Peak(s):  Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
Date Posted: 
Date Climbed:   07/03/2005
Author:  SarahT
 7/3/05 Grizzly Gulch TH - SE Ridge  

After hiking Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre on Saturday we got some pizza at Pokers Alice in Lake City and drove to the Grizzly Gulch TH and camped along with a crowd of other people. We hit the trail around 5am and hiked for about 2 miles towards Handies. So as to not make this hike too easy and boring I decided to take an alternate route described by Roach - I think he calls it the E Ridge? After hiking up the trail for about 2 miles you turn left and follow the creek up to a small lake at around 12,300 ft. Then you climb up a really crappy steep scree slope to a basin about 1,000 feet higher. I had not expected this and it really took us much longer than planned to get up this mess! My partner was not used to this and he was a little scared. Afterwards we hiked on some gentle slopes over to Handies SE ridge (which required losing a bunch of elevation). It was a bit up and down to get over to Handies on this ridge but not too taxing. Finally reached the summit after 5 hours of hiking and expending much more energy than planned. It was full of people. Most had come from American Basin but a bunch from Grizzly Gulch also. Of course, nobody had come the way we did. Would I do this route again or recommend it? Probably not. If the scree slope was more snow covered it would have been much better. Next: off to Castle!

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