Mount Princeton (14,197′)

Adventures3 Comments

Distance 13.35 miles
Moving Time 3 hr 30 min
Summit Elevation 14,197 feet
Elevation Gain 5,199 feet
Route East Slope
GPS Export KML GPX
GPS Analysis Gamin Connect

Mount Princeton

As previously noted, I wanted to work a 14er summit into my Leadville trip this week. I was just going to run over to Elbert but JV said he would come up and threw out Princeton as an alternative. I hadn’t been up that one yet so I was game to add unique 14er #21 to my slowly growing list. So JV arrived at our place in Leadville later on Tuesday and I let him make camp in our spare bedroom. We were up at 5:30 AM and driving by 6 AM. We arrived at the trailhead around 7 AM and headed out. Here’s the view of the challenge from the road coming in. Always a bittersweet moment to see such a tall mountain and know that you have to make your way up every inch of that sucker.

Mount Princeton

We were to meet Sean O’Day somewhere on the trail to join our threesome on the day. He had camped up high the night before and was going to run down and meet us. I was not feeling peppy but was ready to roll. JV said GO and was gone. I think there was a race that I wasn’t registered for. I cut a switchback to try and reel him in for humor but it just burnt me harder. Oh well. Have a good day, JV! Shortly thereafter, Sean came down to me and turned and headed back up with me. We exchanged some hellos but then saved our breath for the climb that was underway. The start of the trail is a 4WD road.

Mount Princeton

My heart rate wasn’t really sitting where I wanted it and I felt like I was pushing too much. It wasn’t coming easy. I ended up falling off pace and Sean went ahead. My phone rang at 11,000 feet and I welcomed the call to get me a quick breather. Then suddenly arrived at the turnoff to the real trail. Easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. Comes right before 12,000 feet.

Mount Princeton

From there, it was a nice alpine singletrack. Nice views all around. There is the summit peeking out back there.

Mount Princeton

From there we quickly were onto the talus field. The trail isn’t hard or technical but its not well marked or easily found. I think most people just work across how ever they find it. I didn’t like the line I was on and it wasn’t fast going. I also didn’t feel in the groove across there. So I just took it easy and tested my footing as I went.

Mount Princeton

Mount Princeton

Saw JV around 13,000 feet as he was descending. He flew by and kept going for his R/T time would suffer if he made any small talk. I saw Sean just below 14,000 feet as he was descending. Caught a picture of him here further down. See him?

Mount Princeton

From there, it was only a couple more minutes to the top. Nothing too tough. Wasn’t tired at all but just didn’t feel any speed in the climb today. Felt more like a recreational outing. All good. Bagged another 14er. Fairly easy one in the grand scheme of things. Just a long approach if you go from the bottom and were hiking with a group.

Mount Antero to the south. Another one on my TODO list.

Mount Princeton

What’s the summit look like?

Mount Princeton

Looking north towards BV and Leadville.

Mount Princeton

Sort of a mix of smaller peaks to the west.

Mount Princeton

Its all boring to the east. But at least you get to see where you came from.

Mount Princeton

The trail back to civilization…on the left side of the hill below there.

Mount Princeton

Stayed up top for about 5 minutes then started down. Ran off and on. Tried to find a better route through the talus field only to travel on an equally slow path. Finally hit the singletrack section and picked up some speed. We had a last minute meeting called at work so I took out my phone and had 4 bars at around 12,500 feet. So I popped in my earbuds, dialed in, and listened to the conference call while I continued to descend. Hit the 4WD road again and didn’t feel like racing down. Took a nice comfortable pace so I could concentrate on the call and the trail. Its kind of a long winding descent but it went fast. Finished up the meeting about a minute before I hit the trailhead. Done.

JV, Sean and I ate lunch in BV and chatted about running, racing, and life. Good getting to know Sean. I don’t know how he can stand to live 3 doors down from that wanker, Brownie!

I went 13.35 miles with an elevation gain of 5,199 feet in 03:59:53, which is an average pace of 17:57. Heart rate average was 136. View my GPS data on Garmin Connect.

  • pittbrownie

    Another Pleasant Valley resident kicking your ass!

  • Jvoclv

    Good times, glad you could join.  You would have knocked a ton of time off if it were not for all those conference calls….  Hopefully we can do that again soon.

  • Seanpoday

    Fun stuff.  We’ll do one again.