Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
Date Posted:  07/07/2013
Date Climbed:   07/06/2013
Author:  cmcbill
 Holy Cross, Std Rt & CFI  

Holy Cross, 14,005,
Hiked: Sat 7/6/2013
8 friends and 2 dogs
Standard Route
Usual stats: ~11 mi, 5500 ft gain
Good weather

Leave TH: 5:15 AM
HM Pass, Outbound: 6:30 AM
E. Cross Crk, Outbound: 7:25 AM
1st Summiter: before 10:30,
Last Summiter: before 11:00 AM
E. Cross Crk, Inbound: 2:00 PM
HM Pass, Inbound: 3:10 PM
Arr TH: 4:00 PM
RT Time 10:45 HRs

This was just a group of 8 friends of friends doing a peak together.
Not all of us had met each other before.
3 had done HC before, 5 had not.
All had done at least some 14ers and other significant hikes.

3 of us went out on Friday and camped near the TH.
The Tigiwon Road is in good shape but bumpy.
There was 1 spot ~4-5 mi in where it very rutty and
a passenger car needs to be careful but can make it.
The rest of the road
is no problem for normal passenger cars.

We arrived at the TH ~4:30PM Fri and the campground was full so
we went back down the road a short distance, less than half mile,
and found an acceptable spot.
The campground only has 7 campsites.
There are a few but not a lot of other spots to camp along
the road near the campground.
It was a holiday weekend so all the THs in the area were busy.

Friday evening the whole area was swarming with skeeters!!!
Had to hit the tents early to survive!!

Everyone else met us at the TH at 5AM.
2 of the others had just arrived back in Denver at 7PM Fri nite from
a vacation at sea level.
They unpacked, repacked, drove out to the TH, leaving at ~2AM,
and at TH before 5AM. Summitted before 11AM.
So after spending 5 days at sea level,
they flew back to Denver and hiked to 14,005' in ~18 hrs.!!
Great job!!

All in all it was a pretty routine hike up HC.
Everyone was strong and the weather was good.
Some were much stronger than others and
could have been up and down much faster
but we stuck together for safety and conversation. ( Yack, yack, yack)
It did cloud up a bit late in the AM but nothing that
was threatening at all.
It never rained and we never heard any thunder.

Well I can't say enough good things about the great work CFI has done and is continuing to do on the HC and other trails!!!
Per Bill M.'s CFI Campaign page, they are doing trail work on the HC trail this summer
as well as 22 other peaks.
I'm making my contribution today!
The trail up HC has improved considerably since I last did it in 2008.
There were 2 CFI members up there just above timberline,
doing very hard work on the trail,
moving and placing very large rocks by hand, to make it more sustainable.
Now that is real work!!

It's also making the trail much more distinct,
all the way up to the base of the the final slope to the summit,
so people are less likely to get lost on the descent, which has happened many times.
The trail work also makes the hiking significantly easier and faster by creating a stable path of
relatively level rocks to walk on.
The alternative, in previous years, has been to slowly pick your way through the endless
talus and boulders, many not so stable, from timberline all the way to the summit.
But it is a trade-off of the purely-natural state of the mountain for a
nearly-natural state with a nice trail.

Of course we expressed our appreciation to the CFI members up there doing the actual work.
And thanks to Bill M. for supporting and promoting this great work!
I'm sure CFI is doing equally great work on all the other peaks they are working on!
Thanks again CFI!

 Comments or Questions

Three Cheers for CFI!
07/07/2013 22:39
We've gotta salute you for your endorsement of CFI! And, of course, you are to be commended for sticking together as a climbing group -- all eight of you! Having ”done” all of the Fourteeners myself, I've always thought that HC was one of the best. A 360 degree view from the top with nary a sign of civilization -- except for a wee rock one-room cabin off in the distance to the S/E. No power lines, no roads, no mine tailings -- just as things appeared a thousand years ago. Glad you filed your TR!

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