| Princeton 13ers
October 29, 2008
~14.4 Miles, ~6,000 Gain with car shuttle
Since I had some extra days off and the forecasted weather was supposed to be excellent, I had to squeeze in some peaks before the snow flies. I chose to do an easy day trip to some less climbed thirteeners near Buena Vista.
My wife and I left Denver around 6:00 AM and made the drive up to the Green Timber Gulch trailhead just west of Cottonwood Lake where we started hiking around 9:00 AM. Since I had a much longer day planned I was going to bolt ahead and tag Pt. 12,837 first and meet my wife at the saddle. I followed an excellent trail, but just before the saddle between Pt. 12,837 and Pt. 13,078, I headed right off the trail and up some grassy slopes. The trail to the saddle was covered in 6 inch powdery snow, which made travel much slower and harder.
Once I reached the saddle it was a very enjoyable hike to the summit of Pt. 12,837. The wind was calm and the sun was shining. Views to the south were excellent. After a quick break I headed back to the saddle where I met up with my wife. We ate some lunch and after lunch my wife decided to head back down. She isn't quite as hell-bent on summits as I am.
I quickly headed up the gentle slopes of Pt. 13,078 and when I reached the summit, I could tell I still had a long day ahead. The descent off of 13,078 was a steep class 2 talus hop. As soon as I reached the saddle, I headed up toward Pt. 13,317 and initially it started as a gradual grassy climb. When I got closer to the ridge, the climb became more of a class 2 boulder hop to point Pt 13,299, the false summit of Pt. 13,317. Shortly thereafter, I was on the summit of 13,317. Still far away was Pt. 13,626.
After a short snack, I headed north down a gentle ridge and then back east toward the saddle which had an old 4x4 road crossing it. As I made my way toward Pt. 13,626, there was quite a bit of up and down. To avoid less elevation gain, I skirted to the north of Pt. 12,842. Once I reached the west ridge, which lead to the summit, I dropped my pack and made a quick push toward the summit. It was a nice class 2 ridge to the summit, and the summit had excellent views of Mt. Princeton.
For the descent, I returned to my pack, and headed northwest toward Pt. 12,495. At ~12,200 I headed directly north down a ridge and at ~11,600 I headed down a ridge toward the northwest. I aimed for an old mining road (shown on the topo) which would take me back to Cottonwood Campground where my wife would pick me up. My plan worked out well, and within no time I was back at the car.
Looking at Pt. 13,078 and 13,317 descending off of Pt. 12,837.
Pt. 13,626 and Princeton descending off of Pt. 12,837.
Gentle slopes of 13,078. Even with a trail.
Pt. 12,837 from Pt. 13,078.
Pt. 13,317, 13,626 and Princeton from Pt. 13,078.
False summit of 13,317.
Looking back at 13,317, 13,078, and 12,837 from 13,626.
Princeton from 13,626.
Sheep Mountain near Cottonwood Lake.
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