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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|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.
|2012-09-30||Route: Grouse Gulch approach to American Basin SW slope
Info: 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.
|2012-06-20||Route: East Slopes
Info: 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.
|2012-06-17||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: 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.
|2012-06-16||Route: East Slopes
Info: 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!
|2012-06-11||Route: East Slopes
Info: Snow free
|2012-06-09||Route: East Slopes
Info: 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.
|2012-05-25||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: 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.
|2012-05-13||Route: East Slopes
Info: 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!
|2012-05-12||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: 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!
|2012-04-29||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: 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
|2011-09-25||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: 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.
|2011-08-29||Route: East Slopes
Info: 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.