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Holy Cross Question

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Holy Cross: Dayhike or Overnight

Dayhike standard route.
18
44%
Backpack standard route.
8
20%
Dayhike Halo Ridge.
12
29%
Backpack Halo Ridge in hut.
3
7%
 
Total votes : 41
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Holy Cross Question

Postby stlouishiker » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:15 pm

I was wondering would it be better to make Holy Cross a day hike or a overnight.

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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby stlouishiker » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:26 pm

rustic wrote:I thought it was harder than Longs. Endurance not skill.


I heard that from other people too.
Supposedly the talus and boulder hopping wears you down.

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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby USAKeller » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:39 pm

I think your decision should depend on a few different things: whether or not you are a fast hiker, if you normally start hiking early, and if you are able to tolerate the millions of mosquitos near East Cross Creek, just to name a few. And remember, you lose about 1,000ft. descending into the creek area so you'll have to re-gain that on the way out, plus another 3 miles back to the trailhead. I know some people who are so tired from the climb that hiking that on the way out exhausts them even more. I have camped there (sans bug spray, which I will never do again), and did it in a day. But, these are just a few things to consider when you plan your trip...
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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby Rockymtnhigh69 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:03 pm

I agree with USA Keller. It is a big day. It will test you. I think coming out of Cross Creek back over Half Moon is actually over 1,000 feet and it will sap your energy big time. A lot of people choose to do the overnight camp, but others will do it all in one day. It is very doable in one day, just gauge you and your groups overall fitness level and make the decision on which way to do it.
On my first take-off, I hit second gear and went through the speed limit on a two-lane blacktop highway full of ranch traffic. By the time I went up to third, I was going 75 and the tach was barely above 4000 rpm....
And that's when the Ducati got its second wind. From 4000 to 6000 in third will take you from 75 mph to 95 in two seconds - and after that, Bubba, you still have fourth, fifth, and sixth. Ho, ho.

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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby MountainHiker » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:03 pm

I voted for day hike, standard route. I don’t think the extra elevation on the return justifies doing it as a backpack. But then I do better with extra distance and elevation than extra weight. If you enjoy doing backpacks, I could recommend several other hikes that don’t involve uphill on the return.

As for the physical effort – my recommendation is to leave Holy Cross until you have done a dozen or more fourteeners. By then you will have a better feel for what the extra cumulative gain will mean to you. If you are able to do other fourteeners earlier the same summer as Holy Cross, your stamina will be better on that famous uphill on the return.

Also have your navigation skills – map, compass, GPS - honed by the time you do Holy Cross. With most (not all) of the other “easy” fourteeners, if you lose the trail, you can keep going downhill and come out somewhere okay - often the valley just pushes you back to the same trail. With Holy Cross, if you lose the trail, you can miss a critical turn and end up lost.
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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby huelskbc » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:59 pm

I did Holy Cross as my 4th 14er, and I would say backpack the standard route unless you've got pretty good endurance. The hike back out over Half Moon is pretty tiring, and after gaining, losing, then gaining again on the way to the summit, the hike out was the last thing I wanted to do. We camped by East Cross Creek, and USAKeller is right- bug spray is a necessity. In a cruel twist of fate, our can was full, but the nozzle was broken. We ended up breaking it open on a rock out of desperation. But I digress... I would guess that if you're in good shape and get an early start, a day hike is doable, but the trip was more pleasant as an overnighter, in my opinion. Doing that also gives you the option of hitting Notch Mountain the next day on your way out, if you're ambitious and want to actually see the cross on Holy Cross.

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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby CO_girl66 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:03 pm

I voted the dayhike standard route... My climbing buddy and I did it in the end of October and it was an 18 hour day but it really shouldn't have taken us that long, we admired the beauty a little too much l :). But it really depends on whether or not you're wanting to get exercise out of it.. That moutain has been the hardest I've done so far but I definitely recommend it! If you really want to take in all the scenery and take your time on the way up I would say do Halo and stay at the hut then continue on the next day... Either way, it's a great mountain
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You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again... So why bother in the first place? Just this, what is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen.There is an art to conducting oneself in the lower region by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can see no longer, one can at least know.
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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby BAUMGARA » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:13 pm

If I had to do it again I'd do Halo Ridge.

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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby JosephG » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:24 pm

Did the standard route mid-October with two friends (one of whom came from flatter territory out of state & it was his first 14er, if either of those tells you anything) and with snow covering the route above treeline. It was tough and long, but we got it done, and all in the late-fall daylight. Previous post-ers are right, though: the 1,000 ft re-ascent really takes the wind out of your sails (nevermind the lungs). We are, however, relatively fast hikers. Very tiring, very enjoyable. Not much of a mosquito problem in October, but they were somewhat problematic in July along Halo Ridge if you stopped for a breather before treeline.

The halo ridge route is considerably longer & more strenuous, though arguably more scenic.

That said, if Tigiwon Road is closed . . . shudder!

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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby mjsherman » Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:00 pm

The first time I did Holy Cross I came in from the south by hiking up the notoriously burtal 4x4 road to Holy Cross City. You take the Homestake road off of the highway. You don't actually go to Holy Cross City, there is a turn for it to the left off the jeep road. Next you hike by Hunky Dory Lake at 11,300. There are good camping site there if you want to break it up into two days. There are not near the crowds on this side. The landscape is beautiful. You cross Seven Sisters Lakes at 12,750 and then start up to the ridge(Holy Cross Ridge). You walk the West side of the Ridge to the summit. You can also get a Holy Cross Ridge Peak which is a Centennial Peak. This route is only a 1/2 longer according to Dawson guide book. You could make it shorter than that by driving up the jeep road farther. Have an excellent off road vehicle though this road is like the Blanca Peak Road if you are familiar. It will damage most vehicles in some way unless they are highly modified. This route is 1.1.3 in Dawson's Guide to Colorado Fourteeners Northern Peaks. I did the standard route about six years later and liked the Southern Route better. You could also do a tour de Holy Cross and go over Fall Creek Pass and end up at the trailhead for the standard route by stashing a car. But it sounds as if the Tigiwon road is going to be closed. Just another alternative.
Matt

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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby stlouishiker » Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:47 pm

Holy Cross would be in 2010, would the Tiwigon Road be open then?
What other ways are there to do Holy Cross, besides from the Halfmoon Pass/Tiwigon Trailhead?
Does anyine have more info on the Holy Cross City Route?
Thanks

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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby mjsherman » Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:58 pm

It depends on when you want to climb. The Tigiwon road is usually closed into June For Elk Calving. Then it is normally open after that. What other info would you like on the Holy Cross city route?

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