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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-06-03||Route: East Slopes
Info: Road is driveable to first main switchback above radio towers before snow is blocking. A solid trail exists to the summit through snow on the standard route. 50% of the route is snow free. A summit ski is still in. The face is getting thin in spots.
|2016-05-29||Route: East Slopes
Info: As previous reports have stated, the road is clear to the campsites. You could drive a bit further up until snow drifts block the road, but there is nowhere to park. We started early (5:30) and the snow was pretty solid until 10 or so when it started to soften up. Would recommend starting early or you'll likely be doing a lot of postholing. I felt comfortable in microspikes - the trail is pretty well packed down but we saw a couple people with crampons too.
|2016-05-28||Route: East Slopes
Info: Road clear to camp sites above radio towers. Impassible snow .25 mile beyond last campsite. Significant snow on route on the slopes below Tigger all the way to the summit. Can be done in microspikes for the brave, but crampons highly recommended. No signs of any recent avalanche activity (unlike other nearby areas where wet loose have been prevalent). Expect a lot of time picking your way over the intermittent rock bands that poke out of the snow along the standard route.
|2016-05-24||Route: East Slopes
Info: Like previous condition reports attest- the road up to mt princeton is open. I drove my 2007 outback to the radio towers. (should have added another .3 mile to campsites) I drove up during the night and it a weird experience- for sure it takes some skill and conjones to take your medium clearance car up to the radio towers area. the route itself is nice. I climbed all the way in my ski boots. i thought i would be able to ski tour some but that wasnt the case. started 6;15 ( definitely too late) summit at 10 am. Skied down from the summit proper, and went down for 2k. Glorious skiing. I didnt want to leave the couloir early, but instead was punished a gruelling 500 feet climb back to the ridge in wet slushy snow. back car by 12:30. the drive down on princeton road was much easier due to two reasons- gravity and daylight!!!
|2016-05-22||Route: East Slopes
Info: Same as yesterday's post, road was clear and dry so we parked just above the radio towers. Snowshoes weren't needed but microspikes were a must. Started at 5:45 and reached the summit by 8:45. We missed the trail and ended up higher on Tigger than we would've like so it took longer. I agree with the previous post, take the standard trail up to the ridge and work your way up. That is the route we took down. It was very windy on the summit (damn near lost my hat) as I'm reading was the case on many other summits today. The hard pack snow was good in the morning up to the top and the whole route down was very slushy and slick (good amount of postholing). Got back to the trail head by 11:00. Looked like the skiers had a pretty good descent (saw about 10 by the time we got back)
|2016-05-21||Route: East Slopes
Info: The road is open to the radio towers, there is snow on the road starting just after the towers. Still a lot of good spring snow up there, it started getting soft around 10am. There is no need for snow shoes! If you stick to the regular trail the sidehilling makes snow shoe use terrible. After you get off the road head directly up to the top of the ridgeline and take the ridge to the summit.
|2016-05-21||Route: Visual observation
Info: Long range pictures from just east of the Mount Princeton hot springs on 05/21/2016 @ 3:15PM.
|2016-05-14||Route: East Slopes
Info: Photo from near BV. Sorry for so-so quality.
|2016-05-12||Route: East Slopes
Info: Road is clear to about 1/4 of a mile above the radio towers. Plenty of snow above timberline, spikes are a must and skis would save you a lot of heartache after noon. Wanted crampons on a few spots, but it's manageable. Snowshoes are pretty useless on the summer trail since the snow is so steep. Might be safer and easier to go straight over tiger peak rather than following the summer route. Evidence of small wet loose slides, and a hard slab underneath a thin layer of wind blown snow in the gullies, so be careful if you take the standard route. Tomorrow, the snow will be horrendous to walk on, but doable with skis.
|2016-04-09||Route: East Slopes
Info: East face of Princeton is in OK shape. Microspikes would be very handy both below and above treeline on a cold morning. Snowshoes are probably not necessary. Skiing from the summit is OK, mostly type 2 fun, with some type 1 once you get down on the apron. A lot of thin spots and too many rocks up high to connect everything together from the summit to the bottom. The road is not quite ready to drive up to the radio towers. Mostly it is in good shape up until the final switchback, where you can still run into some trouble.
|2016-03-20||Route: East Slopes
Info: Just in case you are going up before next week's snow and wind. Usual long walk for our dear underappreciated Princeton, but with a touch. Barebooted from TH to radio towers. Stretches of snow, but nothing more than couple of inches. No need for spikes or gaiters. At towers, snowshoes on, though spikes could do for some before it all softens. About quarter mile from towers, snowdrifts buried the road. That is the touch. Awkward (at least) walking all the way to timberline. And some sections just do not look right, safety-wise. See the photo. Today, it was about 4 inches of powder on top of old frosted layers. If with snowshoes, bushwhack shortcut straight up may seem like better and even safer option. One such shortcut is easy to spot about 200 yards after second switchback going up(counting from towers). Seems that on the way down, somebody (just one set of boot tracks) also continued from that point down to the first switchback, in order to avoid that section shown in photo. Which means that some could as well bushwhack up even from that first switchback, through brush. At timberline, instead of continuing to summer turn-off up the same drifts covered road, see if it is better to go right up the hill (red line) to meet the summer trail on the ridge (see photo). After that, you can see the dry option up the Tigger (which, remember, has a bunch of false summits, so be patient, photo). Just barebooting. Could have taken my summer boots today. Ridge also dry all the way to summit (photo). Alternative is to continue the summer trail, through patches of snow etc. Your choice.
|2016-02-21||Route: East Slopes
Info: Left the lower parking lot around 7am. A snowcat packed down the snow all the way to the radio towers. After that traction is necessary. Snowshoes or at least crampons are necessary. We only had crampons and postholed a little, but if it were much warmer, we would have postholed a lot more. There is no packed down trail above the radio towers. We shortcut one switchback on the road where the road looked unsafe to travel. We left the road for the ridge at tree line. The ridge up Tigger is snow free. We summited Tigger then down to the saddle and rejoined the summer trail. The ridge up to Princeton has a few snow fields that can be avoided by going off trail to steeper and less stable sections of the face, but was easier to putting on and taking off crampons every 200 feet. Absolutely beautiful at the top. We summited at 1:30pm. Sunny, low 30s, only a few high clouds, a calm breeze, and amazing views. We took the summer route on the way down. Do not attempt the summer route without crampons, an ice ax, and avalanche experience as there are about 8 steep snow field crossings. Nice hike down from the ridge and along the road. We got back to the parking lot at 6pm.
|2016-02-10||Route: East Slopes
Info: The road is closed at the parking lot. There is bootpack trench to the radio towers and snowshoe trench to timberline. I climbed the east ridge, which is sufficiently wind-scoured that snow can be avoided (Photo 1). It was also very windy, so I descended the summer route which looks clean from the summit ridge (Photo 2) but actually crosses several fresh windslabs (ex. Photo 3).
|2015-12-31||Route: East Slopes
Info: Mt. Princeton road is tracked. We did the winter variation up and over Tigger, used snowshoes a bit but probably could have done without. Standard route looks safe at the moment as well.
|2015-10-25||Route: East Slopes
Info: The access road is now closed to cars. The trail has lots of snow. The snow starts well before the radio tower. From the towers it‘s fairly manageable, but when you cut off onto the actual Princeton trail it gets significantly deeper. I post holed my way up the last mile / mile and a half and don‘t think I would have made it had it not been for my microspikes. I was able to follow footprints most of the way, but lost the trail about .5 mi away from the summit. Slow going.
|2015-10-18||Route: East Slopes
Info: The drive to the upper trail head in my stock Honda Element was trying. We clipped more than a few rocks as there are sections of the road that are potholed and rugged. The trail itself was dry, and no snow had stuck despite random flurries throughout the day. With these good conditions the trail was strenuous.
|2015-10-18||Route: East Slopes
Info: Started on the trail at 11,600ft just before 8am. The road to get to the top trailhead is pretty brutal if you don‘t have high clearance. We heard some rocks hitting metal far too many times so be cautious. It was snowing once we were at about 12,500ft onward and the peak was completely engulfed in clouds. Passing the sign where the woman was struck and killed by lightening was quite humbling and scary. Made it to the summit around 11:30am (though everyone else on the trail was far faster than us) and back at the car around 3pm. Long day for weak knees and scrambling over boulders the majority of the time. Snow is not yet sticking so may have a little more time to hike without extra gear.
|2015-10-09||Route: East Slopes
Info: Route is dry and clear of snow from top to bottom. Saw some small patches of snow/hail/ice on the north side of Tigger but they were easy to avoid and are probably gone by this point. At least until the next storm this one is prime real estate for a beautiful fall hike.
|2015-09-12||Route: East Slopes
Info: Beautiful day to be out - no clouds, lots of sun and great views all along the route, including aspen changing color. Made it past the radio tower (parking there was close to full) in my RAV4 & found parking a bit up the road at a small camp site. Much of the route is over talus which made for a long day for me, but no issues on the trail and - a pleasant surprise - almost no trash, no litter, and no leftover signs at the summit. For a Saturday there were not a lot of people out - in total we saw maybe 20 - 25 all day.
|2015-08-15||Route: East Slopes
Info: Hiked Mt. Princeton on 8/15. We started from the cell-tower lot around 6 am. We missed the turn-off from the main road at 11,200‘ (we were talking and distracted - so pay attention!!) and had to backtrack when we relalized we missed it. The trail was easy to follow until we hit the rocks - in that area we just followed what we thought was a good path and probably were off-trail slightly a lot of it. There were lots of people out and on the summit when we arrived around 10 am (we were moving slowly because I wasn‘t feeling great). As always, coming down was tough on the knees - especially in some of the loose rock areas and coming down the road was a bit challenging because of the loose gravel. Great hike and we loved the views of the Buena Vista valley and of Mt. Antero.