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 Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
 Post Date:  07/28/2008
 Date Climbed:   07/27/2008
 Posted By:  BHallDDS

 Holy Cross with an Angelica glissade   

I decided to make the trek from Denver up to East Cross Creek Trailhead on Saturday night. Left Denver at 5:30 PM and made it to Tigiwon turn off of Highway 24 at 8:15 PM The 8 mile road to the trailhead was in decent shape. I made it there with my Cavalier no problem, albeit with a few bumps and bruises.

I was packed and started up the initial ascent at 9pm. I had my headlamp on and didn't see anybody until tent city at about 1045. There was no wind, no sounds and it was kind of neat to be up there in pitch blackness and you could see the silhouette of Mount Holy Cross in the background...kind of eery actually. I managed to find a little spot in the East Cross Creek Trailhead and set up camp for the night. I think I scared the people who were already there.

Got up at 645 AM, had a PBJ and Vitamin Water and proceeded to cross East Cross Creek and ascend up through the forest to North Ridge route. This was my first time so I didn't realize there was a another set of trails that went up through


Here's the first view going up the North Ridge Trail...as you can see the weather was absolutely perfect.
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Another shot a little further of the way up the around treeline and you can just make out the tip of Holy Cross peaking out.
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Here's Mt. Jackson to the northwest
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Some of the rocky class 2 terrain that I encountered on the way up the North Ridge
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Holy Cross starting to come more into view now as I made my way up the ridge
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I took a quick break after going up some of this rocky terrain and took some pictures looking down at the North Ridge line
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More views of the ridge as I made my way up.
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I managed to make my way to the top of the snowy ridge at about 8:30
and now Holy Cross really was piercing the sky in front of me...this being my first time up there I was breathtaking by how awesome it seemed.
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Summitted at 9:15 and took some pics from looking down...here's one of Lake Patricia
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Here's a regular ol' summit photo looking to the west. You could see Maroon Bells, Capitol, Snowmass and Pyramid all in the distance...such a gorgeous view.
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While I was up there taking a nap on the survey rock, three guys came up the Halo Ridge. Flo, Josh and Brian were there names. They said they had camped down by Lake Patricia and were going to head back down the North Ridge towards there. Since I had come up from East Cross Creek, I decided to instead go down to Patricia and go back to the trailhead from there. Well, shortly after making our way down from the summit, we decided to glissade down the Angelica couloir. It really cut down the descent time and the snow was fantastic. I did get a little ice burn on my hands though. Here are some pics.
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Stopped by their camp down by the lake and took another shot of Holy Cross looking back up towards it.
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Had a quick lunch, I took off back down towards East Cross Creek and the trailhead and managed to get one last shot of Holy Cross from Half Moon Pass.
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I must say I was thoroughly impressed with the views I encountered during this climb...Once I got to the top, you could see Vail, Maroon Bells, Capitol, Pyramid, etc...I was unreal. I probably saw a total of 15-20 people the whole time in there. So if you are looking for a nice, slightly difficult, VERY beautiful hike and also want to do some overnight camping...I highly suggest this...I'll be back here for sure in no time.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (2)
cftbq


descent route     2008-07-29 14:59:11
I had always thought that getting out of the Lake Patricia basin the way you describe would involve some horrendous downclimbing. How was it?


BHallDDS

descent from Patricia     2008-07-29 17:10:00
cftbq...I thought the same as the guys were discussing going down that way. The only spot where it was semi-tricky was before you get to the lake from the couloir. There is a spot where you have a class 4 downclimb maneuever over a rocky face. Once we made it to the lake, they weren‘t quite sure where the trail was so we just kind of followed the series of small ponds down there and eventually ran into the trail that goes down into East Cross Creek. It‘s a decently worn trail so it‘s fairly easy to spot.



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