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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-08-22||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: I hiked this Friday 8.21.2015. I was able to drive to the upper TH in a Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with no issues. It took me 1 hour 15 minutes to get to the summit from the upper TH, and 50 minutes to descend back to the TH. Trail is in good shape with no snow or issues.
|2015-08-19||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: This is my 27th fourteener summit this summer! I‘m goal is to climb them all in a summer. You can read more about this hike and others at Sunshineof1985.com! Enjoy! *Time it took: 4.5 hours with leisure time at the summit, a swim in the lake and photo op at a waterfall! *GEAR (to bring): GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from 14ers.com, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat, lightweight gloves, day pack with water sack, snacks. *Road Condition: Do not use Google Maps via the 14ers.com phone app! It takes you through Ouray where the Alpine Loop is only passable by 4WD! Go to Lake City! The road is rough with typical pot holes and pointy rocks, and I had to park where the directions from 14ers.com suggested. *Trail Condition: The trail practically starts above treeline, so you don‘t have to worry about bears on the trail (unless crazy bad luck). It‘s a very easy trail to navigate marked with cairns along the way. When you get near the lake, and the trail splits, take a left to continue up Handies. You‘ll see the switchbacks along the side of the mountain. The trail has a lot of scree, so make sure you have shoes with good grip.
|2015-07-28||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Conditions couldn‘t have been better. Flowers are peaking, nothing to stop you.
|2015-07-24||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Handies still has several short snow fields, but no problems with or without trekking poles. Weekday hiking traffic has been steady, but not crowded. Go early for fewer hikers. Enjoy!
|2015-07-20||Route: East Slopes
Info: Headed up Handies from Grizzly Gulch. The route is clear of snow except for two small snow crossings near the summit ridge. Both crossings were easy to handle without traction. Go get it! The wildflowers on this route are awesome.
|2015-07-17||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: American Basin trail is in good shape. Several small snow patches remain before Sloan Lake (which is still frozen). No traction is needed, not worth the effort. Largest patch might be 50 feet wide. The flowers at the lower portion of the AB are great, but are not prime in the middle and upper. Give it a week or two, but the colors are still spectacular.
|2015-07-14||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Some 4 or 5 brief snowfields but otherwise summer conditions all the way.
|2015-07-11||Route: West Slopes
Info: A few snow patches remain on the route, but easy to cross without traction, though trekking poles helpful. Trail easy to follow and American Basin beautiful now, wildflowers in full swing. Go get it!
|2015-07-08||Route: East Slopes
Info: Weather was atrocious today, windy, low visibility, constant rain to begin with and snow to finish it off. Trail is "wet" and muddy and on a sunny day, it‘s all good until 13,000‘. At 13,000‘ it‘s kind of winterish conditions....spikes were welcome.
|2015-07-02||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Trail is very wet in some areas and there are a few short snow crossings that are well trenched. Recommend waterproof footwear.
|2015-06-30||Route: East Slopes
Info: Climbed Handies via East Slopes on 6/28. The trail is muddy and flowing with water in many places. Snow free routes can be found as the trail moves in and out of snow pack around 12,500 feet. Since the the north ridge is almost entirely snow-free, we scrambled up to it via a moderate boulder field much sooner than the normal route (We found a faint trail, I think used to climb Whitecross Mountain). From there, we worked the ridge without a trail until we caught back up to it just before the last push up to the summit ridge. We descended along the trail, glissading much of it right off the north ridge.
|2015-06-28||Route: East Slopes
Info: Trail snow clear to treeline. From the treeline to about 13000-ish the trail is wet and flowing with snow melt. Around the 13k mark there are two moderate snow fields with good trenches cut. Once on the ridge, it‘s snow free to the summit.
|2015-06-19||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Attempted and was turned back due to snow. The hike will start at the 11,300‘ trail head due to a snow drift that has yet to melt off. I attempted to push through it with my 4x4 set up but was unable. Even with a early start we post-holed almost all day (particularly every step after 10-11am) even with snowshoes on. Post-holing was thigh deep in spots. The basin where you need to cross is completely full. If you had crampons and felt the snow was sturdy enough you could probably get across it but I had a brand new climber with me and wasn‘t about to attempt. We climbed up to about 13,200‘ near the unnamed 13er (near Sloan Lake) in an attempt to find a route over to Handies but had no luck. Watch out for the Marmots at the TH, they are all over right now!
|2015-06-13||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Drove directions to Southwest approach. 20miles to fork without need for 4wd, only turned it on to cross the stream mentioned, water was about 1ft deep. Left the car quickly after the stream due to snow cover and didn‘t hike much further from here. Snow shoes and snow preparation, clothes, boots, etc recommended this early in the season. Weather was gray about 50F near trailhead and light rain started around 3pm. Wait until later summer this year for the beautiful, green landscape
|2015-06-06||Route: West Slopes
Info: Taken on a drive up Cinnamon Pass. Road is snow-free but muddy
|2015-05-17||Route: Grizzly Gulch and American Basin
Info: You‘ll find deep drifts within the first couple hundred feet on the Grizzly Gulch Trail. The area is still consolidating and covered with deep snow. The road to American Basin is clear up to 2.6 from the Grizzly Gulch TH.
|2015-02-14||Route: Southeast ridge via Boulder Gulch.
Info: The road from Cataract Gulch TH is well packed. Two streams crossing the road are open. From 10700 (where you turn off to Boulder Gulch) to 11200 is the "death zone", i.e. Bushwacking and postholing. In the a.m. it is mostly supportable and in the p.m. It is not. From there it is continuous snow coverage to 13000. Flotation is a must. Above that to the ridge snow coverage is intermittent. You can only ski from the summit in an east/north east direction and that is not for the faint of heart. We left our skis at 13000 and skied down from there. Because of multiple melt/freeze cycles there is every kind of crust and condition imaginable but it beats walking. It was a glorious day.
|2014-10-23||Route: East Slopes
Info: Climbed yesterday, 10/23/2014. Route above 13k is covered in snow and trail is hard to find, but it wasn‘t too bad just heading up the shallow snow slopes and intermingled rocks to the ridge. Once on the ridge, just follow it to the summit. Ridge was windswept and shallow snow. Get up there and do it before it snows again!
|2014-10-17||Route: East Slopes
Info: I very foolishly decided to drive all the way from Denver for this hike when I am sick as a dog so I only made it past the last clearing before my burning lungs and sinus pressure got the best of me. I think that‘s around 12,300 or so. However, I feel this would have otherwise been doable today. The trail through the entire gulch was dry and easily distinguishable. There were occasional small patches of snow in the trees, but just a handful of them. Obviously there is snow up top, but from what I could tell, it didn‘t appear to be too deep (yet). My route map fell out of my pack, and I was alone so I didn‘t push it. But if I had to have broken trail up the ridge, I think with microspikes and gaitors, all would‘ve been well today. From the register it looked like the last person who summited and signed the register went through 10/13. Sorry I don‘t have better information but I thought I‘d share what I have. If I think if I had time in the near future, I would watch watch the weather and consider going again.
|2014-07-20||Route: West Slopes
Info: After doing Redcloud and Sunshine the day before we packed up camp and drove up to this trail head. The road was definitely rougher but doable in a four wheel drive vehicle. Two spots gave us a little trouble do to the ruts and some pointy rocks but there were no drop offs. This spot was much more secluded from the ATV‘s that drive the road. The view from our tent was beautiful. The hike is short and relatively easy. Their were still some snow patches but they were easily navigated. The last half mile is slippery on the way down.