So it all started on Monday, 20 August 2012. I left home around 4:45pm and headed to the Mt. Princeton trailhead. I was driving my new 2012 Triumph Tiger 800XC. This was my “honeymoon” trip with this bike I have only had it for about 2.5 weeks and have only gone on simple little rides. This was the first trip were it was loaded down and was going to get dirty! The original plan was to camp at Princeton’s TH, then Tuesday (8-21-12) morning get a early sunrise summit on Princeton, hit up Tigger (13er) on the way down. After those two pack up the bike and head over to Baldwin Gulch TH and summit Mt. Antero. It all seemed simple and easy…but one moment of lost concentration cost me the Antero summit.
On the last sharp right hand turn below the radio towers by bike decided to lie down and rest. The bike only suffered some very minor marks on its right side hand-guard and mirror and a few small scratches on the tank (mostly from my leg rubbing against it picking the bike up). I, on the other hand, hit my knee pretty hard and this combined with the always wonderful down-climb made be decide that doing Antero just wasn’t a good idea. I mean the mountain isn’t going anywhere I can always go back.
Didn't get a photo while it was down but this was after I got it up
More about the actual climb; Monday night was beautifully clear for me. I camped in my bivy sack but didn’t even zip it closed. I actually just lied there staring at the stars for awhile before I dosed off. I woke around 2:00AM and ate some breakfast, packed up camp and stalled because I knew that if I left too early I was going to be sitting on the summit waiting for the sun. By a few minutes after 3am (3:06) I decided I couldn’t wait any longer and I hit the trail. It was pretty slow going once I got into the rocky sections. Either there was a hard frost or some freezing rain during the night because every rock especially everything above 13,700’ had a thin layer of ice on it. Never on the way up was I sure of my footing, I just kept moving slow and steady trying to not fall and bust myself up. I was a bit nervous that if something had happened being I was climbing alone and it was a Tuesday that it might be awhile before I got help if I needed it – so slow and steady won the race. I landed on the summit around 5:45AM. I truly think I could have easily taken about 30minutes off that time if it wasn’t for the slippery conditions.
By 6:30 the sun had risen enough to satisfy me and I headed off the summit and over to Tigger. I was standing on Tigger just over an hour later (7:42). I relaxed up here for about 10minutes enjoying the beauty of Princeton and the other surrounding peaks. I wasn’t planning on spending anytime on the top; just summit then start the down-climb, but I was overwhelmed by the magnificence of the mountains (due to a variety of reasons I hadn’t been out in the mountains for almost two weeks!) By 9:20 I was back to my motorcycle, packed up and leaving.
Before I got the bike loaded up for the trip home
I was surprised to pass about a dozen or so people on my way down. I guess I wasn’t as alone as I thought I was.
It was a beautiful day, a great day to be out hiking. Everyone I passed must have thought so too because not one of them would let me past without a well placed conversation. It is always good to see others out enjoying the mountains as much as I do.
Happy climbing! Be safe and enjoy!
Video of my Trip: (http://youtu.be/ZCJVLyfZ0q4)
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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