Mt. Princeton roadWe bounced up Mt. Princeton road (CR322) passing every possible parking spot until we reached the cairn and stairs marking the TH. Opps! No place to park and too narrow to turn around so we had to head farther up the road where there actually was a spot to turn back. We parked on the curve about 1/3 mile down from the TH. No problem with the road in a Hyundai Santa Fe.
The morning was sunny and warm with a few scattered cumulus clouds. The "Uphill Queen", "Conifer Mountain Girl" ( AKA: "CMTGirl"), Izzy the dog (a 14er virgin) and I began our trek about 7:20. The first part of the trail was a well defined and easy; however, it quickly turned to well defined and very rocky. (Yeah, I know, this is Colorado and the Rocky Mountains).
"Uphill Queen" & "CMTgirl" with Mt. Princeton above
After traversing the vast lower talus field, a large cairn marks the steep, zig/zag path up to the ridge. Once we reached the ridge crest, the trail was hit or miss with us scrambling from rock to rock, cairn to cairn, boulder to boulder.
Flowers in bloom
It was no time before we were breathing hard and trying to find the upward path. The "trail" is all talus and boulders so care is needed to stay upright and moving forward. Izzy (the wonder dog) hopped, bounced and leaped her way over the rocks...much better than we did.
We summited around 10:50 to enjoy the beautiful views of the Buena Vista valley and the Collegiate peaks. My GPS indicated 2.44 miles from the car. The 1/2 hour summit ritual was: ohs and ahs, high fives, PB & J lunch, photos, signing the 14er log and complaints about having to move again.
The crew on the summit
The downward trek provided better views of the barely visible route down and required more caution on the rocks, boulders, talus, gravel. The Uphill Queen suffered 2 butt plants and I managed 3 sitzmarks...CMTGirl and Izzy stayed upright.
The "Queen" and I
Izzy & CMTGirl
We hit the car 2:40 later. The ladies enjoyed a beer while I had a Gatorade (Guess who was driving!).
BEER!The roundtrip took us 5:50 including lunch...but remember I'm old and slow. The route had no exposure but the rocky terrain does make it tough and slow.
The day was beautiful, the company was fun, the dog was remarkable, the accomplishment was satisfying.
This was CMTGirl's 23 14er; Izzy's first; Uphill Queen's and my 9th.