Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
Post Date:  08/10/2010
Date Climbed:   08/07/2010
Posted By:  GreenMan

 Up Halo Ridge to Holy Cross and down North Ridge   

Drove up to Holy Cross Friday night and showed up around 6pm. Started took off down Fall Creek Trail and hiked to the tree line which is at around 2.5 miles.
Near tree line

Hit the sack by 9pm and woke up at 4am. Probably the most sleep I have gotten the night before doing a 14er.

After packing up and taking a few photos of the stars we headed up the switchbacks at 4:40am.
Sun starting to come up durring switchbacks

Hit the ridge and shelter at 6am and waited for the sun to fully rise. Wind was blowing strong but the shelter was filled with people sleeping still so we stayed outside. Guessing that the people in the shelter were repairing the shelter as there was construction equipment all around.
Holy Cross from shelter

Once I got plenty of sunrise shots we continued on our way across the ridge at 6:20am. First peak was pretty insignificant and went fast.
Shelter from first peak

The saddle between that and the next was very slow going and took us about an hour to get across.
Hour long ridge

Another hour and we got to the other side of the 2nd peak. The next saddle was very welcoming as it was flat and not just massive boulders.
Shelter from flat saddle

Then came the last peak before Holy Cross. This one was steeper with larger boulders. By this point we were both very tired of climbing on boulders. Slowly we made it up and down that and then over even more boulders going up to Holy Cross. At 11:20am we made it to the peak of Holy Cross and took a much needed break. Looking at the times you can see it took 5 hours to cross the 2.5 mile ridge with our packs. It was well worth it though as other then the people sleeping in the shelter we didn't see a single person till we reached the final push up to the peak where the trail meets with the North Ridge trail.

After our break we followed out all the other people on the standard route. Much to joy began with more boulders. Although the boulders were much smaller so it wasn't truly that bad. Once we hit the dirt trail our motivation jumped a lot and the speed increased. Going went well the rest of the way until the final push up the switch backs near final couple miles of the standard route. Eventually got up those but they just felt like a kick in the ribs when we were already to be done. Ended back at the cars at 4pm making it a good 12 hour day with only about 2 hours of lengthy breaks. Legs still feel like jello and I would probably not take my pack to the top and rather just hike back in from the bottom to get it if I was to do it again since it was only about 2 miles in that we camped. Definitely the best 14er that I have done though. The views from the Ridge are amazing.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Great Route!!     08/11/2010 01:19
This has got to be my favorite route on one of my favorite mountains! Amazing views like you said! And yes, it IS a bit tiring. But worth every step!


Thanks for the detailed route..     08/11/2010 14:20
We were hoping to camp/hike in this same way, so thanks for the details! Your sunrise photos are great, and now I'm inspired to accomplish this journey.

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