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 Peak(s):  Mt. Princeton  -  14,197 feet
 Post Date:  10/06/2010 Modified: 10/07/2010
 Date Climbed:   09/25/2010
 Posted By:  SES_17

 Perfect day on Princeton   

Arrived and parked at the radio towers at 10:00am started walking up road at 10:30. Weather report was clear and warm. Image I was fighting the remnants of a cold from the week before so slogging up the road was kicking my butt early on. Wasn't sure how far I'ld be able to go. It was nice to get to the trail proper, got a second wind once I started up the lower slopes. Image Shortly after rounding the lower part of the East ridge, the trail clambers over rock across the face. The trail was hard to define in spots but lots of cairns kept me pointed in the right direction. Image I got to the rock wall in pretty good shape and took a small break before heading up the switchbacks. Image Butt kicking ensued. My head, after being clogged up for most of the morning, began... unclogging. I had prepared for this by stuffing a travel size package of Kleenex in my pocket (which I quickly went through) and a 1/4 roll of TP (just in case). Once I gained the ridge, the trail levels out but gets lost in more rock. Image Although the route is obvious, there were numberous rock outcroppings to avoid and cairns that mark many different paths. Image The summit push is steep and rocky but seemed shorter than it looked from below. Summitted at around 2:00pm (took many small breaks). Still in a t-shirt and light pants, with a slight breeze and full sun, it was an ideal climb. Couldn't ask for better weather. Stayed about 30 minutes on the summit and talked with another group that arrived shortly after me.
From the top looking back at the route, it appears that a shortcut can be made by leaving the ridge early and joining up with the main trail before the rock wall that turns you upward. Image This area is very steep and footing is sketchy. Plus there's no real trail to speak of, just faded paths running in different directions. Stay on the ridge and take the switchbacks down to cross the face. Oddly enough, the trail is much easier to follow on the way down. I ran into an older couple going painfully slow down the upper ridge. This section is steep, rocky and loose in spots and just waiting to mangle some ligaments. Justifiably, they were being careful, but I wondered if they had bitten off more than they could chew. I would later pick them up on the road and give them a ride back to the towers around dusk.
My head was clear, the weather was beautiful and all were safe at their cars. All in all, a perfect day!



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