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Mt. Princeton

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Location: Fort Collins, CO

Mt. Princeton

Postby fourseasonhiker » Mon May 25, 2009 5:48 am

I am headed up this evening to do Princeton tomorrow. The weather forecast is looking like new snow, but not much, but who knows. Is there any information out there about the condition of the road, trailhead and hike as of yesterday?
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Re: Mt. Princeton

Postby MtnHermit » Mon May 25, 2009 6:44 am

Lots of new snow above 13K, none below timberline. I just glassed the road, appears snowfree above the radio towers to the switchbacks. The vertical cornice is almost for sure blocking the road at that switchback. Currently sunny so I'd expect most of the new snow to melt today.

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Re: Mt. Princeton

Postby myrone » Mon May 25, 2009 8:09 am

May want to check with the USFS for San Isabel NF...........the Salida Office is at: Phone (719) 539-3591
Fax (719) 539-3593 and r2_psicc_webmail@fs.fed.us Hopefully they can direct you to a ranger who is familiar with current conditions in the Mt Princeton or Buena Vista area.
Good Luck, :)
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Re: Mt. Princeton

Postby JeffR » Mon May 25, 2009 8:25 am

I was up there on Saturday.

The trail and road were 99% clear (only one drift) all the way to the ridge @ ~12000 but north of the ridge was a whole different story. Immediately upon crossing over, there was 2-3". I turned back at ~12600 after angling off the trail directly for the ridge - there was probably about 6" at that point and the talus was really treacherous (I'm sure the scree slope on the trail was even worse).

Everything was completely socked in the whole morning, so I don't know what the conditions were up ahead. But I'm sure it was more of the same. There was more precip on Saturday night and Sunday, so even a whole day of sun today may not make a very big dent in it.
To recognize the beauty in sadness, without playing host to the pain...
- Under the Sun, "Reflections"

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Re: Mt. Princeton

Postby fourseasonhiker » Tue May 26, 2009 6:09 pm

Thanks to everyone who posted some information regarding the hike. I forgot to check for responses before I headed up yesterday afternoon. I got all the way up to the pull out around 11,700 feet. I went looking for the trail when I arrived last night. I wasn't even sure of where the trail breaks from the road. I didn't see the steps that Middlebrook mentions in his description, though there was a trail right there from my pull off. It looked like it could go up to a peak, but I wasn't sure if it was the right peak.

I slept in my Jeep Liberty overnight. Got a little snow last night, and it began to snow when I got up this morning. This morning, I couldn't even see the peaks. I was pretty socked in. Since I didn't really know where my trail breaks from the road, and not wanting so much snow to fall that it would make my descent down the road treacherous, I left.

I attempted to do Huron peak instead. It ws snowing the entire time I was hiking, and because of the deep snow in stretched along the trail, it was alower than I would have liked. I got to within about 2/10th of a mile from the summit (which, long before this point, I couldn't even see the summit) when I turned around and headed down, because the snow was coming down with much greater intensity. My tracks were getting filled in behind me, so I headed down. There was no evidence of my hike up, as my tracks were filled in with fresh snow. Most of the stretches of trail that had no snow on during my ascent, were covered with quickly accumulating snow. I was glad that I turned around when I did.
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Re: Mt. Princeton

Postby giarcd » Wed May 27, 2009 4:49 am

Dang, spring time in the rockies,sounds like you made good decisions while "going after it"!

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