Peak(s):  Mt. Princeton  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  08/15/2010
Date Climbed:   08/14/2010
Author:  SuzanG
 Mt Princeton-not that easy  

I hadn't done this peak in 10 years but had to do it-to undo the bad memories from the first time! The first ascent was done from the trailhead in boots that were new(er) and too small. Took us like 10 hours round trip and I was not a happy hiker.

This trip started with an attempt on Thurs. the 12th. I started about 1/2 mile up the road-where the Colorado trail goes off and we made it all the way up about 1/4 mile past the trail junction, where we could see clouds coming over the ridge and hear thunder in the distance. It wasn't even 8 am. in the morning!

We turned around and it started raining and the thunder was getting louder. We ran down into the trees and were soaking wet. Glad we don't wear cotton! It stopped and then started raining a couple more times as we descended to the car.

It was to be a beautiful day on Sat. the 14th, so we set out to try again. This time I had decided to hitch a ride to the towers, if possible. Husband still wanted to do it from the bottom for his Ascent training. Got to the TH at 6 am. and started up the road. Within about 10 min. some folks came by and had room for me to ride up with them. Yeah! They dropped me at the radio tower and it was a pleasant hike from there to the junction. It isn't as steep from there to the junction as the lower road, I realized.

The trail was pretty straight forward-but rocky until the saddle. There is a lot of small rock & boulders-so was glad to have worn my leather light hikers. Once on the ridge, there were numerous trails that traversed every which way up to the summit. We stayed up as close to the ridge as possible and did fine. There was loose bare sections that were especially difficult coming down. I was glad I had my pole to help me on the descent.

For some reason I thought this would be an easier hike-in that there would be an actually trail going up that was easier to follow. It was a bit tricky.

I would not recommend this one to anyone who is fairly new at hiking 14ers for the following reasons;
There is exposure, especially if you go along the ridge-very airy
It's a long haul if you have to park at the bottom, if you drive up, be prepared for a nerve racking ride down-very narrow road with drop offs and few pull offs or turnarounds
Have strong ankles-or high top hikers-so you don't sprain something going up or down.

This is one of the more "Grand" mountains as if towers over Buena Vista! One of my favorites to look at, for sure.

 Comments or Questions

08/15/2010 17:33
for a nice TR, that gives some good perspective. I agree that the climb from the saddle can seem quite intimidating, especially if one is new to the 14ers. And starting from the bottom of the road is an exercise in self-abuse which, fortunately, can almost always be avoided. Now, as to ”exposure”...well, there's some more interesting stuff out there!

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