Adventure of the Month: Summiting Mount Princeton and Huron Peak
By Jeff Bush, Technology Consultant
Last month, one of the hiking adventures my friends and I experienced was summiting (making it to the very top of) Mt. Princeton and almost to the summit of Huron Peak in one day. Mt. Princeton has an elevation of 14,197 feet along with 3,200-5,400 feet of elevation gain, depending on how far your vehicle can make it up. Huron Peak’s elevation is 14,003 feet, and rises 3,500-3,600 feet from the start of the trail.
The team’s goal was to summit both in one day. This would total about 6,700’ of elevation gain and approximately 14 miles of hiking. Knowing it is summer time in the Rocky’s, we knew to expect afternoon thunder storms. That meant an early start on Princeton and hurry over to Huron as quickly as possible.
We broke trail on Mt. Princeton at about 3:05am. My teammates were slackers! This put us five minutes behind schedule. What do you do??? With our headlamps guiding our path, we made our way up a great trail and some class 2 scrambling in the dark. Cool thing about hiking in the dark is you don’t see how far you have left to hike. You just see directly in front of you! We were graced to the summit in time to watch the sunrise from 14,197’. INCREDIBLE!!! But, no time to play, we have another mountain to climb!
After hiking back down Princeton, packing up camp and driving to our next destination (Huron Peak trailhead) it was already almost 11am. Word of advice. Don’t start hiking a 14er that late in the day during the summer. Technically, you should be up to the summit and down before noon, due to almost certain thunderstorms. My whole team and I understand (and practice) this each time we climb mountains. However, we decided to hike to tree line and then inspect the weather. As we made it to the basin on Huron Peak, it began to rain and the clouds were nasty. No summit is worth being caught in an electrical storm at that elevation (believe me, I’ve been in one, and it is NO FUN), so we made the mutual decision to head back down to the car and try Huron again at another time.
All in all, it was a wonderful day of experiencing the majesty of Colorado, and a great time with friends. Maybe next weekend we’ll go up Huron Peak. Wait, that weekend is Culebra Peak…