| Handies Less Traveled Neighbors
August 24, 2010
~6.3 Miles, ~3,800 Gain
Staring TH: Grizzly Gulch, same for Handies.
Ending TH: Base of Campbell Creek Gulch.
After a productive day, and a flat tire, I was looking for something short to do since I had to get home to get my tire fixed. This duo fit the bill. We slept in and I started hiking up the Grizzly Gulch trail at 9:00 AM. What a change to have a nice trail where I followed the trail until ~11,800.
Sunshine from hiking Grizzy Gulch.
A false summit of 13,795.
I left the trail and started my way up the steep slopes towards the unnamed lake at 12,323. Once I reached the lake, I started hiking up loose snow covered talus where it was slow going for the next few hundred feet. Near the upper valley on the north side of 13,795, travel became easier and I headed towards an easy looking snow filled couloir on the northwest side of the summit. The couloir appeared to be the best option for gaining the ridge.
Looking back on the lake at 12,323
The real summit of 13,795
My route up 13,795
Travel up the couloir was slow since the snow was somewhat deep and I didn't have gators. I wasn't quite expecting this much snow. Near the top of the couloir, I was in knee deep snow. Go figure. After I gained the northwest ridge, it was easy class 2 travel to the summit of 13,795 where I arrived at 11:10 AM. Clear skies with excellent views of Half Peak and Handies.
The snow filled couloir
Gaining the rige of 13,795, easy stroll.
Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre
Handies from the summit of 13,795.
Campbell Creek Mountain from 13,795.
Half Peak from 13,795.
My stay on the summit was short and I headed down the class 2 talus southeast ridge. The traverse appeared to be easy with the exception of one short section of ridge. I went over a few towers which went at class 3 until I reached a notch which appeared quite difficult. I checked down 50 feet on the south side of the ridge and things didn't look better. To be honest, I was to lazy too look for an alternative further down on the south side.
Class 3 section of the 13,795-Campbell Creek Mountain traverse.
I returned to the notch, and climbed directly up the headwall. It was about 4 moves of 5.2-5.4 then eased to 10-15 feet of class 4. The rock for the most part was solid and the exposure was minimal; I removed most of the loose junk on my way up. Before I reached the top of the tower, I climbed through a notch and down-climbed a class 4 chimney for about 30-40 feet before I returned to easier terrain.
My route of the of the "bad" notch. 3-4 moves of 5.2-5.4.
Class 4 gully descent after climbing the notch.
Looking back on the hard section of the 13,795-Campbell Creek Mountain traverse.
Once I was back on easy terrain, it was an easy class 2 stroll to the summit of Campbell Creek Mountain where I arrived at 12:15 PM. Excellent views of Redcloud and Sunshine. After a 10 minute break, I headed directly down the north slopes of Campbell Creek Mountain towards Campbell Creek. The gulch was steep after I reached Campbell Creek and within no time I reached the road where I got picked up at 1:15 PM.
Looking toward Lake City from Campbell Creek Mountain.
13,795 from the summit of Campbell Creek Mountain.
North slopse of Campbell Creek Mountain.
Campbell Creek Gulch.
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