Thursday June 20, 2024  

Outdoor Action 1999 Mt. Princeton Climb

The Mountain


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 (class year unknown), a Princeton student on a mapping field trip in Colorado on July 17, 1877, 122 years before our 25th Anniversary climb. Libbey later became a professor of Geography at Princeton.1

The Climb

Knocks on the door at 3:30 AM at the Ponderosa Lodge signaled that it was time to get up and get ready for the big day. The folks from the Ponderosa departed by bus and van meeting others at the trailhead at 5:00 AM for check-in. It was dark as we pulled up and after grabbing lunch and checking in people began the 4.5 mile hike from the trailhead to treeline and then 2 more miles to the summit.


Taking a break at Checkpoint 3 - Emily Getnick, Dick Getnick '64 and Pam Getnick '93


Heading up the Grassy Knoll.


Morning sunlight on the mountain


Happiness is hiking - Marty Becker, Marcella Kanfer '95, and Paul Gazzerro '92

1 Borneman, Walter and Lampert, Lyndon, A Climbing Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners, Pruett Publishing, Boulder CO.

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