Mt. Princeton  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-24, By: JasonCrane
Info: 2nd unsuccessfully summit attempt on Mt. Princeton in 4 days. Snow storm conditions on Sunday, although no wind! Reached 12,600 ft. before turning back due to accumulating snow & waning daylight. Most of the snow is on the CR322A roadside of the mountain & did not see any of the infamous avy slide areas below Tigger Peak, which is primarily rock hopping & fluffy snow. Sections of CR322A felt slabby all during ascent/descent. Note, Princeton had steady snow all day & into the night, so expect a significant amt. of accumulation into this week.. Be safe! Disclosure: No AIARE Certification here, so use your own judgment! 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-23, By: JasonCrane
Info: Made it to ~11,700 ft. on a gorgeous day for hiking. CR 322 isn't plowed starting from the lower 2WD TH, however the 3+ miles road hike is heavily tracked by snowcats up to the 322A junction. Broke trail in varying snow depths from the communication towers up to the 2nd road switchback, before turning back due to a time constraint. Wore micros the whole way, but floatation would've been useful above the towers. As a caution, the 2 upper switchback sections of road were loaded with snow at steep angles. Circumventing these areas may be prudent, but I'm not an avy expert & use your own judgment. Unfortunately, did not get a view of the east face of Princeton above tree-line nor the publicized Tigger Peak avalanche terrain. 
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Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-16, By: Carl_Healy
Info: Summited Princeton on an unexpected bluebird day. Road from lower trailhead is actually somewhat packed by snowcats and tracked ATVs from those working up on the communication towers, less so beyond the towers (a couple almost ran into us on the way down) Didn't necessarily need traction below treeline though there were a couple places above treeline where traction may have been advisable. That being said there were also a lot of dry patches above treeline where you'd be taking your microspikes on rocks and dirt. Only used snowshoes to cut trench bypassing switchbacks from 11,000' to 11,680'. This to avoid potential avalanches on those steep east facing slopes, though didn't get a good look at those slopes to really see how loaded they were. Stashed our snowshoes there. Was initially planning to take the ridge to Tigger to avoid known avalanche terrain on the North facing gullies, however after seeing the gullies they were relatively dry and we decided to take the summer route. This route seemed fine save for one troublesome looking gully nearer to the switchbacks up to the Tigger-Princeton Saddle (maybe 25' across?). However it seemed pretty stable and there were plenty of boot tracks already through it (not to state the obvious that YOU could always be the one to eventually trigger it no matter how many have been through before), but nevertheless we traversed it one at a time to be safe. When trenching snow it had an annoying punch crust below treeline that we punched through on many occasions even with some pretty large snow shoes. Above treeline snow a lot harder in most places. 
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Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-07, By: supranihilest
Info: The road is bootable to the radio towers. We wore snowshoes from that point until we were on the ridge below "Tigger", where things dried out considerably. We left our snowshoes here and continued on the standard trail up Princeton. There are two snow-filled gully crossings, both have giant trenches through them. The first simply doesn't have enough to snow to be a concern, and the second felt very stable. Still, we crossed one at a time just to be safe. The entire remainder of the peak is a mess of snowy talus and boulders and snowy trail/booter segments. Nothing difficult right now except picking the best line through it all. Microspikes quite useful above treeline. Flotation only needed for the road approach. Ice axe not needed. 
 
Route: Up & over Tigger, down summer trail
Posted On: 2021-01-05, By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: Well-trenched and bootable until radio towers. From there to treeline, flotation could be nice, though we stubbornly stuck to postholing (edges of road were shallow in many places, however). Cut up to start of Tigger ridge just before summer trail split to minimize travel on hard snow. From ridge - Tigger - Princeton summit is a mix of thin snow/ice and rock; we were able to stick to rock enough that traction was unnecessary. Wind and something resembling warmth had worn down the snow in the gullies crossing the summer trail enough that we felt comfortable taking that way down. We crossed those one at a time to be on the safe side, but what snow was left was fairly compact. Obviously that could change after the next storm, though... 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-12-31, By: bmcqueen
Info: Quite a bit of snow up there! The road was trenched to the radio towers, then we became the trenchers from there. Wore snowshoes until we were on Tigger's rockier ridge (still lots of snow with ample trap doors waiting to grab a knee). We went up and over Tigger both directions as the gullies the summer route crosses had enough snow to make them a bad place to be. Wore spikes from Tigger summit to Princeton summit. 
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Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-11-25, By: Conor J
Info: There is currently about 6 inches of snow on the entire road up to the radio towers, making the hairpin turns extremely hard to navigate without 4WD or chains perhaps. There was a boot track up until the end of the road portion of the trail, which is now much more established. The trail becomes quite treacherous where it goes on the north side of Tigger Peak, as there are spots with deep snow in and around all of the talus. I stopped at around 12,500 and turned back. The next big storm will also most likely make this section of trail hazardous due to avalanche conditions. Unless things melt out a bit, be very cautious! 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-11-22, By: tlgold1990
Info: 9.5 hrs round trip from radio towers. Can't drive pass radio towers, too much snow. A few icy spots driving up to the towers made it a little sketchy in the Ram 1500. Lots of snow, made some of the route finding difficult. Postholed only a few times. Trekking poles going up. Microspikes coming down. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-11-22, By: Alpinefroggy
Info: Road drivable to towers and not any farther. Snow is covering good portions of the trail and slick hard ice is abundant. Poles and micro spikes highly recommended. Trail also gets lost in the snow here and there. Overall a nice day on the mountain my party was one of only 2 others on the mountain . 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-11-23, By: humphreysre
Info: Road is in good condition to towers. We were able to make it just above the radio towers in a Jeep Cherokee and a Subaru Crosstrek with no problem. No snowshoes needed on the rest of the road in or on the upper route. Microspikes are needed; poles and an ice axe were very nice to have. Windy and cold, but that is to be expected. Overall, super fun and beautiful day in the Sawatch! Get out there, folks!! 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-11-22, By: MOUNTAINMANMIKE88
Info: All clear mainly to the towers. Then thats there its snowy. No snow shoes needed but maybe a crampons in a few areas unless willing to bag tigger pk. It was snowing and windy on us all day. Not all bad at over 12 13,000 of course snow but not all deep. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-11-17, By: katedewey11
Info: Parked at 2wd trailhead, but the road looked easily drivable to radio towers. I wore spikes on road above towers, but could be done without. Some big snowfields on back part of Tigger Peak that I went way up & around. Ridge just with snow between the rocks. Only one on the mountain today. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-11-05, By: Hannah_Madden
Info: Road is drivable to the radio towers. Road after has some snow patches in the shade, a little slippery later in the day so poles or microspikes would be helpful but not totally necessary. The trail has some light snow cover but a beautiful boot pack. Not too soft and not too hard. Spikes would be helpful if you wanted but we were too lazy to put them on and we were fine with just poles. Much less snow on the upper slopes. All in all, it was a beautiful day. No wind or a cloud in the sky all day! 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-11-01, By: salmanalsaif
Info: Very different from Sherman the previous day. Started at the 2WD TH (Garmin measured 13.9 miles RT). Very warm, sweating most of the way until the last part of the 4WD road. No winds to speak of until starting the final east slope ascent (the last mile), and they weren't bad. Spikes helped in places, especially on the way down as I was able to run on the tire tracks (didn't spike up during ascent till mile 4, walked between the tire tracks). They also helped during the last 2 miles. There was a good amount of rock crunch, but that's unavoidable at this point. Did take them off occasionally. Trail is hard packed at this point, no snowshoeing necessary. Only 2 others out there all day. 
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Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-11-01, By: Galileo
Info: Snowy and difficult, but passable, even for someone without much snow experience. The 4x4 road all the way to the base of the trail itself is quite snowy but completely easy to walk on. It gets difficult when you cross the gullies through snow-covered talus, but if you account for moving at ~1/3 your usual speed from there to the summit, and you're ready to put in a lot more effort into the ascent, go for it. The photo is of the snowy talus beneath the ridge. 
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Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-25, By: mommyhiker
Info: Relentless strong wind, sometimes strong enough to knock people down. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-12, By: Lucas Pattie
Info: Totally still at the lower parking area at 6:45 am when I started, but more breezy as I got higher up. When I reached the trail junction at 11,800', I came across someone who said they turned back due to high winds. Winds did indeed pick up a lot just after this point, but then calmed down for most of the rest of the stretch along the east slopes. However, the winds got brutal when I reached the ridge, and were so strong at the summit that they darn near blew me over. Not really much snow to speak of yet - just the winds today. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-05, By: mtgoatmike
Info: Trail is dry all the way up from the lower parking lot, past the cell phone towers, and on to the trail. There were patches of avoidable snow on the north facing sections below the summit ridge. The summit was dry and had a few sections of loose dirt. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-29, By: marcusmartin
Info: Perfect summer conditions. No snow on the trail. Parked at the 11,000' TH at 10 am. It was T-shirt weather all the way to the summit. No wind - absolutely the most beautiful day possible to hike a 14er. Approximately 1,000' below the summit the trail is very difficult to find and seems to go off in different directions. There are cairns but some are hard to locate. Just keep moving in the direction of the summit and things seem to converge. Note, the road from the radio towers to the upper 11,000' trail is very dicey - extremely narrow. A tree branch clipped my passenger side mirror and broke it off. No room to pull over if a car is coming down. It was very difficult to turn my standard 4 Runner around at the 11,000' TH and point the car back down the road. I had to have someone assist me in the turnaround effort. Don't try to drive past the 11,000' TH - the road narrows even more. Not sure how you would turn around if you pass the 11,000' TH. See photos. 
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Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-26, By: ktfoote628
Info: Lots of small patches of snow... Nowhere near enough for traction to be helpful on a long stretch but enough to make the rock hopping extra tedious. Wonderful job done by road crews! Very smooth road past the radio towers. However the road is still so steep and narrow, you couldn't pay me to be on it on a weekend!! 
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