Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
Post Date:  09/05/2012
Date Climbed:   09/01/2012
Posted By:  Fleischco

 Holy Cross Backpack and Summit   

DAY 1 Friday Pack into East Cross Creek and Setup Camp - 3.3 miles

This was a 2-day trip with our daughters and also their very first 14er summit.
(Yes, I know you have been on other 14ers-just have not summitted.)
We thought like many, get to the Cross Creek camp and get a jump on the hike on Day 2.
This was a good strategy for us as going the 11.5 mile to 12 miles roundtrip would have made for a very long day.

Departure from the trailhead Friday night

Friday night traffic on west bound I-70 on Labor Day Weekend was slow as one should expect. This gave us a later start from the trailhead than we had hoped and meant the first night hike into camp was by headlamp but a great trail to follow. Bonus, was a light rain on Half Moon Pass but this was not too much rain. There was a full moon (Blue Moon) that was covered up by clouds earlier in the evening but did shine on top of the tents at about 2am.

There are 10 campsites which could be helpful when looking in the dark as we did

We investigated occupied camps #1 and #2 and even #3 for good measure. #4 looked good and not knowing how many sites there were, we made it work at about 9:30pm. There are 10 camp sites here by the way. I would have like to have known that as we searched for a good camp.

It was 3.3 miles to East Cross Creek and camp on day 1 using headlamps

DAY 2 Saturday Hike up Mount of the Holy Cross and back to trailhead - 7.7 miles

We got up at 6am, filtered water, brought back our food from the bear canister up the tree (some of us are "bear-anoid") and enjoyed breakfast before departing on the trail at about 7:20am. The weather was beautiful! The hike in the night before gave us that head start that allowed us to not be in a big rush.
And we are off on the trail near the camp about 7:20am

The path is very clear and good through the valley floor, through the trees and up through the boulders above treeline but that last 500 feet or so it seems you just have to find your way. CFI has done some great work on the path up high with markers, rock work, rock stairs even a rock escalatorjavascript:emoticon('') . The weather to our west had us concerned so we headed back down at about 10:50am to pack up our tents and enjoy that slog back over Half moon Pass!

Congratulations on your first 14ers summit girls!

There is a clear path (thanks to CFI) above treeline and up the shoulder of MoHC (orange and yellow markers)

There it is....

As is often the case, up high, you can pick your own line

Summit time was 10am and 10:25 am. Congratulations -first 14er summit for our daughters.

As is often mentioned, this 1000 foot re-gain over Half Moon Pass is just a drag

There is the TH parking lot and a seat.

To MoHC summit down to the valley floor and regaining 1000 feet up and over the pass.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):