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 Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
 Post Date:  07/25/2010
 Date Climbed:   07/24/2010
 Posted By:  greenwok

 Holy Cross...Holy Cairns! [Part I of II]   

Mt of the Holy Cross July 24, 2010
Summit Elevation: 14,005 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 10,320 feet
Elevation Gain: 5,600 feet
Round-trip Length: 11.50 miles
Trailhead: Half Moon (Tigiwon)
Cimbers: Kent (greenwok), Michael (MWB), Doug
Time: Depart TH 4:20 AM, Summit - Doug 8:40 AM, Michael 9:20 AM, Kent 10:30 AM Depart Summit 11:00 AM, Return TH 3:05 PM

After monitoring weather all week to include NOAA as well as Holy Cross web cams, we were delighted to see the "Snow Showers" drop out of the forecast, and the low pressure push further south in the state (sorry about that those who had plans for hikes in the San Jauns). To that point I was greeted by a message from Lisa (tridehiker) Friday indicating she and Annie had plans to hike the Crestones however the weather down south was forcing them to scrap those plans and look for an alternate hike, and asked if they could join. I welcomed that and they made their plans to drive up from Telluride, and meet us.

Doug, Michael and I departed Colorado Springs Friday shortly after 5PM, and after a pit stop at Chipotle were on our way out Hwy 24, took 9 into Breck then on up to I-70 into Vail. Unloaded the gear and made a late-night stroll through Vail Village - they have really made a great deal of progress on redevelopment of the Village and I look forward to a retrun trip just to hang out in Vail for a weekend.

Hitting the rack just before midnight, the 2:30 AM alarm came quickly, and we were on the road by 3AM to make our way to the Holy Cross Half Moon Trail Head ~ 1hr away. There were plenty of cars along Tigiwon Road already so we knew we would have plenty of company on the hike. We met Lisa and Annie, suited up, and were on the trail at 4:20 AM or as Michael likes to say "Dark-Thirty"

We were blessed with a blue bird day weather wise - calm to very light winds, mild temps, and mostly clear skies turning only slightly cloudy by mid-day!

> Start Early i.e. 3AM-4AM it is a long hike
> Consider camping at Tigiwon Creek the night before and even the night after - that ~900 ft of elevation gain on the way out is every bit as "unpleasant" as Bill indicates in the Route Notes...and then some! I was telling myself that since I have climbed the Manitou Springs Incline a number of times, and it being 2,000 ft elev over 1 mi, I can certainly handle 900 ft of gain! Well it's a bit different after summitting Holy Cross!

All said this was the most beautiful 14er hike thus far, and also the most difficult. It is a big hike!

With that, I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story. Enjoy the gallery!


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At the Trail Head L-R: Doug, Michael, Kent (Thanks for the photo Lisa!)


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What the forest looks like at 4:20 AM!


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Doug


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Michael


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Kent


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Holy Cross just before dawn


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Alpenglow on Holy Cross


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We met Jay, John, Joe, and Doug #2 en route - L-R: Jay, John, Joe, Kent, Doug C, Michael (Doug #2 taking photo)


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View of Holy Cross summit from the Ridge


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View of the final pitch to Holy Cross summit from the ridge

If you look very closely you can see climbers on the ridge and summit - they appear as small as ants

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Holy Cross Summit L-R: Doug, Michael, Kent


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For Kevin!


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Kevin Hayne Memorial Card I was holding


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Looking down onto the Bowl of Tears


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The Elk Range in the distance from Holy Cross Summit


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The Gore Range from Holy Cross Summit - Rumor is Al invented this about the time he invented the internet!


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Grays and Torreys Peaks in the distance from Holy Cross Summit


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Views from Holy Cross Summit


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A look back at the Talus boulders we had to navigate all the way from the ridge to the summit!


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Kent on the ridge with Bowl of Tears backdrop


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Cornice on the ridge


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Views along our descent


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Hikers enjoying lunch out on the point!


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Our descent...


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Our descent....


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Our descent...


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Our descent...


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Alpine Flowers at peak bloom!


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Alpine Flowers


To continue see Holy Cross...Holy Cairns (Part II)

www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=8581

If clicking on the link above does not take you directly to the active page, copy and paste the link into your browser



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (5)
kullpeak


Great Day - great weather     2010-07-25 18:42:03
Greenwok - enjoyed your review! You passed me and my buddy just at the final incline around 9 am. You guys were a bit quicker! I was particularly impressed with your memorial to Kevin Hayne. My youngest son goes to the High School he attended.

What a great day of weather for a long hike!


randalmartin


Beautiful Day on Holy Cross!     2010-07-25 20:01:02
Nice work Kent! Brings back some very fond memories from my Holy Cross trip last August. The color of the water in the Bowl of Tears is amazing. Looking forward to hiking together before the summer season is over.


globreal


Looks like you guys had a great time.     2010-07-25 22:12:59
Thanks for posting your report and pictures of your day. You've got some really nice photos...and now memories of a beautiful area.


bandofbrothersomaha


Great seeing you guys up there!     2010-07-28 08:31:12
Kent - We ran into you guys on the summit. We had about 20 guys from Band of Brothers men's ministry summiting that day. Thanks for taking the time to add to the Kevin Hayne memorial. What an amazing day that God gave us on the 24th on top of Mt of the Holy Cross!


greenwok


re: Great seeing you guys up there!     2010-07-28 12:07:17
@bandofbrothersomaha - Indeed I remember! Thanks for connecting. It truly was a beautiful day. Drop me a PM as I get to Omaha every quarter...next trip likely Sep. KG



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