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 Peak(s):  Mt. Princeton  -  14,197 feet
 Post Date:  08/24/2005
 Date Climbed:   08/21/2005
 Posted By:  SarahT

 8/21/05 std route   

On Sunday my friend Estelle and I started hiking up the road towards Princeton from camp at 11,000 ft around 4:30am. This left only a short stroll on the road before exiting on a well cairned path up a steep hill around 11,800 ft towards Princeton's rocky east slopes. We watched a beautiful sunrise over Buena Vista and the moon disappear over the ridge between Mt. Princeton and Tigger Pk. The rocks were quite wet and slippery this early in the morning. We left the main trail and found another one heading up to the 13,100 ft saddle between Mt. Princeton and Tigger Pk. In hindsight, maybe we should have traversed towards Princeton a bit more before gaining the ridge as it may have saved some time. On our way down we saw many people doing this. Anyway, we followed the top of the ridge all the way to the summit. It seemed to go on forever, probably because I didn't find myself too enthralled with this mountain. At least we had good views of Mt. Antero and "North Carbonate" which we had climbed the day before. We talked with a guy hiking solo who passed us on the way up – and now I realize it was glodder from 14ers.com. I finally summitted and there was a light dusting of snow up there, presumably from the storm the evening before. Estelle topped out about 15 minutes later and we took a very short break as some dark gray clouds were forming incredibly quickly (it was only 9:30am!). We passed a ton of people on the way down. After a while we looked back to see at least a dozen people standing on the now very dark summit. Since the weather over Tigger Pk. looked much better we decided to go ahead with our plan and pop up this unranked peak for fun. It was a very short trip to the summit. It began to hail a little bit and we decided to try to take a different way down, partially to avoid the crowds who were flocking down off Princeton. On Roach's map he shows a Class 2 route that continues to follow the ridge past Tigger and ends up at Lucky Mine. From there he has drawn a Class 1 path back to the road, joining it maybe 0.2 miles past the point you exit for the standard route. Unfortunately he doesn't comment on this route at all. However, it turned out to be a great alternative and even though there were cairns along the way they were totally unnecessary. You just stay on top of the ridge until you see the road below. Then you pick the easiest route over to it near the end of the ridge and find that there is a trail in that exact spot. Even though this detour is a bit longer mileage wise, I don't think it took us any longer to go this way. I would highly recommend it to get away from all the people.
 


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