Peak(s):  Mt. Princeton  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  06/04/2006
Date Climbed:   06/03/2006
Author:  turbocat
 Princeton via Grouse Canyon  

Camped at Cascade Campground @ 8 miles down CO162.

Started @ 5:30am from Camgound, 1.3 mile to trailhead. Trailhead is unmarked but easily findable via the Roach book directions. I considered the start at the end of the jeep road before some tree trunks directly under some telephone wires. Passed this point at 6am.

The trail was marked and obvious...there were plenty of cairns. The only problem was that there were tons of blowdowns across the trail making it an obstical course. Avoid the urge to go up the canyon walls to the East or across the creek. Stick close to the Eastside of the creek. It‘s a scramble. Steep, loose, overgrown. The trail rises away from the creek at about .4 ...another temptation to climb East too soon...keep above the creek and keep going straight up the canyon. At about .5 the trail cuts right (East) in an opening in the trees and dives right into a dry gully. Very steep...more blowdowns and from the looks of it, lots of bear activity (judging by fresh scat, and freshly scrapped up trees). The gully comes out of the trees a bit above 11,000‘.

Stick to the gully for a while. It will eventully open up to the slope that leads to the 13,000‘ ridge...aim just right of a prominent outcropping. This is a saddle. The trail leads over the saddle and picks along just below the ridge (at least the one I followed). You may be able to take to the ridge immediately. You‘re looking for Pt 13,971‘. Lots of false summits but eventually you‘ll make the point. What a haul and still .5 to summit of Mt Princeton. Roach definitely did not detail the ridge in his book. I thought from the ridge over Point 13,971‘ was quite tough. My Image #2 is a look back at Point 13,971‘ and the time-consuming ridge. The rest is very straight forward. Take the ridge to the summit of Princeton. I summited at @ 1:30pm (Image #1). Way too long of a slog. I exited the Standard Route to Mt Princeton Road because I was wiped and the thought of dropping back through Grouse was not too appealing.

In all, I would probably recommend the standard route on Princeton unless you‘re looking for a far less traveled, way more challenging route. Grouse is tempting because it‘s 1/2 the mileage...but you‘ll wind up taking twice as long. You‘ll definitely avoid the crowds though.


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