Peak(s):  Mt. Harvard  -  14,420 feet
Mt. Princeton  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  07/20/2014
Date Climbed:   07/19/2014
Author:  Somewhat of a Prick
 Hell March. My Sawatch Sufferfest.   

My Sawatch slog...

The numbers:
21 Miles
8k Elevation gain

The times:
10:45pm - Leave Denver

1:30am - Start from radio towers
4:00 - Summit Princeton
5:45 - Back at the car

7AM - Start on Harvard
10:45 - Summit
2:10 - Finish

I realize my numbers on Harvard are far from impressive, I hit a brick wall around 13k and my last name isn't Jornet. Back to the beginning...

I parked at the radio towers on the Mt. Princeton road around 1:20. The road is narrow, but not very difficult...I don't know how this TH road is the same difficulty rating as South Colony. I decided not to try and push my luck driving up higher and just park and go. I knew I was on the clock for finishing these two peaks in a day, forecast was calling for storms in the early PM(what a shock!) so I felt just parking and moving was the best. I hopped out and was moving at 1:30. I was running, then speed hiking, then running some more. I ran a good deal of the road and the early part of the trail, when the big talus started I was just hiking from there up.

I thought I was going to have more moonlight than I did, the moon was out about but for whatever reason it was just not illuminating much at all. My Black Diamond Spot kicked some ass though, I love that headlamp. Jeff and Sam, I hear you guys need headlamp that one.

As I was heading up I pushed off a huge rock and it shifted under my weight, causing my right shin to scrape onto the rock I was stepping onto. It was like a cheese grater, just peeled my skin up. I ripped off the flap and put a gauze pad and a wrap on it and was good to go. Thankfully the bleeding stopped.

Just a flesh wound:

I hit the summit at 4am, looked around for the USGS pin for my proof of summit, but could not locate one. The register will have to do!

Rocking that Iggy...

I found sticking on the summit ridge was the best way forward, at least in the dark. Fiddling around looking for cairns in the middle of the night was quite annoying so I just got on the ridge and went. Coming back down I made my way back through the giant talus ok and when I hit the dirt path/road I hauled ass back to my car, again because I knew it was a race against time for Harvard. I got some weird looks by the hikers just heading up at this point.

Some shots on the descent:

I hopped in the car and was ready for hell trying to leave the narrow road as everyone else was starting to drive up.

Just as predicted...I had to navigate past several drivers that were scared to death and/or didn't know how to drive. driver came around a turn and was just staring at me...expecting me to make a move. I knew there was no pull off anywhere near me, I was paying very close attention to where they were. Finally I just said F it, I need to get out of here and reversed about a quarter mile to the last pull-off. This goober passes by and I drive back to where I was and not 50 feet behind this mofo was about the widest pull-off on the whole road.

Princeton on my drive to Harvard:

I finally got my butt out of that road and got to the Harvard TH a bit before 7am. It was pretty crowded but there is ample parking all over that area. I took off running, covering the first 3.5 miles of the 7 mile ascent in one hour. From there I mixed hiking and running, making sure to keep cramming down the calories and the hydration. At this point I was still feeling quite strong. Shortly thereafter, I began to fall apart.

Some shots of the approach towards Harvard:

As soon as I got out of the willows, going up the first big bump towards the summit, I hit a serious wall. My body was just shutting down, every step became exponentially harder than the last. I even sat down at one point trying to collect myself. Speed went down a LOT here, but I wasn't about to quit especially since I could see the summit off in the distance with people on it. During this time Shari and a couple of her hiking partners met me as they were coming down. I had run into her before on Missouri and again at a happy hour gathering and she recognized me and her group provided some much needed motivation at that point. Was great to see a familiar face right then.

I limped, stumbled, and bumbled my way to the finish line. A few of the people on the summit knew I had done Princeton earlier and were cheering me on as I was climbing up the final summit block. I hit the summit and just collapsed onto a rock and took in the views and the heavenly breeze for about 20 minutes. I ate some snacks and saw the clouds getting thicker and more gray. Storms were coming for sure. I saw people starting towards Columbia and was thinking to myself..."too late".


I ran into a guy from part of a 14ers meetup, Sean, and we descended back to the cars together. It was great to have someone to talk to on the descent. He was a big trail runner and was getting his feet wet on 14ers so we had a lot in common. When we got past the boulders on the descent we both saw the clouds getting worse and started trail running down. Running at this point was hell on earth for me but I knew it was the best idea. Sure enough the thunder came. Then the rain. Then the hail. I was wondering what the heck all those people on the traverse to Columbia were doing...

What we were running from:

We made it safely back under tree line and I told Sean I could run no more, gas tank was beyond empty. He stayed with me and hiked with me all the way back to the parking lot. The descent would have been about 1000x more crappy without someone to BS with and talk to.

I hopped back in the car a little after 2pm and was off home to Denver for some much needed sleep.

I was alllll over that lazy river at Water World today too.

Comments or Questions
Nice work
07/21/2014 13:24
Yea man, I got graupeled and rained on coming off Columbia after the traverse back in 2011. Not exactly a party. Anyhow, way to crank some shit out man!

07/21/2014 14:09
I'm sure this would have been much better had your hat displayed a green and gold ”G” instead.

Pic 14
07/21/2014 15:42
Is that Blue Steel?

Somewhat of a Prick
The Tigra is a lot softer
07/21/2014 16:17
But its more of a catalogue look

speaking of mofos
07/21/2014 17:39
While 'common courtesy' goes a long way in the mountains, ultimately the uphill driver does have the 'right-of-way'.

07/21/2014 18:27

Nice Report!
07/21/2014 19:00
I am not sure why the criticism of the driving is necessary. Personally, when I've been headed up hill, I've backed down and out of the way many times when it made more sense.

Either way,way to crush it! I love how not happy you look in pic. 3

tough day
07/22/2014 02:59
good report

Armbar Chickenwing
For Real?
07/22/2014 03:35
Are you LeBron Jamesing??

White Buffalo
Killer Effort
07/22/2014 04:14
Nice work. Appreciate the time you took for the photos. Well done

We saw you running down!
07/23/2014 01:36
You jogged past my cousins and I just above the towers on Princeton, I was rocking the short-shorts and my cousin asked what you were doing because we were all thinking it You're an animal dude, good job!

Somewhat of a Prick
Short shorts
07/23/2014 12:44
I remember you! If I had any breath at the time I would have commented.

Lady McClimbsalot
Colorful language
07/23/2014 22:17
”Ass” ”mofo” ”F it” ”goober” ”BS” ... NICE. That middle finger sure sends good vibes, also.

Oh! And apparently no one knows how to drive but you (as you go downhill)
But at least we all know you run!
Remember... EVERYONE is timing you. AND we care.

Invitation ^^^^
07/24/2014 00:27
Have you received yours? To the 10th Annual Player Haters Ball? Hate, hate, hate, hate.

Lady McClimbsalot
^People still say ”hater?” NICE!
07/24/2014 05:59
I simply felt the need to say what we all were thinking. For every comment here there's ten that were withheld for ”politeness” reasons. I guess I just lack that filter at times

09/08/2014 15:02
Gratz on a successful trip

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