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 Peak(s):  Mt. Princeton  -  14,197 feet
 Post Date:  05/12/2007
 Date Climbed:   05/11/2007
 Posted By:  KirkT

 Princeton - Standard Route   

Climbed by KirkT, Matteochan, Mots010 and ADKben & Friend

After leaving Highlands Ranch around 3:15, I arrived at the standard Princeton trailhead about 6 o'clock where I met up with Matteochan (Dennis) and Mots010 (Scott). They jumped in my truck and we continued up to the radiotowers. We continued up to the second parking spot at about 11000 ft. and parked. The road up to this point was 100% snowfree. There were large snowdrifts past this point and I don't think any vehicle could go past this point right now.

We started up the Mt. Princeton road about 6:20. The cutoff from the road was a little hard to spot because of the snow but we eventually found it and started around on the standard route. There was quite a bit of snow covering the route, but the faint trail could still be made out if you looked hard enough. We had to negotiate through several snowfields across the route. The snow seemed very packed and stable everywhere we trekked. We still decided to cross the fields one at a time for safety reasons just in case. The entire trail was covered with frozen packed snow. All of us had brought along snow shoes but it seemed easier for us to just use our boots only.

Dennis Making his way up through the ridge.
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The Standard Route covered with snow.
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Scott and I decided instead of following the standard route up to the ridgeline that we would climb a path straight up the side of the mountain towards Tigger Peak. The snowfields had Scott a little concerned. So we decided to climb straight up the slope towards the ridge. This was easily a class 3 with a few class 4 moves as well. It made for a fun climb but in the end it did add some time on to our trip. After reaching the ridge we took a short break while we waited for Dennis to finish the up climb. This was his first major "scramble" and was getting used to the steep terrain.

Princeton's Upper Ridge
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Nice Shot of Antero, just South of Princeton.
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After we were together on the ridge Scott and I started our assault on the summit. Dennis was being bothered by his hamstring that he had injured previously, he continued as well though. The ridge up to the summit was again mostly packed with frozen snow and easily manageable with boots. Scott arrived on the summit about 20 minutes before me and I arrived at 11:45 along with ADKben who had caught up to us. His friend was about 25 minutes behind him.
The weather was freakin incredible. There were hardly any clouds in the sky and the wind would occassionally blow about 5mph. It was the best summit weather I personally have ever experienced.

My Summit picture.
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Scott and I on Summit.
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After about 45 minutes on the summit Scott and I decided to start our descent. We met Dennis at about 13850 ft. He said that his hamstring was really bothering him so Scott and I both decided that he should start down immediately. So we did. We made it back down to the saddle but noticed Dennis was really going pretty slow. There were a few thunderheads popping up in the distacne. We were beginning to get a little concerned about it but no too bad.

The sun had been making the snow soft so the descent went a little slower than we had wanted.

Scott making his way down the standard route.
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Dennis' hamstring was really beginning to bother him at this point so Scott went on ahead a little and I assisted (the best I could) with Dennis. The descent was slow going but with a heart of a lion Dennis hiked though his pain and safely made it back to the ridge where we finally hit the road again. We reached the truck at 4:30. Total trip time was about 10 hours. We could of shaved off several hours by not taking the direct route up on our ascent and if Dennis was at 100%. Nonetheless, it was still an incredible outing. All in all it was a great day to be out in the mountains, the weather was perfect, and the company was awesome as well. I'm looking forward to hiking with these guys again real soon.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
BillMiddlebrook


Nice job     2011-02-04 17:22:13
Looked like a great day up there, Kirk! And it was great to meet you at David's memorial.


Mots010

Nice job     2010-11-30 10:28:36
It was great day up there. Just a few things to add for anyone curious on conditions. I would recommend bringing an ice axe. I was glad I had mine for a few sections. The snow was firm in the morning, and with the trail completely snow covered on the traverse, there was a lot of places you did not want to fall and continue to slide, as the runout was rocks. There are still a few places that the snow could slide on as well. Try to get an early start and cross when the snow is firm and stable.

With that said, the snow is melting FAST with this string of warm weather. I suspect much of the trail will be melted out within 2 weeks.

Kirk, I should be getting my pics together soon. I'll post them online so you can download.



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