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 Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
 Post Date:  09/29/2008
 Date Climbed:   09/25/2008
 Posted By:  Limey

 Mt. of the Holy Sh!t   

Alright, well as usual I am writing this later than expected but better late than never I guess
So I am up at 4am in Denver and on the road by 4:45, reaching the trailhead at 7am. I was surprised to see a bunch of cars at the trailhead (at least 10) especially seeing as I myself had been putting off climbing this 14er after I read that its been called the Bermuda Triangle of 14ers
So anyways the sight of all these cars put my mind at ease and I also had wonder trail dog Shep with me. Quick use of the facilities and I was off. A guy who pulled up after me but set off hiking straight away came back down while I was filling out the wilderness card, he mentioned he forgot something in his car!
I had heard that this hike was a killer, 11.5 miles round trip, so I was hiking at a brisk pace up over the pass and down the 1000 ft into the valley. At the bottom I passed three flatlanders who were taking a break. The trail was easy to follow until you get out of the treeline then its a boulder field with cairns that seem to be all over the place! I took that as a hint to follow the path of least resistance, so I followed my dog It was slow going and at each rest I couldn't see the three guys but did see the guy from the parking lot. I hate to be over taken so I upped the pace as much as I could, which to be honest wasn't that much! Instead of staying to the left next to the ridge, I seemed to be heading further right but there was still cairns to follow. When I got closer to the summit, there were three guys heading down, at least one was German. They asked which way I came up as they were going down the halo ridge and I was apparently off course a little. They said I was close and the view was awesome.
When I reached the summit I was surprised that there was nobody else up there Where are all them people in the cars? Were they lost to the Bermuda Triangle That Scooby mystery was to be solved when I got back down, so ya just gonna have to wait.....
So I set about taking pics and then Shep and I ate and drank until the parking lot dude finally caught up He was from Reno, Nevada on his 33rd 14er, he used to live in CO and was up visiting his son. Unfortunately I cant remember his darn name BUT he is looking out for this trip report, so please feel free to comment below and refresh my memory
You couldn't of asked for better weather, well moer shade would of been nice as I forgot to apply sunscreen at 4am!! It was an excellent day and you could see for miles. We took some pics for each other then we decided to head down. This time we stayed close to the drop off ridge and although it was steep, it was much faster going. Shep was leash and bootie free for the hike down and apart from straying off course after the odd pika, he was good to follow. We came across the three flatlanders and told them they were only 40 mins away from the summit then we also passed another older gentleman hiking up on his own. Just as we entered the treeline I took that dreaded last suck on my camelbak, 3 litres wasnt enought for this hike. We were close to the stream so Shep would be fine but I was all cottonmouth. Luckily my nameless friend came to the rescue with a full nalgene to share, so cheers for that! The stream was a welcome sight but we knew we still had to climb a 1000ft up out of the valley and yes it was a killer. We made like two switchbacks then had to stop to catch some air. We chatted to a group of DU freshmen and women who were going to set up camp and stay till Sunday and they were asking how the climb was. I gave one of them my route guide that I had printed out from here and a few of them hadn't heard of the site so that was good promotion! When we finally made it down to the parking lot there was even more cars and I know theres a campsite there but I was like wot the hell???? I came prepared this time by having water in my car so Shep and I drank some more and the other guy was even more prepared as he had beer in his truck so of course I accepted one! While we were BSing two girls walked past and we asked where they had been hiking. Are ya ready for the Scooby Mystery??? NOTCH Mountain!! Apparently it was quite busy!!! haha So there ya go, next time I will check to see what 12 and 13ers are in the area just so I am not caught off guard again. So it was a long hike, basically 7am to 5pm car to car, then of course I had a 2.5 hour drive home which made for a very long day.

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Grays & Torreys
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Jack


Notch Mtn     2008-09-29 13:27:22
Notch Mountain is the mountain in your last picture. It is also in the middle picture (11 from the top). The summit is not very prominent, but the distinct notch (just on the right edge of the last photo) is what gives it the name. Notch mountain is at the start of the Halo Ridge route. You don‘t necessarily have to climb over it. When you just climb to the shelter you never actually reach its summit, but if you access it from Half moon pass, you summit Notch mountain, cross over the Notch which is calss 3/4 and on to the shelter and the rest of Halo ridge. The slope to gain the summit of Notch from Half moon pass can be seen behind your dog in the fourth picture.
On another note, I do recall seeing some other cool looking summits in the area when we climbed last fall.


brycibryce

Halo Ridge     2008-09-29 16:19:25
UH, I did Halo Ridge yesterday with a friend and my two dogs. It was brutal. About 9 hours above 13,000 feet. A word of warning, DO NOT TAKE DOGS ON HALO RIDGE. It is hours of boulder hoping with a lot of tricky route finding. Both of my dogs wore their nails down to the quick. Mt. of the (fill in your favorite expletive)is a gorgeous mtn, but probably one of the most difficult I‘ve ever done. We had a similar experience of being alone on the summit on a Sunday. It was terrific. I highly recommend the Notch Mtn Shelter as a great day hike, overnighter to check out. The views from there are incredible.


uwe


Nice TR and Cute Dog     2008-10-02 21:40:37
Go man. Sounds like you had a great time!



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