Peak:  Handies Peak (14er)
 Route:  SW slopes via. Grouse Creek Basin
 Range:  San Juan
 Posted By:  Matt Lemke
 Date of Info:  06/28/2011
 Date Posted:  06/28/2011

Went up Handies today starting from the Grouse Creek trail 3.2 miles above Eureka on the Cinnamon Pass Road out of Silverton.

The Grouse Creek Basin was in full bloom and truly spectacular. Crossing the pass to the basin containing Sloan Lake was another story though. Still mostly snow covered in that basin and the lake still mostly frozen. The descent from the pass above Grouse Basin was mostly on snow and went down about 900 feet before I then had to climb back up the slopes of Handies and up the South ridge. Once I got onto the slopes of Handies I was off snow. It is mainly those east facing slopes you have to cross that are snowy. Snow was icy in the morning but previous footsteps allowed crampons to not be needed. Axe would be a good idea though.
It was soft during the day and consolidated so not much post holing.

Highly recommend at least a hike into Grouse Creek Basin now.

Photos to come in mid to late July when I make my big TR

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