Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
Date Posted:  07/27/2006
Modified:  07/31/2006
Date Climbed:   07/20/2006
Author:  RamonBusboom

 Holy Cross from the Tuhare Lakes  

I had a friend come to Colorado from South Caroline and we planned a little backpacking excursion. Originally our group planned on 5 day, 25 or so mile trip, however we had 3 younger persons and had to revise.

We ended up camping at Lake Constantine (worked out very well with kids that loved to fish and hike up to some snow fields). The day of the Ascent we woke up at 5:30 and I being the camp chef started breakfast. We ended up leaving camp shortly before 7:00.

Our first leg was to get up to Tuhare lakes, if you have never been to Tuhare I would highly recommend it. It's an unbelievable example of greate cirque geology. This climb went well with some steep trail climbs and some really nice waterfalls.

Our second leg was to get out of the cirque and on top of Halo Ridge. This was the most gruelling part of the trip as there was no defined trail (not even in Roach's book). My partner wasn't very experienced and I came to find out during the middle of this trip, a little scared of hights.

We took it slow and ended up cresting the ridge to an unbelievable view of Holy Cross and the ridge that we had to navigate to make it up the South side of the peak.

Our third leg was getting over the 13,800 foot point south of Holy Cross. In my opinion this was the most non-enjoyable part of the trip. Large boulders that were hard to "hop" and it had rained to make everything slick.

Once down to the saddle on the south side it was a nice ascent and I had about 15 minutes of the top to myself. A local scout grouped ascented shortly after from Iowa. They did end up giving my dog a lot to eat, so I'm grateful that.

We started our descent which was steep, loose, and slow going to get back down into Tuhare. Our plan was to cross the Halo Ridge and descend Notch Mountain, but we had overestimate the time it took to get to Holy Cross.

Overall a very enjoyable day, and a long hike (we paused often for my friend, so it took us 11.5 hours to finish this journey). Unfortunately our Camera got wet the day before and wasn't working, so I don't have but one "route" photo to share.

I would love to do the entire Halo Ridge hike again in a single day with more experienced companions. Congratulations AJ on your 1st 14er (and a dandy it was).


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