| Princeton from Radio Towers June 4th 2005
I dont know why it took us so long to summit, but we left the radio towers at 6am, and didnt summit until 11:30.
I know, thats terrible. Granted, it was the first climb of the season for both of us, but it was disappointing, nonetheless.
We made it to the radio towers and pitched the tent by 10pm Friday night. We both ate some sandwiches and hit the sack for the early start in the morning. The weather was very windy and cold that night. I could here the snow hitting the tent like sand.
We awoke the next morning and started up the road. We reached the point where the road turned south to the mine, and I knew we must be close to the trail, but couldnt discern any clear markings. There was a snowfield across the road in front of us, which we crossed, looking for the trail. It wasnt until I stopped and turned around, that I saw the trail leading up the shoulder of Tigger. Oops. Turns out, the snow field covered the beginning of the trail making it impossible to see.
Once we climbed up to the ridge at 12000 ft, near treeline, the windy was nasty. THe summit was shrouded in some mean looking weather, but we pressed on.
The trail is pretty rugged (is this mountain really just one big pile of rocks???), we we kept on, all the while keeping an eye on the spot we thought would be a good location to peel off the main trail to the old mine, and up to the ridge.
There werent any established trails that I noticed along the way which did this (despite knowing they exist from all that Ive read), so we made our own way.
The going was very slow due to the fresh snow that had fallen the night before, making the footing on this rocks pretty slippery. It seemed to take forever to gain the ridge. On top of that, we seemed to waste a lot of time putting on and taking off our crampons to cross the snowfields.
From the saddle, the hike is pretty straightforward, and not that difficult. The descent was again, an exercise in choosing the "correct" route. We chose an almost direct route to get us to the established trail that lead to the mine. Unfortunately this route meant we had to sramble over an endles boulder/rock/scree field to get there.
All in all, we made the summit, and thats good. But I feel like it was a lot harder than it shouldve been.