Friday, July 2, 2010

Fourteener Friday #2

For today's fourteener, I chose Mount Princeton back in the Sawatch Range in an area called the Collegiate Peaks (go figure). Unfortunately, Ann couldn't make it today so it was just Dan and I.

We started the day at 3am to get to the mountain for a decent start. It took almost three hours to get to the Buena Vista area and the roads to the mountain. With the Xterra, we were able to drive 3 miles up the 4wheel-drive road to start the hike at almost 11,000feet. I drove up the narrow, steep road to a pull-off. Go Laurel!

We started hiking just after 7am, and there were already clouds in the sky. We knew the forecast wasn't stellar, so we wanted to move quickly up the trail. We followed the road on foot for a mile or so and then turned off along the ridge of Tigger's Point (baby mountain on the flanks of Princeton).

Mount Princeton

There was lots of scree from here to the top, but most of it was pretty big and relatively stable. The entire time we were hiking the circumference of a big bowl and were able to see clouds build throughout the day. They started as whispy little clouds and ended up building into an angry-looking thunderstorm, that luckily kept moving east of us.

We summited before 10:00, had a quick stay and headed right back down. There were a lot of other clouds building so we wanted to get back to the car quickly. Once we got back in the trees we heard thunder from the storm in the east, but we managed to stay dry and safe. It was a short hiking day, as we were at the car around 12:30, but we were happy to head down away from the storms. We drove through Buena Vista and Leadville on the way home.

This was my 14th 14er (25% complete) and Dan's 11th (20% complete). Yay!

On the way down we saw this on the side of the 4WD road. What is it?

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