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Handies Peak  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2013-05-27  Southwest Slopes  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 BobbyFinn   2013-05-27 2     Edit Delete 
2013-03-15  boulder gulch, southeast ridge  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. mtn_nut   2013-03-15  0  1    
2012-12-29  boulder gulch, southeast ridge  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. mtn_nut   2012-12-30 4  1      
2012-10-06  East Slopes  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. bhess86   2012-10-07 1     Edit Delete 
2012-09-30  Grouse Gulch approach to American Basin SW slope  No snow on the route or in basin - very, very small avoidable patches. Trail is a little muddy in spots at head of American Basin going up the switchbacks. Still summer-like conditions. Some snow on neighboring peaks. Fantastic views. cougar   2012-10-02  0       
2012-06-20  East Slopes  What little remains of last year‘s snowpack partially obscures less than 6ft of the trail on the final approach to the summit. The entire route is in great condition and the wildflowers are particularly abundant. HighCountry   2012-06-23 2     Edit Delete 
2012-06-17  Southwest Slopes  Beautiful route, with a ton of wildflowers blooming at the moment. A few minor snow crossings, but no spikes or traction needed, and never even post-holed. 4-wheel drive trail section after the fork was not too bad in my Honda Ridgeline, but evaluate your line on the stream crossing. awilbur77   2012-06-18  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-16  East Slopes  This gorgeous hike is entirely snow-free except for one short, avoidable section right as you gain the ridge. Basically one switchback of the trail is covered, but you can cut up 20‘ of scree and stay on dry ground. No ice ax, traction or gaiters necessary. Total summer conditions. Thanks to San Juan Ron again for the lift to the trailhead! SurfNTurf   2012-06-17 3     Edit Delete 
2012-06-11  East Slopes  Snow free Matt Lemke   2012-06-13  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-09  East Slopes  It‘s almost all clear out there, just one avoidable snow field on the ascent to the saddle (stay left at the first switchback below the saddle to avoid snowfield). I ran into a small black bear (maybe 3 feet tall on all fours) and a porcupine in the dusk on the way down. It was a beautiful hike. I love how green it is right now. Lindyhapa   2012-06-12  0     Edit Delete 
2012-05-25  Southwest Slopes  A few snow crossings from TH until about 11,900. Then snow all the way past the lake until climbing out of the basin. We did not use snowshoes and only PH on occasion when near rocks and we hiked in the afternoon when the snow is much softer. mzamp   2012-06-01 4     Edit Delete 
2012-05-13  East Slopes  Great day on Handies today via Grizzly Gulch. Snow started in earnest around 12,000ft and made route finding a bit of a challenge, but not too bad. Snow was easily hikeable early in the morning, but the same fields were very soft on descent and I used my snowshoes once. The glissading opportunities are awesome and I knocked off about 600ft or so on two glissades (see pic). This is worth the climb alone! esskay1000   2012-05-13 1  6    Edit Delete 
2012-05-12  Southwest Slopes  Hiked up Handies from American Basin and had to break trail on the standard route, which I found difficult to stay on. I‘d say at least 80% of the route is covered in snow, with the majority of the snow free sections above the saddle. Traversed several snowfields with steep drops below but thankfully it was a nice sunny morning and the snow was just the right consistency to hike on it without slipping or postholing. Traction would have been appreciated but certainly not necessary. Plenty of new snow in the basin but didn‘t bother putting on snowshoes on the descent despite postholing about 15 times. Rapid melt off occuring I‘ll bet this route looks dramatically different in the coming week. Cinnamon pass is free of snow with a few puddles here and there. Didn‘t feel comfortable taking my Forester across the stream to the upper TH as the drop into the stream appears incredibly steep. I did see another 4wd at the upper TH. Please feel free to ask any questions it would be my pleasure to help out! zdero1   2012-05-12  0     Edit Delete 
2012-04-29  Southwest Slopes  Hiked and skied Handies from American Basin. The TH is open and drivable to Grizzly Gulch TH by Subaru and to American Basin TH by high clearance 4x4 (e.g. Xterra). Snow coverage on Handies is pretty thin (but plenty of snow in the basin itself so snowshoes would be a must for non-skiers). The "snow route" as described by Bill looks thin and rocky and as we discovered, has melted near the top. The east side of Handies also looks patchy and we glad we did not hike in from the Grizzly Gulch as we would be carrying skis for the most of the way. With some creativity, the standard route was skiable. Image 1 - Snow route Image 2 - near the summit Image 3 - Grizzly gulch Image 4 - American basin nkan02   2012-04-30 4     Edit Delete 
2011-09-25  Southwest Slopes  Camped at American Basin night of 9/24. Light frost overnight. Trail clear of snow until just above the lake. ~30 ft stretch of hardened snow in the shadows and the sporadically as the trail descened the long traverse heading South. Bought micro-spikes and an ice axe; used neither. Imagine snow will be arriving soon though. coloradomojo   2011-09-25  0     Edit Delete 
2011-08-29  East Slopes  Handies from Grizzly Gulch is clear and well-marked. The Gerry Roach 14ers book made it out to sound like a bit of bushwhacking, but it was pretty broken in. There may be one or two 10ft long spots in the upper meadow where you may have trouble if you are hiking by headlamp, but overall, the trail is obvious even in the dim light of dawn. It seems like Grizzly Gulch is much less used than American Basin, because I didn‘t encounter anyone the whole day. Plenty of wildflowers still in bloom, so enjoy it soon because they look ready to retire for the season. NOTE: The 18.5 mile stretch of dirt road along Cinnamon Pass to the Grizzly Gulch/Clear Creek TH is a beast. It‘s all peachy until you have to make that right turn up the really steep road, and then it gets rough. It says it‘s 2wd, and I got my Taurus up it, but bottomed out once going up and 3x coming down. Expect cruising speed of 10mph in this rough patch of the road (I think it‘s the last 4mi of the 18.5). Similar to the Kite Lake Road or the road up to Grays and Torreys, only worse.  RockyMountainMustang   2011-08-29 4     Edit Delete 
2011-08-13  Southwest Slopes  Fantastic day Saturday morning on Handies. OutRAGEOUS wildflowers in the basin, including two large fields of columbine, made it a postcard day. Flowers should last another week at least. Conrad595   2011-08-14  0     Edit Delete 
2011-08-07  Southwest Slopes  Peak is a perfect condition. The trail heading up is COVERED in wildflowers. The flowers will start dieing soon, I think. Beautiful day, great area. hollamby   2011-08-07  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-28  Southwest Slopes  Route is in great shape; definitely recommend 4WD for the creek crossing, and higher clearance 2WD for the road in. KWhelan   2011-07-31  0     Edit Delete 
2011-06-28  SW slopes via. Grouse Creek Basin  Went up Handies today starting from the Grouse Creek trail 3.2 miles above Eureka on the Cinnamon Pass Road out of Silverton. The Grouse Creek Basin was in full bloom and truly spectacular. Crossing the pass to the basin containing Sloan Lake was another story though. Still mostly snow covered in that basin and the lake still mostly frozen. The descent from the pass above Grouse Basin was mostly on snow and went down about 900 feet before I then had to climb back up the slopes of Handies and up the South ridge. Once I got onto the slopes of Handies I was off snow. It is mainly those east facing slopes you have to cross that are snowy. Snow was icy in the morning but previous footsteps allowed crampons to not be needed. Axe would be a good idea though. It was soft during the day and consolidated so not much post holing. Highly recommend at least a hike into Grouse Creek Basin now. Photos to come in mid to late July when I make my big TR Matt Lemke   2011-06-28  0       

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