Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
Date Posted:  07/28/2012
Modified:  07/29/2012
Date Climbed:   07/28/2012
Author:  dtalbot
 Holy Cross - Half Moon Pass  

This is my first trip report with Mt. of the Holy Cross being my 11th peak. I have to admit that it was also the hardest one I've done yet. After looking at the weather report I was strongly considering cancelling, but my 24 year old son had rearranged his work schedule to do this with me, so we were on the road around 3 am and got on the trail head about 5:45. We were able to squeeze in to a small parking spot so we didn't have to park way down the road. The lot was full and cars were still coming in while we were getting ready. Half Moon Pass was very scenic and the assent up wasn't too bad. The descent down to the river went quickly and before we knew it the steep assent went on for a long time. There were times I wanted to turn around, but my son really wanted to reach the summit. Fortunately, the trail was extremely well marked and with frequent short rests I was able to keep up. Once I got in view of the summit I was thinking to myself "no way", but my son kept prompting me and slowly but steadily we made it to the top around 10:30. We had lunch and a short rest. The views from the top are spectacular. I looked for the tube with the sign in sheet, but couldn't find it and no one I talked to could find it either. We could see the clouds drifting in so we didn't stay on top too long. There were still many people coming up as we were going down. The trip down was long and hard on my legs and feet. Thank goodness the weather remained cool with no rain. There was a lot of pounding and riding the brakes on the way down. Once we got back down to the river we were pretty tired, but knew the assent back up was waiting. Finally we started the long descent back to the trail head (it always seems longer on the way back). Even If I'd known the fatigue, stomach ache, and pain this trip would cause me, I'd do it anyway. The views were great and it's the most majestic looking peak I've seen yet. It let me know I need to get back in better shape.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Talked with you after the hike in the parking lot
07/30/2012 21:09
Good for your son for persevering and good for you for letting him coax you.
I too had some concern over the forecast, that's why we started around 3:15 a.m.
I enjoyed talking with you and your son at the end of the day, I was the one parked next to you. So if you'd ever like to tackle more of these in the future, I'm always looking for hiking partners. Hit me up here on 14' with a Private Message.
Congrats on completing this strenuous trek...people I know who have done a lot or all of the 14'ers affirm that the Cross is one tough peak to attain. Excelsior! - Bill Beagle (Beagle is the user name here)


Yes, yes and yes
07/31/2012 02:49
The reality is that Holy Cross is a very difficult hike. I had a friend do it as his first 14er and I'm shocked he's still doing 14ers. I did this one about 3 weeks and it was the first one I backpacked into (Harvard/Columbia quickly followed). For folks doing this trip, think about backpacking in, and in the future, as the 14ers get further and further away, consider backpacking in the day before. I honestly resisted, but now I'm a believer. Good work on Holy Cross. There's some interesting disaster stories about Holy Cross, mainly because of the distance and vast wilderness that it's in. But it is an absolutely gorgeous peak! Congrats on your accomplishment.


08/13/2012 15:39
Great report, Congratulations!! My girlfriend and I are thinking of backpacking to the creek and camping at the lake below the summit. We would then get an early start and summit the next morning. I was wondering, does anyone knows it there are any fish in the lake? (I would like to catch our dinner)

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