Peak(s):  Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
Date Posted:  07/07/2009
Date Climbed:   06/28/2009
Author:  globreal
 A Leisurely Summer Day on Handies  

Handies Peak: 14,048' Route: Southwest Slope from America Basin (Standard)
Climb date: Sunday, June 28, 2009
Start Time: 5:20am
End Time: 11:20pm
Total Time: 6.0 hours
Trip Length: 5.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,500 feet

This trip turned out to be a week long adventure of climbing 14ers where we climbed 5 peaks in 5 days.

There were 5 guys from Michigan (MichiganFlatlanders) who met up with 3 of us here in Colorado. (tylerstorm is from North Dakota.)

We all met up in Lake City on Sat. June 27th, and then drove up the Alpine Loops south road/Hindsdale County 30 Rd. We camped at the Grizzly Gulch/Silver Creek Trailhead in the open meadow there.

We had the most spectacular sunset show that evening!

The next morning, we were all up by 4am, and in the SUV's by 4:40am heading up the road to the American Basin TH.

Handies was the 1st peak we climbed as we want to start easy since the Michigan guys were coming from a much lower elevation. We started at 5:20am with just the light of dawn.

Since we were only a couple of days past the summer solstice, the sun was touching the tips of the peaks just shortly after we began our hike.

The views inside the America Basin amphitheater are not done justice by the photographs. This is one place you need to be immersed in to appreciate!

My dog "Jack" happy to be out on the trail again.

Another shot of the cliffs in the southern end of the American Basin.

Some of our group decided to move on ahead and this is them on the top of the saddle in between Handies, and the 13,000'+ peak to the east.

On the saddle….this is that peak mentioned above to the east and the valley just north of it.

The cliffs of the American Basin from the saddle.

The four that moved on…just about to summit Handies.

The 3 remaining Michigan guys, Len, Ken & Mark reaching the saddle.

Here we are…all 8 of us on the summit of Handies….and yea…"Jack," the yellow lab.

Eric & John on the summit overlooking the northern snow cornice.

The Handies snow cornice with Wetterhorn (left) and Uncompaghre (right) off in the distance.

Looking west from the summit.

Looking down the Grizzly Gulch with Redcloud & Sunshine on the horizon on the right side of the photograph.

It turned out that we spent about a full hour enjoying the summit and the weather. Warm and no wind! What a nice day we had.

Eric brought an ice axe, so he got to enjoy a glissade!

Britt to brought his ice axe, so he to glissaded…with Jack in hot pursuit.

Back down at Sloan Lake in the top of the American Basin amphitheater. What a beautiful place!

A look back up at Handies.

The summer wildflowers are starting to take shape.

Heading back to camp...crossing the low creek at the entrance to the America Basin.

We took our leisurely time and did this hike in 6 hours round trip. It was one of the most relaxing, enjoyable, laidback hikes on a 14er I've done. To the guys from Michigan….thanks for the time to hike with you guys.

(4 more peaks to go!)

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

02/05/2011 00:22
Looks like fun!
Great area, I can‘t wait to get back down that way.
Congrat‘s to you and your team!

The ”cliffs” you mention is American Peak (13,806‘).
Independence Couloir is still looking good!

CO Native

Thanks for the Beta
07/08/2009 13:48
I‘m heading down there in a couple weeks, thanks for the great photos and write up.


Nice Report!
07/08/2009 14:55
Thanks for writing this up! I had a great time! We will have to put a big group like this together again sometime! Cheers



A Western Adventure!
07/08/2009 16:23
I think I speak for all the MIFlatlanders in saying we had a great time climbing with you guys and hope we can do it again in the future. Eric, you‘re quite the mountaineer. Tyler, your enthusiam is contagious. Britt, your leadership was excellent. Thanks for the great write-up and letting us be a part of your trip. Let‘s climb again.



I was there the same morning!
07/08/2009 16:41
Hi Michigan guys! Nice pics! Tammy and I passed you guys right before the 13,500 saddle. We are in the white jeep in your last picture.



Is that you?
07/08/2009 16:58
Hey Paul....what an amazing day to climb, huh?
Is that you in the bottom of picture 4? Tammy on the left, you in lower right?


Yep, that was us!
11/30/2010 17:28
Hi Britt,
That was an amazing day to climb.
I'll have pictures and panos of the climb on my website tonight or tommorow.
Did you guys end up doing Redcloud and Sunshing the next day?



Way to Go!
01/19/2011 03:38
Nice TR, Britt. I‘ve been waiting to see how your trip turned out. Bookerlen, too, congrats on flatlander success!


07/08/2009 18:01
Opps...typo. I meant, is that you guys in the bottom of picture 11?
And yes...we did Redcloud/Sunshine on Monday, the 29th. Hopefully, that trip report will be done tonight.


07/08/2009 18:04
Hey there! Good to hear from you. Yep, the trip was a success. The Michigan Flatlanders (all 5 of them) sumitted all of the peaks they went after. The other 3 of us stayed on an extra day to do Uncompahgre. So, Me, Eric & Tyler ended up getting 5 peaks in 5 days. It turned out to be a great trip.
Thanks for your info on those roads. Your feedback helped us in our decision making!
Hope to climb with you some day!


07/09/2009 03:09
Hi Britt,
Do you think we could get the full size copy of the picture with the white Jeep and the one with us in it?



07/13/2009 02:15
TR and pictures - sounds like a great time!
I‘m headed down that way later this month - you‘ve added fuel to my enthusiasm!! (already bordering on spontaneous combustion )


07/09/2009 04:16
I like that....spontaneous combustion!

Here is the next trip report if interested:


03/04/2012 18:31
Thanks for putting up the trip reports and for planning that trip!

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