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 Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
 Post Date:  09/11/2009
 Date Climbed:   08/28/2009
 Posted By:  wooDave

 7 Days in the Holy Cross Wilderness, part II Halo Ridge   

We set off that morning to traverse halo ridge and summit the holy cross. Since the previous day's climb had not been too difficult and todays hike had less vertical climb, we figured it would not be any harder. But it ended up taking 6 hours to hike the 3 miles from the shelter to the summit of holy cross. Climbing up 45 degree boulder fields with our heavy packs was extremely slow going. This climb kicked our butts.

Sunrise from the shelter looking at halo ridge-

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Setting out along the ridge
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The first boulder field
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Further along the ridge

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Looking down into Lake Tuhare. There were views of lakes off of each side

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More ridge climbing

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By the time we rounded the third peak along the ridge it was much later than we had planned and dark clouds were moving in. Worried about thunderstorms, we decided to traverse around the backside of the summit cone rather than climb up to the saddle. We planned to meet up with the north ridge trail where we could reassess if a summit attempt would be wise. However on the backside of holy cross we came accross a loose scree slope which started moving as I tried to cross it and caught my left leg ankle deep. I dug in my hiking poles and managed to back out, but I came close to being carried down the slope. We decided to turn around and climb back up to the ridge. By the time we reached the saddle the clouds were moving out. We decided to make the last push to the summit. 6 hours after leaving the shelter we reached the summit under sunny skies-



The view down to cross creek where we started our hike

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Descending down the north ridge, 4000 vertical feet down to camp by east cross creek

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Dinner that night- leftover surprise


The next morning we slept in before the last climb up to half moon pass.
Looking back at holy cross summit

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Taking a break at half moon pass

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After a short two hour hike we arrived at the half moon trail head. We hitched down to HW24 and hung out for a couple hours until Maya picked us up.

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Tired, sore and smelly we enjoyed a bbq lunch in Minturn before driving back to denver.

Lots more pictures here-



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