Peak(s):  Mt. Princeton  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  08/06/2013
Date Climbed:   08/04/2013
Author:  macdaddy13
 Mt. Princeton Via Mt. Tigger  

As a semi unexperienced 14er Climber (ten 14ers prior to attempting Princeton) my friend and I (18 & 20 years old) decided that Princeton would be an ideal mountain because of its proximity to our home (Colorado Springs), and its relatively easy and short route up the east slopes. Although we did not intentionally do so, we were able to climb Mt. Tigger (13er) and then take a rather short traverse over to meet up with the Mt. Princeton main trail (east slopes) and then descended the mountain following the main trail.

We departed Colorado Springs at approximately 8:30pm and after our dinner stop we made it to Mt. Princeton road around 11:10 or so. We decided to take my friends rather large f-250 super duty up the 4 wheel drive road to the radio towers, and due to many factors (my friends lack of 4x4 driving experience, the dark road, and the sheer size of the truck) we arrived at the radio towers at approximately 12:10 AM. I am sure other vehicles can do it much faster because the road is not too rough at all, it is just very helpful to have clearance. In fact I spotted a Nissan Versa parked a little bit farther up the road than we were; I am not quite sure how they made it up, but hey, to each his own! We went to bed around 1 am in the bed of the truck parked at the radio towers.

In the morning we began at 6: 30 AM, snacking on some cold food for breakfast. Unfortunately we missed the Princeton trail turn off on the right of the 4x4 road (even though I was forewarned it is easy to miss by the Roach book), because we were trucking along at a pretty good pace while admiring the views on the left side on the road. At 7: 30 we reached the end of the 4x4 road (at the end you will notice a large cross near a grouping of trees, and apparently there is a young life chateau in the trees at the end of the road. We did not venture to explore that area though) and began up the 13er known as Tigger. The path was fairly easy to follow and we basically ended up taking large steps up boulders/assorted rocks. There are a few cairns along the way, but we concentated on following the ridge up.

The view 1/3 up Tigger. Easily can see where the 4x4 road cuts off and the grove of trees where there is a supposed hut.

We summited Tigger at 8:40 am.

On Top of Tigger, can see Princeton in background.

At the summit we easily spotted the traverse we would take to get back over to the Princeton main trail. From the Tigger Summit we saw Hikers taking the regular trail on the east slopes of Princeton. We simply walked across the ridge (took us 20 minutes) and at 9am we were back on the Princeton trail right as it starts to make a steep ascent up the mountain.

Ridge across from Mt. Tigger to Main Trail of Princeton

From that point it took us 1 hour to reach the summit of Princeton and summited at 10am.

Princeton Summit

After spending 30 minutes on the summit we rapidly began our descent along the Main Princeton East trail. Poles were extremely helpful and I would recommend them to anyone who attempts this mountain. It lightly hailed at 11:30 and the rocks became slippery but we were able to make it back to the radio towers at 12:50pm (2hrs 20mins descent). It took us about 30 minutes in the truck to reach the 2 wheel drive parking area, and then an additional 2 hours to return to the springs!

Why I wanted to do this trip report is to just recommend summiting Mt. Tigger and then doing the short traverse back to the Princeton main trail. We almost turned around after getting half way up to Tigger, but I am very happy we continued. The traverse was not sketchy at all, and we were the only people doing the route up Tigger! Loads of fun and I apologize if this trip report is not up to par (as it is my first one) but just wanted to hopefully help future climbers.
God Bless

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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

08/06/2013 16:37
Nice first report. I missed the Princeton trail my first time on Princeton too. Good thing you got to get an extra mountain out of it!


what is it about that turnoff?
08/08/2013 03:23
I did the same thing, (also forwarned) I wish I would have continued and done Tigger, rather than traverse across Princeton's bowl.

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