Upchuck Ridge

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Half a day
Class 2

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Created On: Jun 8, 2002
Last Edited On: Jun 8, 2002


The climb starts in Sherman at the Cataract Gulch trailhead. From Lake City go south on route 3 (Alpine Loop). When the road forks to go to Grizzly Gulch to the right, go left instead for 1 mile.

Route Description

From Sherman, continue west on the jeep road for 2 miles. Just after crossing a wide stream in the road, turn right on the Rocky Gulch trail. This switchbacks steeply to treeline, where it gets worse. To your right is the steep SE ridge of Handies. Climb it straight up, then follow the ridge to the summit.

Essential Gear

Standard hiking stuff (summer).


This route was used in the Hardrock 100 mile trail race to descend Handies Peak in 1999 and climb it in 2000. However it has not been used since because the land designation has been changed to a wilderness study area.

The name "Upchuck Ridge" comes from "up" (pretty obvious) and "Chuck" after Charlie Thorn, Silverton CO resident and Hardrock runner and course marker who first proposed using this route. Previously, the climb was an easier route to the saddle west of the summit.

The Hardrock course is a 100 mile trail loop that starts in Silverton and goes through Ouray and Telluride, as well as over 11 high passes at around 13,000 ft. Typically there are 100 runners, of which about 50-60 finish within the 48 hour cutoff. The winning time is around 30 hours. Handies Peak is about the 35 mile point going counterclockwise (even years) or mile 65 going clockwise. Going counterclockwise, the slower runners descend in the dark across Grouse-American basin. Clockwise, the faster runners are the ones who climb in the dark.

Miscellaneous Info

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Upchuck Ridge

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