| A Leisurely Summer Day on Handies
Handies Peak: 14,048' Route: Southwest Slope from America Basin (Standard)
Climb date: Sunday, June 28, 2009
Start Time: 5:20am
End Time: 11:20pm
Total Time: 6.0 hours
Trip Length: 5.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,500 feet
This trip turned out to be a week long adventure of climbing 14ers where we climbed 5 peaks in 5 days.
There were 5 guys from Michigan (MichiganFlatlanders) who met up with 3 of us here in Colorado. (tylerstorm is from North Dakota.)
We all met up in Lake City on Sat. June 27th, and then drove up the Alpine Loops south road/Hindsdale County 30 Rd. We camped at the Grizzly Gulch/Silver Creek Trailhead in the open meadow there.
We had the most spectacular sunset show that evening!
The next morning, we were all up by 4am, and in the SUV's by 4:40am heading up the road to the American Basin TH.
Handies was the 1st peak we climbed as we want to start easy since the Michigan guys were coming from a much lower elevation. We started at 5:20am with just the light of dawn.
Since we were only a couple of days past the summer solstice, the sun was touching the tips of the peaks just shortly after we began our hike.
The views inside the America Basin amphitheater are not done justice by the photographs. This is one place you need to be immersed in to appreciate!
My dog "Jack" happy to be out on the trail again.
Another shot of the cliffs in the southern end of the American Basin.
Some of our group decided to move on ahead and this is them on the top of the saddle in between Handies, and the 13,000'+ peak to the east.
On the saddle….this is that peak mentioned above to the east and the valley just north of it.
The cliffs of the American Basin from the saddle.
The four that moved on…just about to summit Handies.
The 3 remaining Michigan guys, Len, Ken & Mark reaching the saddle.
Here we are…all 8 of us on the summit of Handies….and yea…"Jack," the yellow lab.
Eric & John on the summit overlooking the northern snow cornice.
The Handies snow cornice with Wetterhorn (left) and Uncompaghre (right) off in the distance.
Looking west from the summit.
Looking down the Grizzly Gulch with Redcloud & Sunshine on the horizon on the right side of the photograph.
It turned out that we spent about a full hour enjoying the summit and the weather. Warm and no wind! What a nice day we had.
Eric brought an ice axe, so he got to enjoy a glissade!
Britt to brought his ice axe, so he to glissaded…with Jack in hot pursuit.
Back down at Sloan Lake in the top of the American Basin amphitheater. What a beautiful place!
A look back up at Handies.
The summer wildflowers are starting to take shape.
Heading back to camp...crossing the low creek at the entrance to the America Basin.
We took our leisurely time and did this hike in 6 hours round trip. It was one of the most relaxing, enjoyable, laidback hikes on a 14er I've done. To the guys from Michigan….thanks for the time to hike with you guys.
(4 more peaks to go!)
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):