Peak(s):  Mt. Princeton  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  06/25/2011
Date Climbed:   06/24/2011
Author:  DScott49
 Princeton, Ed's Triple Crown  

Well, this report ends a great week of hiking with my brother Ed from MI. We will call this one “Ed’s Triple Crown.” On Friday morning at 3:33 AM we headed off from Colorado Springs for Mt. Princeton. The last three numbers on the odometer read 666 (bad omen?, I think not!). As we came into the Buena Vista valley Princeton was lit by dawn’s early light (Image
Dawn breaks on Princeton

The drive up to 11,000 feet was uneventful, but if your vehicle has low clearance, you may have some difficulty with some of the dirt mounds across the road as you go above the towers. We parked along the side of the road and continued to hike up to the trail that starts steeply to your right at tree line. We were greeted by a herd of mountain goats on a nearby hill (Image
Morning greeters

The climb is not difficult at first but becomes a bit more difficult as you shortly hit the talus. Here is a picture that shows most of the route up to the peak (Image
Looking up to the peak
). Almost all of the snow that remains can be avoided and no snow gear of any kind is needed. The summit was warm with only mild breeze (Image
Ed and Dave at top
). Taking our time it took 3 ½ hours to summit and 2 ½ hours to return to the jeep.

Here is Ed celebrating his Triple Crown, “Ten feet tall and bullet proof!” (Image
Ed at top "10 ft. tall and bullet proof"

The views from the top were awesome (Image
Summit views 1
, Image
Summit views 2

The hike back down was easy but you have to watch the loose gravel and talus as you select your footing. You can now enjoy the wild flowers that are in bloom (Image
Wild flowers 1
, Image
Wild flowers 2
). Here is a shot of an other-worldly alien crawling out from under a rock; or maybe just a cactus, you decide (Image
Cactus or alien?

It has been an awesome week that we are sad to see come to an end. Three 14ers and countless great memories. Thanks for sharing with us.

Dr. Dave

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
Exiled Michigander

06/25/2011 17:35
To quote Johnny Cash: ”Nothing feels better than blood on blood.” How great to get three summits in with your brother! I'm dying to get my bro out here and subject him to similar 14er-style torture.

How was the difficulty of Princeton for a flatlander? You guys seemed to make excellent time. I'm having some friends from the Midwest out and am wondering if Princeton would be an okay first 14er for them. Your thoughts?


06/25/2011 22:31
Anyone who can quote The Man in Black can't be all bad I usually suggest Sherman to people doing their first 14er, but if your friends are in good shape, Princeton might be a good choice. If you can park at the radio towers (10,800 ft) or a little above, the hike is only 6-7 miles long. The 3,000 ft elevation gain is fairly well distributed and we found the talus hopping to be a welcome break. Have a great time!

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