Handies Peak | My First 14er

Sunday, July 11, 2010

One of the goals I set for myself this year was to hike a 14er. Yesterday morning two friends and I hopped into my Jeep and headed down to the San Juan Mountains to try Handies Peak. Handies Peak is 14,048 feet high and ranked 40th out of the 53 14ers in Colorado. I chose this mountain because it’s relatively close to home, but mainly because it is one of the easier trails to the top of a 14er. From American Basin the trail is only 5.5 miles round trip with about 2500 feet of elevation gain.

Since we were in my Jeep, we headed south to Animas Forks via Silverton and headed over Cinnamon Pass to reach American Basin. We ended up starting the hike a little later than we had planned, but we did end up reaching the summit by around noon. There were a number of dark clouds forming around us when we reached the top, but luckily we only had a few sprinkles of rain fall on us during our descent. I definitely struggled a little from the saddle to the peak, but am happy to report that I did make it all the way to the top 🙂

Here’s a few photos from our climb.

Handies Peak towers above my Jeep in American Basin before we get started.
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Hiking to the top
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Andrew
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Me.
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Andrew and the trail ahead
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Climbing above Sloan Lake
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View from the saddle
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Almost to the summit
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Andrew at the summit
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Great views from the top
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Jim taking a photo of me
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High above Sloan Lake….a storm in the background
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Me at the summit
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Jim was happy to make it to the top
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Sea of Peaks
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We all signed the log
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With dark clouds around us, but clear skies above, we headed back down quickly….just in case.

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We made a stop at Sloan Lake on our way down
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The storms missed us and the skies started clearing again…looking back up at Handies Peak.
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Back at the Jeep in American Basin
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On our way back to Silverton we took the route over California Pass and Hurricane Pass.

California Pass
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Lake Como below.
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When we reached Silverton, we stopped at Handlebars for some dinner before heading back home. We had a great time and accomplished something we had all wanted to do. Now I need to prepare for my next 14er…whichever one that will be…


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