Saturday was the day for an easy mountain with fellow hikers Dave, Craig, and Tom. After an early start from Colorado Springs and a long drive up the 4wd road to Mt Princeton above 12,000′ we determined we had actually driven higher than we wanted, so we headed down to about 11,800. We found the well-worn trail quickly and made it up to 13,000 in good time. There comes a point you must leave the trail and ascend directly to the saddle between Mt Tigger and Princeton, which we did all at different rates of speed. From the saddle is an easy ridge climb to the nice summit.
Tom and I arrived first with Craig and Dave arriving in about 10 mins. We had timed our visit just right to avoid the crowds that were on the peak this day and we spent about 30mins on top under clear blue skies with some puffy white clouds. Initially it was so warm we could take our shirts off until we cooled down. It took us about 2 hours to reach the summit and about 2 to descend. Along the way going down, we must have passed 20 people and just as many dogs 🙁
As Dave and I sat at the trailhead while Craig and Tom got the 4 runner from higher up, at least another 10 people walked by us just heading up (1200 noon). Some were families with children and some were couples. We saw a lot of beautiful views from this mountain, but unfortunately what will linger with me are the people we saw!
Maybe it is best to get the 14er’s finished (so to speak) so friends and I can climb 13er’s with no one around :-). Of course, these folks were saying the same thing about our group! 🙂