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Handies Peak Climber's Log

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lmillerRoute Climbed: Grizzly Gulch Date Climbed: August 9, 2004  Sucess!
Beautiful day, great hike. We were a party of four. Only saw 2 other hikers all day who had summited from American Basin. They said several more parties were hiking from that direction but we did not see them. View from the summit is spectacular.
Posted Aug 20, 2004 11:51 am

The Lower MarmotRoute Climbed: Grizzly Gulch Date Climbed: August 5, 2004  Sucess!

The Lower Marmot

Excellent climb, it rained the whole time, but there was no thunder. I could almost see my outstretched hand from the summit!
Posted Aug 8, 2004 8:45 pm

RatballsRoute Climbed: American Basin Date Climbed: 5 October, 2002  Sucess!


Climbed Handies as my first San Juan peak, one snowy and lonely October day, a couple of years ago. Kinda nearly almost met a bear. Trip report is here.
Posted Jun 23, 2004 7:10 pm

mountainmotaRoute Climbed: American Basin Date Climbed: July 2002  Sucess!


Easy 14er!
Posted Jun 15, 2004 7:29 pm

bc44caesarRoute Climbed: Grizzly Gulch Ridge Traverse Date Climbed: 5 Jun 2004  Sucess!


Climbed to Grizzly Lake and then on to the ridge up a few moderate snow slopes. From the 13,500' saddle I dropped my pack to run up Pt 13,971 and then continued traversing along the ridge around the basin until I summitted Handies and then Whitecross before returning. Great weather and views from all the summits...much more fun than simply climbing Handies by itself.
Posted Jun 9, 2004 5:46 pm

sbkelleyRoute Climbed: Grouse Gulch Trailhead Date Climbed: July 2001  Sucess!


I really wish I could have seen this climb, but I paced Blake Wood during the 2001 Hard Rock 100 over this peak in the middle of the night. It was about 1:00 a.m. when we got on top and saw a gorgeous crescent moon setting in between the summits of Redcloud and Sunshine. Next time, I'll climb it in the day :)
Posted May 12, 2004 2:59 pm

Scott M.Route Climbed: Grizzly Gulch Date Climbed: July 10, 1998  Sucess!

Scott M.

Climbed this as part of the Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance Run. This comes at about 35 miles into the race. Some touch and go weather was developing as I topped out. Descended toward Grouse Gulch. Did this peak again in 2000 from American Basin. Outstanding wildflowers and more time to look around when I wasn't in a race.
Posted Feb 16, 2004 10:33 am

jrfRoute Climbed: Grizzly Gulch Date Climbed: July 8th, 2003  Sucess!


Absolutely beautiful! Gorgeous! This is the most amazing hike I've done yet on a fourteener. Not a cloud in the sky. Warm weather. Unbelievable views in every direction. I had the summit to myself for the entire time I was there (almost 40 minutes). I can't recommend this route enough.
Posted Oct 5, 2003 8:15 pm

RyanSRoute Climbed: North Ridge (standard) Date Climbed: September 15, 2003  Sucess!


What a spectacular time to visit Handies! Covered in fresh snow from the previous week's storm, Handies and surroundings were stunning, to say the least. We got to stay on snow for most of the ascent, and then we headed over to neighboring 13er, Whitecross Mountain, for an enjoyable light scramble. A TR is available here.
Posted Sep 15, 2003 9:50 am

big_gRoute Climbed: Trail from American Basin  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 15, 2003


Stormy morning so I waited it out and got a later start: 08:15. Hit the summit 2 hrs and 3 minutes later. Not too shabby. I really liked that upper basin area. it was a scenic surprise. Did not want to linger up there with the clouds building so I hustled back down to the TH and then to Silverton for my reward.
Posted Aug 16, 2003 10:11 pm

charmsRoute Climbed: Grizzly Gulch Date Climbed: August 3, 2003  Sucess!


Handies was the easiest 14er I've done so far, but it was beautiful to hike through the forest near the stream, up to the basin with a cirque all the way around you. The marmots were out and plentiful. If you prefer solitude I definately recommend the eastern/Grizzly Gulch approach. We descended down into American Basin and it was pretty crowded. We didn't see anybody else on the Grizzly Gulch side until we reached the last scramble to the top, then we saw a lone climber down in the basin 2000 ft below.
Posted Aug 5, 2003 8:29 pm

mmoerkRoute Climbed: East Slopes Date Climbed: July 6, 2003  Sucess!


What a gorgeous hike. Once above treeline, the trail follows a mountain stream, and in the summer there are lots of wildflowers. There were also lots of marmots out. Although it was probably 70 degrees out when I was at 12,500', half an hour later it was snowing on me. Fortunately it cleared up and after waiting out the snow, I made it up to the summit no problem.
Posted Jul 13, 2003 12:21 am

GrantRoute Climbed: American Basin Date Climbed: June 29, 2002  Sucess!


WOW! American Basin is one of the most scenic places I have had the privilege to visit in Colorado. I went at the right time because the wildflowers were absolutely incredible. They were everywhere and there were numerous varieties and colors. There were some waterfalls in the area and the scraggy mountains in the backdrop (one of them is a century peak) made for a very enjoyable hike. I was just snapping away with the camera.

As for the hike up to the peak it was pretty easy, but the last 500 feet to the summit I would say was the hardest. Nothing really difficult but a good climbers trail. The top of Handies in my opinion has the best views of the San Juan’s. Its right in the middle of the range and you can see everything. I sat at the top for and hour and fifteen minutes and headed back down with a nice lady I met at the summit. She wasn’t intending on doing the summit but here dog took off and she followed him all the way to the summit.

All I can say about Handies is WOW. It probably isn’t as scenic when the wildflowers die out for the year thou.

Posted Jun 11, 2003 8:21 pm

KaneRoute Climbed: Standard East Slopes Date Climbed: 1996  Sucess!


This is as non-technical hike there is. A perfect hike to a wonderful summit. Great views of Half Peak and wildflowers galore.
Posted May 28, 2003 6:50 pm

mtnhiker13Route Climbed: Standard Date Climbed: September 2001


A wonderful mountain. My first 14er in the San Juans on my first trip to the San Juans. We summited right after 9-11. The CMC (or someone) had planted an American flag at the top. A memorable ascent.
Posted Dec 27, 2002 8:25 am

markmayRoute Climbed: Up from American Basin and Down Grizzly Gulch Date Climbed: June 2002  Sucess!


Great hike! I want to do this one in the winter next.
Posted Dec 8, 2002 9:42 am

rmjwintersRoute Climbed: Grizzly Gulch Date Climbed: August 24 2000  Sucess!


I PROPOSED to my wife Melissa on the summit! This was her first 14er and she had battled back from pnemonia to get here. What a day!
Posted Oct 6, 2002 1:32 pm

mr_gRoute Climbed: West Slopes Date Climbed: August 24, 2002  Sucess!


Nice trail to the top from American Basin that switchbacks up near a lake (Sloan Lake, I think).

We were up in two hours, and spent almost an hour on the summit in perfect weather. For once this year our view were NOT obscured by smoke or haze!

Posted Aug 26, 2002 5:17 am

Bob BoltonRoute Climbed: Grizzly Gulch Date Climbed: July 1, 2002  Sucess!

Bob Bolton

After driving from Washington (essentially sea level) to Colorado the day before and camping at the trailhead, I was afraid of altitude issues on the first day out. But we both did fine. The area has been extremely dry, so the wildflowers were disappointingly at a minimum. Also, with all the fires, probably predominantly the big Arizona one, the air was very hazy and the views were limited. Nice mountain though, and a very enjoyable day.
Posted Jul 5, 2002 4:22 pm

wayneaflickRoute Climbed: American Basin Date Climbed: August 5, 1994  Sucess!


My son, Patrick, and I planned on doing Redcloud and Sunshine but when we woke up at the trailhead there were lots of people getting ready to climb. We decided to move up the road to American Basin and climb Handies to avoid the crowd. The climb went well except when we got to the summit, there were all those same people. They had used the Grizzly Gulch route. Guess I should have talked to someone before changing my mind. This has got to be the best viewing summit around.
Posted Jun 24, 2002 10:02 pm

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