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 Peak(s):  Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
 Post Date:  10/21/2008 Modified: 10/24/2008
 Date Climbed:   09/29/2008
 Posted By:  downhillbri

 Alone on Handies   

Handies 9/29/2008
Viewed the fall colors of Monarch Pass Image, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Ouray (Portland Trail) and moved on to Creede.

Following a restful night in the Blessings B & B, we grabbed the homemade granola & yogurt and hit the road at 5AM. It was a 1:05 hour highway drive to the Lake San Cristibol road (County 30).

From there it was a 1:49 hour, 20 mile drive on the 4WD road including a more severe 4WD .9 miles final segment to the TH at American Basin Image.

3 deer calmly grazing next to the road as we bounced by.
Image

Our 8 year old Infiniti Qx4 only touched bottom going down the steep creek crossing. Phew! What a drive! Arrived at 7:45. One SUV with a lone guy having coffee next to his fire was in the parking area. (Never saw him again). Hit the trail at 7:50 AM.

The trail was well defined and moderate.
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Handies was not visible on the first section until you rounded the obscuring mountain to the left.
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After hitting Sloan Lake we turned left toward Handies and crossed the talus slope.
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From there is a steady series of switchbacks across the slope and a final straighter climb to the summit. Great trail. No false summit.

We summited (14,048') at 10:35 AM (2:45 from the TH), took the "always needed" photos, signed the log and ate the obligatory PB&Js. Image

Terrific views, sunny day, few clouds and no one else around. Image

We had the mountain to ourselves (of course, it was a Monday in late September - so who else would be there???) Image

Headed down at 11 AM
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and reached the car around 12:50 PM
Image.

A very rewarding hike over a very nice trail on a beautiful day with my lovely wife (the uphill queen). Our 6th 14er this season.

Then the drive back – who knew on the way up in the dark that a good portion of the road was a shelf road.
Image.
YIKES! Not a drive for an acrophobic.

We planned on tackling Humboldt next...see report.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
COmedic04


Gorgeous!     2008-10-24 02:41:56
Beautiful fall pics! Congrats on the great summit!



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