Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
Post Date:  07/13/2008
Date Climbed:   07/11/2008
Posted By:  rewovenate

 Purple Haze   

While testing my ability to add and edit pictures on this site, I'll add what I know about conditions on the north ridge of Holy Cross:

The route is free of significant snow issues. There are a couple of small snowfields on the northwest face, on or close to the route, but they can be ascended and descended without crampons, or avoided. You may choose to use the cornice on the north ridge, which in many spots is as wide as a two-lane highway. It felt very solid and safe as long as I stayed well away from the lip.

The route is not free of significant mosquitos, which are plentiful everywhere below treeline. Fortunately, Colorado mosquitos are slow and dumb, and don't like DEET. But if you're camping in the East Cross Creek drainage, look for sites that will catch the wind. There are a few off the trail to the west of the creek.

As you can see from the pictures, the top 100 feet of Angelica Couloir is melted out, which will make a tedious finish to what looks like an otherwise nifty climb. An alternative might be the right fork of the Angelica Y, which appears to have snow all the way to the ridge. The key would be whether you can get around the cornice, and it was hard to tell, standing above it and not wanting to get too close, whether the cornice had a gap in it or not. It should be much easier to see from the base of the Y.

The cornice/highway above 13K

Another view. At the end of the ramp is the possible exit from the right-hand branch of the Angelica Y. The melted-out top of the usual Angelica is seen on the left

Looking down on the north ridge from close to the summit. The summit cone is hands-on in spots, and fun for boys and girls of all ages.

The summit team: your photographer, David; the brave and charming Monique, whom some of you will recognize as ClemsonClimber; and your correspondent, Dean.

A passable exit from Angelica?

A nice view of the overall situation from the East Cross Creek drainage, with north ridge cornice in plain sight. Smoke from the California wildfires limited visibility somewhat, but we could still see the Elks from the top.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

The Intrepid Trio     07/14/2008 12:44
Hey you three! How‘d you manage to get Dave out of the gym for a whole weekend, Dean? Nice to see you all out, about, and on top of my favorite 14er in the whole Sawatch!


A great time was had by all!!     07/14/2008 22:51
..... especially those pesky mosquitoes!!
Thanks Dave and Dean for letting me come along and ”get back on the horse”! We shall see how Shasta and Whitney treat me next week!!

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