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Peak(s):  Mt. Princeton  -  14,197 feet
Post Date:  10/20/2009
Date Climbed:   10/17/2009
Posted By:  ColoNativeinPA

 Mt. Princeton - East Slope Don‘t Miss the Carin!   

If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.Yogi Berra

Again, flew in from the east coast the day before. And again, a handful of asprin and lots of water seems to be the ticket for avoiding altitude sickness.
The road from the main trailhead to the camp sites was clear and dry. We never went into 4 wheel drive on the vehicle and made it with no problems. However, I would not try this is a vehicle with a long wheel base. There are some pretty steep breaks in the road!

We camped at ~11,000 feet roughly 3 ˝ miles up the road from the main trailhead. The campsites at the top are awesome. The views are great and again the weather was awesome.

Weather was extremely good for mid Oct. low 40's in temp and wind was manageable, maybe 10 – 15 mph gusts.

Since there was virtually no threat of thunderstorms we left at a leisurely 9:30am. The early part of the trail is well marked and you CANNOT miss the steps leading away from the road. Not a lot of elevation gain early on and the trail was dry.

The peak is visible very early in the hike and the route directions seemed straight forward.

At the 12,800 elev level there's 2 carins and a wall that blocks part of the trail. It clearly directs the hiker up the new trail to the saddle. ----- We walked past it!

We ended up several hundred feet past the carin and decided it was better to just scramble straight up the talus rather than retreat to the new trail. UhOh – this was a mistake that cost us a lot of time! You can see in this photo the angle of the slope to the ridge.

We ended up clawing our way to the top – Hand and Foot sometimes in 12" of snow. This photo is of me lagging way behind. I was soooooo tired and questioning whether or not I had enough to the top. "I'm up here! You're down there! "

We made it to the top! Again, I'm not a good enough writer to describe the views and sense of accomplishment every time we make it to the summit. Top of the world!

Views from the summit



This is an interesting rock formation looking to the south from about 500 feet below the summit.

This is the Peak looking back.

So, if you're reading this trip report please take two things away as advice.

1) Hiking in Oct can be terrific - we thought our season was over and we just decided to cram one more in and it was totally worth it.
2) Never, ever, ever, ever, walk past a big carin, little carin and a wall blocking the trail thinking that you know better. Ever, ever, ever.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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