Slopes  Found some ski poles above treeline. Describe to me and I am happy to return them to their owner jemdur   2014-08-22  0     Edit Delete 
2014-08-04  East Slopes  The 4WD road was fairly easy for my Explorer all the way to the top. I hit bottom at one spot, but it wasn‘t anything terrible. The road to the radio tower is easy 4WD and up to just beyond the trailhead is also fairly easy. We parked just above the trailhead at a big pullover on the road (not far from where I hit bottom). The hike from here was fairly easy. It starts downhill to the trailhead then is an easy accent to the saddle. The upper portion of the saddle has a little loose rock, but nothing terrible. I never felt uncomfortable during the climb. On the way back, we continued on the saddle over Tigger Pt., following the ridge back to the road which actually dropped us right above our vehicle. If you‘re looking for an easy way down, this is not the route. It is steeper and not very clearly marked. But if you are looking for an extra accent with some beautiful views go for it. NOTE: If you get to the saddle and it looks like weather may be moving in, Tigger Pt. is a possible alternative to summiting Princeton. It‘s an easier accent and about a 45 minute decent back down to the road. Just be careful! mbechina   2014-08-11  0     Edit Delete 
2014-07-19  East Slopes  Perfect condition on the trail. No snow. vxnguyen   2014-07-19  0     Edit Delete 
2014-06-24  East Slopes  Summer conditions in full effect. Do not bring snow gear. addrock528   2014-06-25  0     Edit Delete 
2014-06-12  East Slopes  Great day on Princeton. Just three snowfields left and we tried to pack/trench them well so the morning hardpack doesn‘t send you down the slope. My friend and a new friend accidentally took the old trail (I went ahead to Tigger) and it was horrible for them (possible rock slides). The site‘s GPX file hasn‘t been updated, so this still might happen. We saw another group do the same and warned them a little late. Just be sure to take the switch backs up, then the ridge to the summit. We tried to make the rock wall blocking the old trail more obvious and added a carin or two, but just be on the look out. Photo is the route from the top and it still looks like the old trail is the way to go, but don‘t! goldenite   2014-06-12 1  3    Edit Delete 
2014-06-07  East Slopes  While I came prepared to climb in lots and lots of snow and bad weather, the standard route was actually very clear, except for a few areas, and the weather was beautiful. Even the snow areas were easy to traverse, and proved to be a nice relief from the sharp rocks. Actually, while the views from the top were the most beautiful of my now 19 14ers, the hike up was my least favorite because of the sharp rocks. This was my first 14er with my new (and very expensive) boots. They were worth every penny. Definitely a 4WD high clearance road up to the radio towers. My jeep made it fine, but 4WD cars should park in the lower lot even though it adds six miles to your hike. This was my first 14er using a GPS, which I very much enjoyed. Last year I took a wrong turn on Lindsey and ended up on Class 4 rock on the wrong side of the mountain. The GPS is a nice gadget for those occasional moments of stupidity we all can be pron to have. duncanmil   2014-06-08 4  3    Edit Delete 
2014-06-02  non standard  Road completely clear till a mile past radio towers. Quite a bit of snow in gullies, gets soft by late morning. Brought snowshoes, never needed to use them. Trotter   2014-06-03  0       
2014-03-24  East Slopes  Hiked from the 2WD TH up the road to the radio towers before being turned around by high winds. Road is about 80-90% snow covered, with a good trench established. Snowshoes were unnecessary up to the radio towers, but microspikes were helpful on the way down. I wouldn‘t be surprised if the trench is drifted in above the radio towers so I‘d guess snowshoes would be helpful on the upper part of the road. Snow was nice and firm in the morning, but was softening up a bit when I came back down at 11am. It could be a bit post-holey in late afternoon on a warm day. Vincopotamus   2014-03-24  0     Edit Delete 
2014-03-09  East Slopes  Broke trail in ankle to knee deep powder to about 12k, beginning of the ridge to Tigger, where we stashed our snowshoes. The transient nature of our efforts cannot be more apparent as big chunks of the road had melted out by the time of our descent. Our tracks melted and then refroze. Snowshoes now are likely not needed untill after 11k. The ridge between Tigger and Princeton still holds a lot of snow - a mix of hard pack, windblown powder and rocks, not enough to justify bringing snowshoes, but be prepared for a fair amount of postholing on the ridge. 1. Princeton from Tigger 2. View of Antero from Tigger-Princeton ridge 3. Tigger as viewed on the descent 4. Near the summit nkan02   2014-03-10 4  3 1  Edit Delete 

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