Handies and Point 13,795 Combo

Handies and Point 13,795 Combo

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.90870°N / 107.4804°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking, Mountaineering, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class II with some optional Class III scrambling
Sign the Climber's Log


PT 13,795 is a Bi-Centennial ranked 109th highest in Colorado. From the summit of Handies Peak, continue East along the ridge. You have the option to summit the various un-official 13er points along the way.

Getting There

In Lake City begin measuring from the bridge crossing Henson Creek, heading south. Go 2.2 miles to the Lake San Cristobal Road and turn right. Go past the beautiful lake and up the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River. Continue to mile 14.3 where the road forks and a take the right fork up Cinnamon Pass Road. At mile 18.3 you will see the large parking lot at the Silver Creek - Grizzly Gulch Trailhead. An alternate way to reach the trailheads is from Silverton. Measuring from Silverton's north end, follow Hwy110 for 12.3 miles to Animas Forks, climb steeply east to reach Cinnamon Pass at 15.3 miles, cross the pass and descend on its east side to reach the Silver Creek- Grizzly Gulch Trailhead after 21.1 miles. A 4 WD is required for this approach.
There is ample parking available at the Grizzly Gulch trailhead. The trailhead also has toilet facilities.
(source kilimanjaro1 from his excellent & accurate Handies Peak page.)

Route Description

From the summit of Handies Peak (14,053), descend east along the ridge. Un-official PT 13,735 is the first objective along the ridge that you may either contour around or summit.
Ridge to PT 13,795
Looking back, you are awarded a fantastic view of Handies and your descent route down the ridge.
Handies E Ridge

Descend to a 13,300 ft saddle and from there you will see your next objective along this ridge, un-official PT 13,700. From the summit of PT 13,700, you can see what ups and downs await you along this ridge.
Summit of PT 13,700
Make your way carefully down the loose rock (and snow if it is there).
Descending PT 13,700
Once you have made it down, you may be able to spot a very faint trail leading to the point just below PT 13,795. There is some easy scrambling that will take you to the summit of PT 13,795.

The Descent

There are two main ways that I saw to descend from PT 13,795 that will take you back to the Grizzly Gulch trailhead. The first would be to descend north from the summit of PT 13,795 and onto the ridge that would take you over points 13,502 & 12,792. However, the north descent looked extremely loose, steep, & snowy. We elected to take a snow covered ridge down to an unnamed lake at 12,323 feet. You can see the ridge on the right in this photograph of the ridge leading to Handies Peak.
Handies Peak from PT 13,795
A few photographs of what to expect along this ridge in winter-like conditions
Heading down ridge from PT 13,795
Heading down ridge from PT 13,795
I shot a video of the ridge we used to descend, you can view it here: Descent ridge in relation to PT 13,795.

Essential Gear & Conditions

If heading out in the late summer, fall, winter or spring, make sure to have some winter gear. As of September 29, 2006, there were some avalanches that have already slid in this area. Take the necessary precautions and travel safely with this knowledge in mind.
Avalanche on Handies

External Links

TopoZone topographical map