Peak(s):  Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
Date Posted:  10/21/2008
Modified:  10/24/2008
Date Climbed:   09/29/2008
Author:  downhillbri

 Alone on Handies  

Handies 9/29/2008
Viewed the fall colors of Monarch Pass Image, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Ouray (Portland Trail) and moved on to Creede.

Following a restful night in the Blessings B & B, we grabbed the homemade granola & yogurt and hit the road at 5AM. It was a 1:05 hour highway drive to the Lake San Cristibol road (County 30).

From there it was a 1:49 hour, 20 mile drive on the 4WD road including a more severe 4WD .9 miles final segment to the TH at American Basin Image.

3 deer calmly grazing next to the road as we bounced by.

Our 8 year old Infiniti Qx4 only touched bottom going down the steep creek crossing. Phew! What a drive! Arrived at 7:45. One SUV with a lone guy having coffee next to his fire was in the parking area. (Never saw him again). Hit the trail at 7:50 AM.

The trail was well defined and moderate.

Handies was not visible on the first section until you rounded the obscuring mountain to the left.

After hitting Sloan Lake we turned left toward Handies and crossed the talus slope.

From there is a steady series of switchbacks across the slope and a final straighter climb to the summit. Great trail. No false summit.

We summited (14,048') at 10:35 AM (2:45 from the TH), took the "always needed" photos, signed the log and ate the obligatory PB&Js. Image

Terrific views, sunny day, few clouds and no one else around. Image

We had the mountain to ourselves (of course, it was a Monday in late September - so who else would be there???) Image

Headed down at 11 AM

and reached the car around 12:50 PM

A very rewarding hike over a very nice trail on a beautiful day with my lovely wife (the uphill queen). Our 6th 14er this season.

Then the drive back – who knew on the way up in the dark that a good portion of the road was a shelf road.
YIKES! Not a drive for an acrophobic.

We planned on tackling Humboldt next...see report.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

10/24/2008 08:41
Beautiful fall pics! Congrats on the great summit!

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