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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-06-27||Route: East Slopes
Info: Overall, this might be doable without crampons. Snow was mostly firm, though I started to post-hole at 9 am. Only about 3-4 minor snowfields below 12,500 ft. Above that elevation you have at least one major snowfield to go through near the saddle. Probably the best strategy for avoiding the other snowfields is to hike up to the ridge line as soon as possible; the trail is conveniently snow-free from there up to the peak. For going down, hug the ridge line until you feel comfortable enough to glissade down.
|2014-06-21||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: The basin is still full of snow. We summited without snowshoes, yak tracks, or crampons, but it was not easy and I would recommend yak tracks at a minimum. Early in the morning the snow is hard enough to walk on, but in the heat of the day, you will start to posthole. As for the road up to the basin, it is not passable by a 2WD vehicle. I drove my Ford Focus about 19 of the 20 miles to the trailhead, and spent most of the time cursing. At the end of CO 30 the road becomes very rocky, and is washed out in a few places. The road is doable, but it will be very difficult on your car even if you make it. One of the guys up there driving a tour truck asked me if the car was a rental. Unfortunately I had to say no, and the repairs are mine to pay for. Even though you may be able to make it up there in a high clearance 2WD, save yourself the headache. Take a good clearance 4WD, or rent one in Lake City. I wish I had.
|2014-06-16||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: The peak is very doable, if you try to stay on the standard route, you will find lots and lots of snow (sometimes in very inconvenient place and at bad angles), but it is fairly solid early in the morning. It took about 2 hrs from American Basin to get to the summit by going around the small peak south of Handies because I didn‘t bring my axe/crampons with me. Image 1, the route up on the snow before the final ascent. Image 2, from the summit looking north (i didnt feel like standing up to take pictures, it was pretty windy). Image 3, to the south-ish looking at the 13er under which was a gully to ascend because I lost the route. I would say 70% of the trail was covered in snowfields and was very difficult to follow. Easy peak though.
|2014-06-14||Route: West Slopes
Info: We went and tried to tackle Handies over the weekend. Still very snowy from about 12,500‘ up to the summit. Two of us ended up giving up around 13,000 feet as we did not have crampons or an ice ax. Another member of our party made it all the way to the summit, though. I estimate it will still be 2 more weeks before you will actually be able to take the trail the summit. Road to Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch is in great condition. No problems at all.
|2014-06-01||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: American Basin is full of soft snow. Do not go up there without snowshoes or skis. However, only summit ski options are the East Face or Southwest Slopes. SW is a bit sketchy because you have to ski down the face on top of the cornice hanging over the east face. In one spot going up I post holed through to my waist in pretty rotten snow. On the NW side of the summit there‘s a big crack where it looks like the cornice is slipping away. We chose to avoid both these traverses and walked down about 500 vertical feet to ski what‘s left of the West Slopes. There is still actually snow on the summit so can still stitch together a summit ski. North side down the east face for a short bit then back up to 13577 and down the NW side seemed like an option if you‘re willing to skin/climb back up a bit to 13577 or the saddle to either side. First picture shows the hole on top of the E face cornice. This is on the N side of the summit. Zoom in, it‘s actually pretty big. You could ski off the summit in that direction but you would have to ski between that crack and the cornice. Similar conditions going down the S side of the summit to the SW Slopes.
|2014-05-25||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Road closed at fork prior to TH and stream crossing. Snow continuous from road to summit, including 4-6" fresh from night prior. Snow bridge over river at 0.2 miles. Snow 4+ feet deep most of lower elevation to near summit except for patches. Post holed less than 10% of the time up to basin near 12,700. We then climbed directly up the slope towards the summit. A few cracks but no slides. From saddle near 13,500 snow about 6-12" deep all the way to the summit. On return trip snow softened and glissade down the direct route was slow but fun. Return from basin to parking included more post holing (30%). Used spikes from basin to summit and then back to saddle on the descent.
|2014-05-24||Route: Zig Zag Couloir
Info: Lots of obnoxious postholing from Grizzly Gulch. Snow better up higher but still not enough freezing temps at night. Couloir was awesome, good conditions. Fell in a weird hole near the summit. Almost like a crevasse. Descended E. Slopes, easy plunge stepping.
|2014-05-10||Route: West Slopes
Info: Snow not continuous to summit up this route, stops about 13,600. From car it was solid snow until that point. Could change depending how much snow comes with this storm. Ski conditions were great!
|2013-10-05||Route: East Slopes
Info: Fair amount of snow at the top after overnight snow on Thursday night. Tried going up Friday but turned back after postholing a fair amount and unable to find a better route. Snow melted a bit by Saturday but still postholed last 3/4 - 1 mile of route.
|2013-10-05||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: American basin has quite a bit of snow. Mostly manageable until the upper basin, where snow was thigh high at times. Once above the basin, the route was mostly dry.
|2013-09-28||Route: View from Redcloud
Info: Lots of snow on Handies from Friday‘s storm.
|2013-06-27||Route: East Slopes
Info: Trail is completely dry from Grizzly Gulch, as well as from American Basin.
|2013-06-08||Route: East Slopes
Info: Cinnamon Pass was open from Lake City to the TH (I didn‘t travel beyond but believe it is completely open). The road is in good condition, no problems and 4x4 was not required. The route to the summit was open with only one minor patch of snow to hike through. The cornice is pretty awesome but the west side of the ridge is dry.
|2013-06-07||Route: East Slopes
Info: *Summer Conditions* but expect a little mud. There is one snow crossing that is in the route description that can be avoided.
|2013-06-05||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: From 4wd TH, many snowfields cover trail through lower basin. Going up not a problem but most were getting soft in afternoon. Trail in upper basin is covered in many places with no tracks present. All traffic appears to go up left side of basin to switchbacks below saddle. Above this, all is dry and clear.
|2013-05-31||Route: West Slopes
Info: The snow is melting fast on the west face. Between 12,300 and the summit I got maybe 1000 feet of snow climbing. The top 300 feet is pretty much bare. The east face still holds quite a bit of snow. I descended the standard route and there was a fair amount of snow. Because I was early it was very firm.
|2013-05-27||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: We did not hike Handies Peak, but here are two pics of it from nearby peaks. We did not need flotation in American Basin - the snow was firm in the morning and mostly firm in the early afternoon. Pic 1: South slopes from near the top of American Peak Pic 2: Handies from UN13,535
|2013-03-15||Route: boulder gulch, southeast ridge
Info: Boulder gulch is good to go. Climbed it today with Jim, minimal avy danger if you pick your route carefully. There is a nice trench in the gultch and on the road leading to it from cataract gulch. I will put up photos on Monday, however I wanted to post first so people would know about conditions this weekend. We also saw a skier drop into American basin from the top, so there may be a track up from either silverton or the road closure on the lake city side.
|2012-12-29||Route: boulder gulch, southeast ridge
Info: Boulder gulch hasn‘t loaded itself with snow on the right side, most south facing slopes are still low on snowpack with patchy snow. Road to boulder gulch is partially packed from snowmobiles. Be aware that the ridge has a short section of class 3 climbing with class 4 exposure. the purple line is the boulder gulch route, and is a VERY general approximation.
|2012-10-06||Route: East Slopes
Info: The upper trail (photos 24 and 25 in the route description) had ice and snow and microspikes were useful (dare I say necessary) for descending this section. Snow can be seen on the upper switchbacks in the picture.