Peak(s):  Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
Whitecross Mtn  -  13,542 feet
Post Date:  05/08/2006
Modified:  12/07/2007
Date Climbed:   05/06/2006
Posted By:  Brian Kalet

 Whitecross & Handies - Summit Ski Descents   

Access from Lake City, CO:

149 South
Right onto Lake San Cristobal Road to Grizzly Gulch Trailhead

Run 1:

I hiked/skinned up Grizzly Gulch to ~13,000' and noticed no signs of snow softening.  So, I decided to climb Whitecross Mountain (13,542') to pass the time while waiting for ideal snow conditions.  I skied from the Whitecross' summit down the ridge to the Handies-Whitecross saddle (13,000').  The snow was mostly firm.  The crux was a section on the ridge narrower than the length of my skis.  It was difficult making turns there with steep talus fields on either side.

Elevation: ~542'

Run 2:

I climbed Handies' north ridge to the summit (14,053') and got there in time for perfect corn conditions from the summit.  I skied the east face and dropped into a northeast facing couloir.  The snow in the couloir was dense powder.  This was my best spring descent of the season thus far primarily due to excellent snow conditions.

Elevation: ~3,053'

Photo: Casey McCoy taken April 29, 2006.

Total Skied Elevation: ~3,595'
Total Elevation: ~4,195'
Time: 6 hours

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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