Peak(s):  Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
Date Posted:  10/01/2006
Date Climbed:   09/29/2006
Author:  Yog
 Handies & PT 13,795 from Grizzly Gulch  

My friend Steve & I started out from Denver around 6:30pm on Thursday, September 28th. After 289 miles (from Littleton, CO) we arrived at the trailhead at roughly 12:30 am. We talked for a bit, marvelled at the stars out and listened for a while to some elk bugling to each other. We told a couple of scary stories before passing out in my Blazer. We awoke around 6:20 am to some very strange sounds that seemed to be circling the car. I asked Steve what the heck that was and he said that he thought I was making them. I told him that I definitely was not and that I've never heard anything like it before from all my years of living in the mountains growing up, backpacking or otherwise. It is really hard to describe these sounds...but as I said before, it sounded like it was in stereo going around the truck. Some sort of higher pitch "squaking" or "mewling". We waited about 10 minutes (it was still dark out), I turned on my headlights and saw nothing. When we opened the car doors, we did not hear anymore sounds or see anything at all. Some mention of "Blair Witch" was made, and Steve coined the event as our 'Blair Witch Alarm Clock' .

We made good progress up the Grizzly Gulch trail to treeline. The snow below treeline was patchy, but once we reached about 12,000 feet, the snow was fairly constant. There was even a place that allowed for some optional class III scrambling...which of course I took full advantage of!
We followed a set of footprints most of the way through the snow to the ridgeline
Image and finally made it to the final ridge push. Image
Along this ridge, we also spotted an avalanche slide that probably built up from the storm the prior weekend. I have never seen a slide this early in the season, but I have no doubt that it is a frequent occurance. Image
Once on the summit, Image we sat, ate lunch and contemplated our future of possibly going across the east ridge of Handies, going up and down a couple of un-official 13er points to the Bi-Centennial peak PT 13,795. Image We finally decided to do this, which made for a very long, but fun day. The weather was PERFECT for this outing! I won't go into the details on this Bi-Centennial because this is a 14er trip report, but if you would like to see more information for this 14er-13er combo, you can see the page, pics, & video I created on SummitPost for PT 13,795, or the route specifics from Handies Peak here

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Strange sounds at trailhead!
11/30/2010 17:20
I heard the same thing camping at the same spot. It was a porcupine! He (I'm guessing it was a male) was under the front of my truck, turning and turning, and all the while warbling and ”singing.” I chased him off but he returned two more times during the night. It was very strange, and I don't have a clue what was really happening.

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