Wednesday August 31, 2016
The Mt. Princeton Climb
Sponsored by the Outdoor Action Program at Princeton University
Information on Mount Princeton
- Zoomable Topo Map of Mt. Princeton - from www.topozone.com
- Colorado Fourteener's Guide to Mt. Princeton - good photos and maps
The Class of 1972 Climb of Mt. Princeton - July 2009
The 1999 Climb for OA's 25th Anniversary - July 1999
The 1997 Climb for Princeton's 250th Anniversary - July 1997
Mt. Princeton is part of the Collegiate Range in the southern Rocky Mountains. Located near Nathrop, Colorado along the Arkansas River Valley, the peak rises majestically from the valley floor at 7,059 feet to 14,197 feet. As you can see from the map, Mt. Princeton rises by itself from the valley floor, unconnected to other peaks or ridgelines giving it it's stately appearance. The views from the trail on the way up and from the summit are spectacular.
The mountain was originally named Chalk Mountain for the "chalk cliff formations." By 1873 the name Mt. Princeton was in use and it is suspected that Henry Gannett of the Hayden geological survey renamed the mountain in keeping with the other names in the Collegiate Peaks. Several silver mines were discovered on the mountain in the early 1870's and miners were climbing the slopes. The first recorded climb to the summit was made by William Libbey (1877), a Princeton student on a mapping field trip in Colorado on July 17, 1877, 120 years and one day before our historic 250th Anniversary climb in 1997. Libbey later became a professor of Geography at Princeton.1
Based on the tremendous success of this program Outdoor Action will be offering other Mt. Princeton climbs in the future. The next is scheduled for July 1999 as part of Outdoor Action's celebration of our 25th Anniversary. We will also be combining the climb with some trail restoration work as part of a volunteer effort with the U.S. Forest Service to improve the trail on the upper section of the mountain. For those who climbed up the basically trail-less scree slope, you know how much that section needs a developed trail. The Forest Service is working to improve the conditions on the mountain both for safer travel and to reduce the impact of hikers traveling willy-nilly up the scree which causes damage to fragile alpine vegetation and leads to erosion. We hope that Princeton and Outdoor Action can establish an ongoing working partnership with the Forest Service to help protect Mt. Princeton for generations to come.
Outdoor Action will also continue to offer outdoor programs for alumni and their families as we have since 1985. This particular trip was incredibly successful. We will continue to look for other similar venues and hope that you can join us.
If you are interested in future OA Alumni Trips, please check out the OA Web Site for more information.