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Mt. Princeton, CO

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Joined: 05 Dec 2003
Posts: 1057

PostPosted: 7/30/2011, 6:11 am    Post subject: Mt. Princeton, CO Reply to topic Reply with quote

Mt. Princeton, at 14,197 ft., was one of the 14ers left to do on “my bucket” list. Gpsjoe did this one in 2005 a year prior to me coming annually with him to Colorado and we had planned on doing this one together some day.
This year my husband and I stayed in an RV campground in Nathrop, CO where Mt. Princeton lies straight ahead within a short drive. I remember gpsjoe telling me you he drove up to the 12,000 foot elevation, thus shaving off a lot of elevation and mileage.
After reading about the access road in the ‘Colorado Fourteens’ book, my husband, I (and our two yellow Labs) thought we’d scope out Mt. Princeton Rd. on foot to see if our Dually could fit on this narrow rd. We hiked up from the Mt. Princeton TH (8,900’) to the radio towers at 10,820 feet. Although there are some tight spots along the way; it is possible (with a prayer that no opposite traffic would be encountered) to drive up to 10,820 ft. From the Princeton TH to the 10,820 ft. elevation is 7 miles RT which tuckered out our pampered Labs and short of the TH my husband slipped and got pretty banged up. Luckily, nothing serious happened just nasty scrapes and bruises. As luck had it, one of the folks in the RV Park had been looking to do Mt. Princeton and was hoping to find someone to hike with him. How was that for luck?
5:30am we started to our journey to Mt Princeton. We made it with no major problems to the 10,820 ft. As we hiked up to the 12,000 ft. spot, we were amazed how good that section of road was and plentiful parking opportunities along the way.
We easily found the junction to the trail that leads to Princeton. There are some obvious rock steps on the right side that lead up and over towards the west side of the base of Tigger Peak. From there the trail is well defined but after ˝ mile it became rocky. Another 1 ˝ mile further there is a very large cairn marking the trail leading up to the ridgeline and saddle that looks over to Mt. Anterro. From this point on there is another mile of slow going climbing over the rocky ridgeline to Mt. Princeton Peak. Of course the last ˝ mile is very steep but the reward is a spectacular view of the many 14ers in the area. We could even make out the shape of Pikes Peak to the east.
It was now time for a lunch break, some pictures and looking for the sign-in roster. The sign-in roster was a rather small tube stuck in between the many rocks that provide some shelter from the weather. To my disappointment; the stack of papers with signatures was all from April 2011 on. One of the men on the peak told me that the register tube gets emptied on a regular basis because that peak receives so many visitors on a daily basis. Supposedly, the names on the registry are then entered into a DB (Where to look for on the web is guess work). Clouds started to gather from all sides and became very dark, so we decided to head back. To our surprise there were still way too many people heading for the peak having at least one additional hour of climbing! Looking at the weather we felt this was not a good choice.
We did get rain but at that time we were almost back at the 12,000 ft. tree line level.
When we started our climb we contemplated hiking over to Tigger Peak but that plan was tossed once the clouds rolled in.

This was my first hike in CO this year without my hiking buddy gpsjoe. This one is for you Joe!!! Miss you my dear friend. Sad
Nobody can make you feel inferior
without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
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Canyoneering is my 'Happy Place'

Joined: 27 May 2003
Posts: 5578
Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: 8/1/2011, 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Sounds like fun Gabriella! I know your life is so very different without Joe. Keep up the miles and the peaks!

I want to shine!
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Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 3350
Location: Chandler, AZ

PostPosted: 8/1/2011, 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Glad to see your trip report. Keep on hiking! It will be different without dear Joe to share the summit but I am sure he is there with you in spirit.
Life is but a dream ...there is no end to what you can dream!
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