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Our Hike Of Mt. Princeton

Photos and Videos - Our Climb Of Mt. Princeton Via The Standard Route

Early Sunrise Dale Dawson and I, both residents of Buena Vista, climbed Mt. Princeton on August 30, 2011.

We got up waaaaaay early. My alarm clock went off at 3:30 a.m., and Dale pulled in front of my house at 4:20 a.m. We wanted an early start considering the many early afternoon rainstorms that had been developing over the mountains lately.

This first shot was taken at 5:30 a.m. We drove beyond the radio towers on Mt. Princeton Road. Beyond those radio towers, there are three distinct sharp turns (i.e. switchbacks), and we parked at the third and highest switchback. This was the view of our sleepy town of Buena Vista. The first rays of light were rising above the mountains to the east. We had our flash lights and I must say it was fun to hike in the dark. :)

Colorado Sunrise


As we first hopped onto the Mt. Princeton Trail, the colors of the sunrise became prettier and prettier.

In the second photo, one can see Pikes Peak, about 100 miles away to the right on the horizon.

I've spent a lot of time photographing and making videos of Colorado sunsets in 2011. My favorite happened last week: Colorado Sunset.

Steve Hikes Mt. Princeton Dale captured this one. I know this might sound sappy, but as I gazed at that magnificent sunrise, I was in awe. It is easy to become spoiled living in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, but in this moment, I was so grateful to live in Chaffee County, in such proximity to beautiful mountain views, trails and outdoor opportunities as this.

Mt. Princeton, CO Onward we continued, hiking toward the summit of Mt. Princeton.
Looking back toward the Arkansas River Valley with the Buffalo Peaks standing tall on the left. Some of the roads and landmarks of the town of Buena Vista can be seen in the upper center.
Mount Princeton Hike

Mt. Princeton

Above timberline, it's all rock fields!
Dale Dawson The trail switchbacks up to the ridge. At that point, one can look down toward Chalk Creek Canyon and the many mountain peaks out yonder, including Mt. Antero, Mt. Shavano, Tabeguache Peak and many others.
Catherine Martha Pugin A memorial to the late Catherine Martha Pugin.
Mt. Princeton Hike The climb continued. Getting closer to the top, I turned back to capture this photo. You can see the trail coming up the mountain. The prominent peak on the right is known as Tigger Peak (elevation ~13,300'). If you are viewing Mt. Princeton from the east, you may notice the "three humps of Mt. Princeton." Tigger Peak is the left hump.
Dale and Steve

The Summit Of Mt. Princeton

And then Dale and I made it! We had the entire mountain to ourselves. :)

Congratulations to Dale. This was his second Colorado 14er. He climbed Mt. Elbert a few years earlier.

As for me, this was my third climb of Mt. Princeton. (My other climbs happened in 2009 and 2005.)

So far, I've climbed 20 fourteeners. Below are some of them:

  • Mt. Sneffels
  • Mt. Yale
  • Mt. Evans
  • Mt. Massive
  • Huron Peak
  • Mt. Sherman
  • Mt. Princeton, CO Facing Buena Vista, Colorado.

    I could see my home and the homes of many others. So neat! :)

    Colorado Mountain Scenery Facing toward the southern side of the Arkansas River Valley. The city of Salida, Colorado can be seen way out there, with the Sangre De Cristo Mountains to the farthest right of center.

    Lastly, see that line in the valley? That's the old railroad grade that has become a hiking trail that went through Chalk Creek Canyon in the old days. :)

    St. Elmo, Colorado Because I've hiked this mountain two other times, I didn't take as many pictures.

    However, I did want to show the view toward the southwest, which includes the village of St. Elmo, Colorado way down in that valley. Most term the town a "ghost town" and I have a website dedicated to promoting it through my photography. Check it out:

    Hiking Above Timberline

    At the time, we had not seen any hikers as we climbed up the main ridge. Throughout the day, we only saw eight other climbers.

    Dale Dawson Huffing And Puffing

    It's not glamorous climbing up one of these babies! Here's a video of Dale working his way through all that talus.

    The Summit All To Myself

    Arriving a few minutes before Dale, my video of the views in all directions.
    Dale and Steve

    Just a fun video. I do more talking in this one. :)


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