Mt. Princeton

Condition Updates  
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2023-06-03, By: Mmorett
Info: Started at Mt Princeton road got a 4am start, the weather was perfect even though the forecast called for rain and snow. Made it to the summit around 8:30 with no problems. Microspikes were essential throughout the route, and I also used an ice axe for extra security. Overall it was a great hike, coming down the weather started to turn foggy, and also started to snow. Ended at 12pm 
Route: South East Bowl
Posted On: 2023-05-31, By: Christensenje
Info: Skiers: leave the ice axe, skins, and crampons at home. Wore runners to the summit. Micro spikes could be used for people who want more security. Both lines are still in if you hike down the ridge a bit and youre willing to work around some exposed sharks on the top part. Bowl skid really well. Don't think the lines will be in much longer. 
5 2
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2023-05-30, By: L_Macalister
Info: Was a bit of a sufferfest. Road was clear to the radio towers and a little further beyond, ending at the first switchback past the towers. Took the standard route up and back. Up was pretty smooth traveling on crusty frozen snow. Decided to be super safe and used spikes and an axe to cross the snow slopes, but some people I met made it without either. By the time we hit the saddle the sun had softened up the snow to slush. The final 1000 ft was intermittent trail, loose rock, post holing, mud, and slush. Beautiful day on the summit, mostly clear and sunny! Down was worse than up. In hindsight, my hiking buddy and I both felt that it would have been faster to ride the ridge back to Tigger and descend the steep but dry rock (or possibly still a chance to glissade down part of it) back to the trail. Might be worth considering this if you hike it anytime soon after Memorial Day. 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2023-05-28, By: Briere
Info: Road to 4WD TH is free of snow and mud. I went up via Tigger and down via the summer route. I brought along snowshoes for the hike but never used them or micro spikes. My ice axe came in handy on the snow crossing. Snow crossings were hard packed snow that were warming up throughout the day. 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2023-05-21, By: carpincho97
Info: Went up Princeton via Tigger Peak on the way up and standard route on the way down. The 4WD trailhead at 11,000 is accessible and snow-free, but everything higher than that is fully covered in snow. We used both microspikes and snowshoes on the way up and needed both--- the snow is very soft and postholing was a problem throughout the hike, even in the early morning. We also brought ice axes and used them regularly to mini self-arrest as you need to cross steep slopes covered in snow several times. Certainly not my favorite 14er experience, but at least it's done, right? 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2023-05-07, By: colekics
Info: We were able to get up to .5 miles from the 4WD trailhead in the car. There was little to no snow to that point, and we didn't want to try to get all the way up to the top because someone in a previous TR mentioned that it starts to get snowy before the actual trailhead. However, it was dry by Saturday so you definitely can make it all the way in a 4WD car. We started hiking by 11:15 pm on Friday night. The trail was snowy all the way to the Tigger Peak ridge, which we went over and continued to the summer trail. We stashed snowshoes there and never ended up using them. It was still snowed over on the north face section of the summer trail, and it was icy for the most part. We had spikes and an axe, so we stomped out a boot track to make it easier on the way back. Some areas of the snow gave more, but others were bulletproof and we couldn't press tracks in. I probably had 10-15 mini self arrests on this section of the trail because of that, so I think sometimes it is best to actually walk sideways with your boots facing uphill to get the most traction possible out of your spikes. Crampons are probably preferrable when the snow is this crusty. Once we gained the ridge it was mostly rocky with only a few snowy areas. The way down was basically the same since we didn't get down until right after sunrise. I think our route is still preferrable to Tigger peak even though it was a little slippery. 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2023-05-07, By: dementedavocado
Info: Started from the 2WD lot a little after 3am, summitted a little after 9am, got down a little before 1pm with someone who gave us a ride down the service road. There were a couple cars that found a spot to park a little ways before the radio towers and a car that had made it all the way up to the radio tower. Snow isn't an issue for cars until directly after the radio tower, then the road is impassible. My group decided to bypass Tigger Peak and do the normal summer route, can't necessarily recommend that but it worked for us. I think you have to pick your poison either way but if you do the summer route plan ahead and be careful. We did it with no traction devices whatsoever and it was a little sketchy in the morning. The snow was extremely hard to dig into and we were balancing our way across an extremely steep slope of icy snow. If you were to slip it would be difficult to stop yourself and it would be a bad day if you hit one of the rocks/boulders on the way down. Was better on the way back when the snow softened up but we were making our way across pretty obvious avalanche chutes, I wouldn't feel safe doing that in the afternoon. We did the whole thing with no extra gear/flotation, but hit some gnarly postholing in rocky terrain on the way back down the summer route which was asking for a rolled ankle. If you do the Tigger route I don't think you'd need any traction/flotation, but if you do the summer route you definitely need to start early and you could save yourself some trouble by bringing poles and spikes, maybe an ice axe if you really want some extra grip in the steep spots. You definitely don't need snowshoes but you could bring them to avoid slushy postholing on the way down. Overall great hike though! 
Route: East slopes winter route via tigger peak
Posted On: 2023-05-03, By: zcrennen
Info: Started at 1:30 am at the 2WD trailhead to try to catch the sunrise and avoid postholing the descent. Road is snow free until just before the radio towers, where it seems like theres just a little too much snow to drive through right now. With a lack of parking spots before the towers, currently it only seems possible to start at the 2WD. Hit the towers at 2:30, where the snow picked up significantly. Steep banks on the road make for some knee and waist deep postholing, while also being tough to snowshoe or skin. Broke treeline at 3:30 and found a good footpath guiding you in the right direction. Ascended via tigger peak. Although this route is the optimal route for snow given its relative safety from avalanche terrain, it is one son of a b*tch. Choose your own adventure of large boulders hungry for a rolled ankle. Summitted tigger around 5:00, and summitted Princeton at 6:30. The descent was slow going, as it is a long way of miserable class 2 terrain. Made it back to the road at 9:30, and still had some decent postholing. Smooth sailing after the towers. RT 1:30-11:30, just under 10 hours. A rough day on a 14er beats a good day at the office! 
7 4
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2023-04-12, By: Eagle Eye
Info: I summited Sunday 4/9 from the 2WD TH, also on the recent trend of going up 13er "Tigger" and staying on the ridge to the summit. I caught an early morning snow firmness in (probably) a day before persons' descending snowshoe track, thank you. The road is a long way from being drivable, even a short distance and especially so past the Radio Tower. It's still in deep drifts. I wore micro spikes from the start and that worked out well 1) for many road sections that are smooth & icy and then 2) for the side sloping switchback parts of the road. There was only one well-traveled deviation from the summer route, a straight up connection that shortcut a switchback. So I carried snowshoes all the way to the Tigger summit cairn and left them there. It's still a mile on the ridge to the Mt P summit but I have always enjoyed that way/view. I mostly stayed climbers left on the ridge crest. A couple of false summits later...arriving on the summit! WHAT A VIEW. There's even an old style (but very new) Colorado Mountain Club PVC summit register tethered up there. I met a skier guy w/his dog coming up when I was halfway back to the Mt P/Tigger saddle. Back down off of Tigger, at the junction of the trail/road/trees snowshoes became an absolute must. It had become incredibly warm, soft & rotten since my cold ascent trip & I needed the snowshoes for miles -even past the Radio Towers. The guy I'd met early had successfully gotten up/skied down (one of the East side gully's) fast and we crossed paths again. They were the only ones I saw on this almost windless, sunny Mt Princeton Day! I'll post about the road condition in Trailhead Conditions but in a word here DONT$DO$IT. --happy trails!! Mike Via 
Route: East Slopes - winter variation
Posted On: 2023-04-08, By: AlessiaAscent
Info: Summited Princeton with Logan5280 this morning. Great conditions, although some weather rolled in towards the end, so we got down quickly. We brought both snowshoes and skis, but opted to leave the skis because the road is dry for the first 1/2 mile. There are many sections of continuous snow on road, but theyre pretty broken up and would be a bad ski. We were very grateful to have opted for snowshoes - floatation is necessary unless you like knees/waist postholing. We took the standard route to about 12,000 ft, when we summited Tigger Peak instead of taking the normal trail across the north Tigger slopes. There are some wind loaded gullies above the normal trail from 12,000 to the ridge, so we stayed high, summited Tigger, and then descended that ridge onto the Princeton ridge. This is the play - every other group that we saw also took this route. Summit and summit ridge were both snowy and rocky, but we didnt use snowshoes, opting to rock hop. The East Couloirs ski descents on Princeton look like theyre in, but seem a little sketch because of wind loading/aspect. Also, like I said before, north gullies above standard route are no bueno - very high avalanche probability. We met three guys close to the summit of Tigger peak- we kept hoping to run into you again because Logan got a great picture of you! Posting it here in case you see this 
4 2
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2023-04-02, By: jeffmpls
Info: Snow melting up to the cell towers, and very manageable. About 1/4 mile paste the towers the consolidated trail deteriorated and without snowshoes post holing knee to waist was common. I turned back at 11,400. My guess is the the trail past the towers will be 70-80% snowed in until May 1 or later. 
Route: Via Trigger
Posted On: 2023-02-12, By: Thevirtualsherpa
Info: Beautiful day on Princeton yesterday. Windless, mid 20s and sunny - can't ask for much more in February. Don't try to drive road or you may end up like guys who's truck took a tumble (see road update). Well traveled to radio towers then a single track which cuts a bunch of road switches to rejoin standard route. Ended up taking Trigger which I don't recommend unless you enjoy type 2/3 fun. Just not enough snow coverage to cover up loose scree and massive holes in rocks. Almost no snow coverage on standard route and avi risk is likely very low there. Trigger east slopes are wind loaded in areas and although likely not a problem right now, could present avi risk down road. Conditions to Trigger summit and then on to Princeton are mix of bullet proof snow, sugar snow that's thigh deep and lots of plunge stepping at any given moment. Wasn't enjoyable at all, very long day. Recommend hiking poles and spikes if you choose right line(s) up trigger. Crampons helpful for about 100/200 yards then an overkill. Axe useful for descent. Princeton's east snow lines are really not in (see pic) unless you like a traverse or hike down to snow whose depth could be questionable. 
Route: Tigger NE Ridge
Posted On: 2023-02-11, By: Veory
Info: Road to towers is an easy walk, snowshoes recommended on the ridge up from there. We were able to largely follow the consolidated snow from the trench last week even though it was filled in, there is again a trench temporarily from our group of 3. Ditched snowshoes near the base of Tigger and rock hopped/ ridge walked with microspikes to the summit. Lovely day to be out, all 3 of us summited. 
Route: Tigger NE ridge
Posted On: 2023-02-04, By: the_hare
Info: Snowcat tread tracks and bootpack all the way to the towers. Past the towers there is a trench up the the ridge cutting the switchbacks up to 12,000 ft thanks to someone this week and several parties today. Snowshoes would be very helpful here since some areas are drifted and postholey. Didn't make it to the summit, been out with an injury and just didn't have the conditioning to keep going past 13k. I found the rocks up Tigger to be pretty stable and fun to scramble up. I stuck to stepping on the rocks with spikes on for the most part, the snow in between can be very deep. Nice to meet Max and friends and users Stratosfearsome & Zerodark30 on trail. Found and packed out a huge old water jug with a frozen mouse inside buried in the snow, nice trail booty. 
11 3
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2023-01-27, By: JasonCrane
Info: Bid at snowflake immortality in the Sawatch denied on Friday in some blustery, severe wind conditions. Tangoed with Princeton for nearly 9 hrs while battling sharp winds & frigid windchills above tree-line. Summit was shrouded in clouds & snow plumes all day with only a brief glimpse of the summit from TH at sunrise. Road hike starting at 8.9k summer TH is snowcat freshly treaded up to Comms Towers. Keep an eye out for the snowcat unless you want to end up like actor Jeremy Renner. A mix of postholing, side-hilling, patchy gravel & significant wind drifted snow past the Comms on 322A to the East Slopes trail junction. Micros are useful on 322A, but post-holing was short & too intermittent for snowshoes. East slope of Princeton isn't holding a lot of snow, however the avy chutes are filled-in & could provide quite a ride like Chevy Chase in the saucer scene of Christmas Vacation. Weather conditions significantly deteriorated as the day progressed & sporadic wind gusts became sustained. Day started with a Smartwool base layer, but snow blasting & frostbite windchills took over & required multi-layering, gloves upgrade & goggles. Rather than a shot at 'Winter Hero,' opted to turnback @12.3k ft. when I honestly felt the winds were becoming extreme and made the mountain too dangerous to climb. The great Nirmal 'Nims' Purja himself may have had the bravado to continue climbing in those conditions, but we'll never know because he wasn't there. 
12 4
Route: Over Tigger
Posted On: 2023-01-21, By: illusion7il
Info: When I rolled up to the parking area, there was about 4" of over night fluff. Snow shoes could be useful past the radio towers, but not necessary if you don't mind post holing. Microspikes were nice. The new snow made lots of fun ankle traps going up and over Tigger. It was a cold one today. 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2023-01-14, By: Kiefer
Info: The lower road is hard packed and dry in spots. Upper road to treeline is packed from old cat tracks (prolly for radio tower maintenance). Past that, it's packed powder with some bulletproof side-hilling (old drifting). I wouldn't recommend the standard trail at the moment. Granted, the northern aspect of Tigger is "dryish," but the northern chutes are holding snow. Crossing them is a bit sketch. A fair amount of side-hilling on the trail is also unavoidable. The ridge and upper mountain is 70% dry and no problem. I did not use flotation all day. I went over Tigger and I'd recommend doing that. 
4 2
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2022-11-20, By: eorians
Info: Parked at towers, road was passable with AWD and mostly clear of snow. Wore microspikes the entire way. Took standard route up, slide areas were unsubstantial, but stable and passable with spikes (carried ice axe for peace of mind). Light layer of snow obscuring talus, but mostly windswept and clear once you gain the ridge. Elected to take winter route via Tigger down, talus fields were extremely annoying in mixed snow conditions - lots of trap doors and loose rocks, but manageable. Snowshoes definitely not needed at any point. 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2022-11-13, By: mtn14
Info: Hiking the road to the upper trailhead is no problem. Post-holing and rock testing throughout the Tigger peak section made for slow going. Speaking of Tigger peak, the final of the three avalanche shoots seemed pretty sketchy to me - might have taken the winter route if I had to do-over. The rocks that indicate the new(ish) reroute to the switchbacks up to the ridge were snowed over enough to make them look like part of the terrain, and saw at least one guy post-holing through the old route - GPS was helpful. Weather was perfect, as was the peak and the views - even got to see a couple mountain goats! 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2022-10-29, By: taymayday
Info: Deep, heavy snow through the boulder field and to the summit, about 8-12". We trail blazed up to 12,600' and had to turn around. Snow continued to look deep after that to the summit. The road was melting quickly as we were coming down from our hike, but it was still wet/icy/snowy in some spots. Took a 4WD Tacoma up to 10,800' and had to stop there due to heavy snow on the road, which seemed to have melted some by the time we left. 

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