In late August 2006, I attempted Handies after an early morning rain in Lake City. I could see snow on the summit, but perservered until about 13000. There was intermittent thundersnow with clearing off periods. I had never seen such rapid weather shifts.
Handies with snow above 13000 in August 2006
In July 2012, the weather was much better. Handies was by far the easiest 14er remaining on my list, so it looked like a good warmup for the 2012 season. We took the Ford Fusion (5" clearance) up the shelf road to Grizzly Gulch trailhead with no problems, just going slow and careful.
Handies from trailhead in September 2008
Important Trailhead Info--Restrooms
Going up Handies was a treat this time around. We reached timberline in an hour
Handies Peak in July 2012--no snow and the summit in a little less than four hours. There was excellent scenary in all directions with profuse wildflowers.
Wildflowers along the way
Handies from Treeline
Beth climbing through the upper 12's Such a change from Kansas where it has been quite hot and dry.
This route was not particularly busy for a Monday. There were even a few runners training for a long trail run that included the top of Handies. Although I run a couple of miles a day at 1300 feet, I am not up to running that distance, at this elevation, and on rocks. Kudos to them. The surrounding peaks that I have not climbed: Wetterhorn
Wetterhorn from 13000--one of the targets for next year and the Wilsons from about 25 miles away
The Wilsons from the summit. Someday, Maybe As well as old friends: Uncompahgre
Uncompahgre from a hazy summit. The last 1000 feet to the summit went fine as well.
Wildflowers higher up
Approaching the summit
Looking down the summit ridge
What do you do atop a 14er? I eat and take pictures;
Wetterhorn from a hazy summit
Together on the summit however, if you are an athletic young man, you do pushups, lots of pushups.
Sean--first 14er--planning on pushups I am not sure that I can do pushups at sea level, much less at 14000 feet. Kudos to him as well. A family of Michiganders who had ascended from American Basin joined in the picture swapping.
Michiganders on the summit
Looking west to Jones & Niagara
Looking toward American Basin
Viewing descent route There were good views of Redcloud and Sunshine on the descent
Heading down toward Redcloud and Sunshine
Redcloud and Sunshine from farther down
On the descent, it clouded up and began to sprinkle at times.
Descent toward Lake Fork I was hoping the road would stay dry since the Fusion would more likely have trouble on a muddy road. We reached the trailhead in a little under three hours, for a round trip of 6:50. Close to the trailhead, I saw a wild horse and a colt. They spooked quite easily.
Good day and #32 in the peakbagging bag.
Tired but not anguished. #32