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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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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby mountainrev » Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:59 pm

Stlouishiker: I don't have an answer for you about when the FS will close Tigiwon Rd. Last reports I heard hadn't pinned it down yet. Don't make any plans yet, though.

I also clicked on the link to your website, which says you're in 7th grade. Good for you to be doing this! However, that being the case, unless you're an amazingly strong and fit 7th grader, I would absolutely recommend doing the standard route for Holy Cross, not Halo Ridge. You can still do it in a day, if you want, but if you're a bit iffy on how you'll do, altitude and stamina-wise, then you might as well set up camp around Cross Creek and make it a day-and-a-half trip.

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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby Corndiggs » Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:43 pm

If you do decide to backpack the standard route there are a couple of spots to camp just after crossing Half Moon Pass (Off to your right in the trees). There is a stream that crosses the trail for water and you don't have to lug your entire pack up from Cross Creek on your return. I camped there mid July last year for a couple nights; climbed Holy Cross on the second day, then up Notch Mountain the third to get a shot of the cross.

Still a ton of mosquitos up there too so be prepared!
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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby glodder » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:52 am

I voted for Halo Ridge in one day. Rockchalk said it well above. It was a tough day, but reasonably doable if you're in decent shape. And we thought it was epic. The view from the Notch Mountain shelter house will knock your socks off, as will the views all along Halo Ridge. I also agree with USAKeller on the return trip over Half Moon pass; it's tough "opposite elevation" and several of the people in our group had a tough time with that 900-foot climb on the descent.

I also agree with others that the difficulty of this route can be compared to Longs, but it's a completely different kind of difficulty. Several people from our group climbed Longs the previous year with relative ease, but then struggled more with the Halo Ridge route. The constant off-trail rock-hopping with "opposite elevation" everywhere (ups and downs of the ridge, the return over Half Moon Pass, etc.) made it a major endurance challenge. Whereas Longs' difficulty, although endurance is part of it, is more in the technical sections and just negotiating the terrain.

Part of our endurance challenge was the expectation of the climb, and maybe our miscalculations in the planning. We didn't anticipate all the ups and downs of the route. We looked at Roach's guide from a net elevation standpoint, and compared it to our previous year's hike (Longs), and it appeared on paper to be easier than Longs. Not true. So expectations of a tough day are key, so as not to be surprised by the length and toughness of the hike.

And it depends on the person too. I thought the Halo Ridge route was slightly easier than the Longs Keyhole Route, but others in our group thought the Halo Ridge Route was much tougher than the Keyhole Route.

Well-conditioned, expect a long up-and-down rock-hopping day, and get an early start (similar to the typical early start on Longs); those are probably the keys to Halo Ridge. It's a great hike.

Todd
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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby mountainrev » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:57 am

glodder wrote:I voted for Halo Ridge in one day. Rockchalk said it well above. It was a tough day, but reasonably doable if you're in decent shape.


See my earlier post, however. Stlouishiker is a 7th grader. I'm sure there are 12-year-olds out there who could handle Halo Ridge, but not many.

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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby glodder » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:07 am

That's a good point, mountainrev. I didn't see that before I wrote my post. Be careful out there, Stlouishiker! It's a long "loop" route, where there is a "point of no return" element to it!

Todd
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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby Matt » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:33 am

Last edited by Matt on Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:42 am

stlouishiker wrote:Thanks for the input, but does anyone know when the Forest Service will decide to close the tiwigon road, either in '09 and '10

Signs on the road last summer indicated it would be closed this year. Some prep work was already being done at that time.
This article from last summer indicates that the FS hadn't decided yet on 2009 or 2010, so maybe the signs were unduly pessimistic.

It's always closed until late June/early July anyway for elk calving.
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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby CO Native » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:31 pm

If it goes anything like their bridge replacement project on the Chicago Basin trail, it shouldn't be a problem until closer to 2020.
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Re: Holy Cross Question

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:47 pm

The beetle-killed trees might close the road themselves, if enough of them fall over onto it.
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