Day 3: John, Andy, and I parked at Grouse Gulch for an up-and-back to Handies Peak, forgoing the long 4WD trip over Cinnamon Pass to Sherman. That worked out to be an excellent choice.
Coming up a snow field:
Mountain lakes are awesome:
A bear print or something else?
Coming up from American Basin:
I wouldn't step there if I were you:
View from the top of Handies (14,048 ft):
We hiked down the trail on the other side so I could get a feel for it. The snow fields (on the right side of the photo) where you have to go down in the CW direction can be icy and slippery at night, but now I have a better idea what to look for:
John and I did a bit of off-trail exploration, including climbing up the ridge back toward Handies. It was good training for me, and a continuous mystery whether we could keep going over or around the next set of rocks. John did good route finding, it wasn't TOO difficult overall (despite how it looks from a distance), and we made it!
My legs were dang tired by the end of the day. We were going to take the next day off, then we decided not to, then our battery was dead in Howie so that sealed it. The following trail marking day (Maggie Gulch to Sherman) was an "off" day for us while we figured out the problem (the generator is only a trickle charger and cannot be relied on to keep the battery going) and did laundry.