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 Peak(s):  Mt. Princeton  -  14,197 feet
 Post Date:  08/07/2007 Modified: 08/08/2007
 Date Climbed:   08/07/2007
 Posted By:  aperry780

 Mt. Princeton - Radio Towers (Solo)   

Having climbed Mt. Yale last week and seeing Mt. Princeton from the summit I decided it would be my next 14er. I almost ended up not going as the weather reports were calling for rain all day. I decided to just go ahead and give it a try and left Colorado Springs early at 3:30 a.m. I arrived to the jeep trail at about 5:30 a.m. and decided to park at the radio towers. The road was not in bad shape at all and I had no trouble getting up it. The thing I was worried about was finding a parking space, all the reports I read said parking was slim. That turned out to be far from the truth as there was enough room to park about a dozen cars at or near the towers. If you precede about 500 feet up the road to the camping area there are plenty more places to park. I got started climbing at about 6:00 a.m.
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From the radio towers I continued up the jeep road around a few long switchbacks.
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A look back
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Before long I found myself at the well marked trail head just to the right of the road. Several people were even able to park here as there are a few pull offs. The "Unnamed" mountain was well visible from here and Princeton hid behind it.
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This was the last bit of flat ground the rest of the way up. From here on out it was nothing but rocks and boulders.
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The trail wrapped around the side of the "Unnamed" mountain, it was not very steep but was very rocky making it easy to lose your footing. The old trail to the mine is well blocked off by a pile of rocks and the new trail is not hard to find at all. After the fork the trail becomes a little steeper and the remaining rout is clearly visible.
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Once I got to the ridge the climb became much harder as the rocks turned into boulders and the trail climbed steeply up the mountain. The trail was not very visible and there seemed to be cairns everywhere but it was easy to make my own rout the rest of the way.
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A look back. By now I had passed about a half dozen people and left them all well behind.
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Every time I felt I was gaining on the summit it seemed to get farther away. There wasn't really a false summit I guess the real one just looked closer then it actually was.
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I reached the top at exactly 8:30 a.m. just 2 1/2 hours after I started and was the first one to the top................or so I thought.
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Hidden behind some rocks I discovered 3 guys sleeping bundled up in their sleeping bags. They said they left at 12:00 a.m and slept the night on the summit. It must have been about 30 degrees up there with the heavy wind.
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After spending about 20 minutes on the summit I decided to head down as large rain clouds were moving in from the east. It was also pretty darn cold up there and I spaced bringing a jacket.
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Me infront of Mt. Antero.
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By the time I got close to the jeep trail the entire mountain was engulfed in clouds. I arrived back to my car at 11:15 a.m. and headed back down. This was my third 14er of the year and though the scenery couldn't compare to Huron the entire ascent had great views.
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