Peak(s):  Mt. Princeton  -  14,200 feet
Date Posted:  08/25/2022
Modified:  08/31/2022
Date Climbed:   08/24/2022
Author:  overthe59hill
 Close only Counts in Horsehoes and Hand Grenades   

This was my 16th 14er / 10th solo. I am a slow senior hiker, the oldest on the mountain by my guess. I think there were about 20 other people coming and going, and two dogs on the rocks; one that seemed to hate it, and one that was doing great. I would not make my dogs go there. I will provide my timeline, so slow hikers can know what to expect, and faster hikers can get revved up to challenge this merciless pile of rocks. There were blessings mixed into the misery. The sky was blue and the breeze mild and refreshing. The expected thunderstorm didn't happen.

6:32 AM: I parked my Frontier a bggbout .30 mile above the radio tower.

6:56 AM: After a light breakfast, booting up, etc. I began the hike up the road.

7:43 AM: At 1.3 miles from my pickup I turned off the road onto the trail.

~9:30 AM: I took the left turn up for the ridge.

10:29 AM: I reached the ridge crest and had a great view of Mt. Antero.

1:00 PM: I reached 14,052' and continued to almost 14,100'.

1:20 PM: There was still another bump to go, but I turned around. A good arm could have tossed a grenade to the summit.

4:40 PM: I got back down to the trail and out of the rocks.

4:50 PM: I reached the road and from there it was a brisk return to the truck.

5:32 PM: I reached my vehicle.

At my last check on "My Elevation" I reached 14,095' and continued a little further.

Three factors bothered me a lot and made me decide to turn around, other than my achy legs and slow pace. I thought I was the last one on the mountain, and I did NOT want to be the last one, in case anything happened. It sounded like I was draining my hydration pack, and I did NOT want to be without water on the descent. The clouds were darkening and the wind was picking up and I feared the thunderstorm coming. I did NOT want to scramble down tons of slick rocks. It turned out I was wrong on all of those. Two guys who passed me earlier were still coming down behind me. I had more water than I thought. The storm never happened.

I decided NOT to count it as my 16th 14er. I just could not put one foot ahead of the other any more on the last bump. It's not in my character to turn around before reaching a summit, but I realized that I only do this for myself, and gave myself permission. I do wonder if having a partner would have made a difference.

It was surprisingly warm at the trailhead.
The steps from the road to the trail. A passing hiker took my photo for me.
The beginning of the trail.
The rocks are still ahead.
Big mountain up there.
At the ridge crest, looking at Mt. Antero.
I looked up and said "You have got to be kidding!"
A view down from 13,722' at the trailhead and the Buena Vista and Nathrop area.
People up there! Dang, I found out it was not the summit yet.
I was tempted to abandon my gear for a scramble to the top.
My intended summit sign. I gave a thumbs down because I hated to call it quits, and because it was so stinking rocky.
My Trail Forks app recording.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Comments or Questions
Not a bad call
08/25/2022 11:06
Turning around is never a bad call!

08/25/2022 11:13
It was not easy, and I almost turned around so many times before I did.

Good decisions made
08/25/2022 15:41
Good report, and i am sure others will take the warning that a 14er is not just a walk in the park. Two good decisions - you turned around when common sense said to, & you did not toss a grenade, as it may have just rolled back down on you! Ha ha

08/25/2022 15:54
I wouldn't want to lower the summit with a grenade. Or, maybe so.

Little Wolf
A for Effort
08/25/2022 16:36
You surely deserve an "A" for all that hard effort put out, and was still very inspiring for many of us seniors. Keep it up, and maybe ask someone to go with you next time to boster your energy and carry your burdensome pack toward the top.

08/25/2022 16:44
Thank you!

i just
08/25/2022 17:28
turned around on Holy Cross recently at13,300 since the clouds looked bad. 3 minutes later a rain and hail storm confirmed my worries. Because of weather issues, it took me 3 times to get to the top of princeton. Turning around has always proven to be a good idea in my adventures.

3 Times
08/25/2022 17:37
Cool that you went and got it! Third time was a charm! It took me two times to finish La Plata, and two for Massive. I don't think I will take another trip up Mt. Princeton.

hey there....
08/26/2022 08:09
I could go up again with you sometime, if you want to make another try at it.

Another Try
08/26/2022 08:18
I appreciate your offer! At this point I doubt that I will.

earlier start
08/26/2022 13:57
Consider an earlier start: a headlamp can get you started 30-60 minutes before sun-up, especially if following a road or trail like most 14ers have. And, bonus!, if there is a moon out, at least 15% full, you don't need the headlamp. Just consider this option.

Earlier start
08/26/2022 14:05
Yeah, it's something I have considered.

08/26/2022 16:07
Grenading the summit of Princeton (or perhaps just nuking the whole thing) would improve it significantly. That's my 2c on the peak.

08/26/2022 18:44

08/31/2022 20:57
You are still getting out and being active while enjoying great views. Well done.

Getting out
08/31/2022 21:17
Yes, that's the best part! Thanks!

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