Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
Date Posted:  07/05/2009
Date Climbed:   07/04/2009
Author:  astromwall

 4th of July on Holy Cross  

Holy cross on the 4th was such a fun day. We left home Friday morning to hike in and camp at the creek. The early trail was nice and flat before eventually climbing steadily to Halfmoon pass.
The trail was very green and there were flowers blooming all over.
It took just over an hour for us to reach the top of the pass with full packs. It was nice to start heading down, I was dreading coming back up the following day from what other trip reports have said.
The trail descended lightly and traversed for a while before we got out first view of Holy Cross. The view into the valley was amazing.
We could see the entire ridge we would be hiking the following morning.
After the switchbacks into the valley I dropped my pack and ran around to find a good campsite. We found a great site by taking this little trail to the right about 50 feet before you cross the creek.
You could see the summit of Holy Cross from our site barely sticking out above the ridge line.
With the way the weather has been our plan was to start hiking around 4AM. I hit the snooze 3 times then we reset the alarm for an hour later and were on the trail by 5:30. Not far up the trail we got a good view of sunrise over the Gore range.
About an hour into the hike we were coming out of tree line and the sun was shining bright.
From just above treeline we got a view of the next part of the hike. There were a few people higher on the ridge in front of us. Also, Holy Cross finally shows herself. She is really pretty!
The trail gets steeper as it makes its way back to the rocky ridge. Here is my wife coming up behind me.
There were still lots of flowers growing in all the rocky terrain, tough little guys.
Starting up the rocky ridge we got a bigger view of Holy Cross. The summit still looks like a long way off...and it is.
Once we gained the first hump on the long ridge we were ready to walk on the cornice for a while. We could see the dirt trail to our right but this made it so much easier. I did notice a couple fractures in the snow closer to the edge. We stayed as far right as we could without post holing and it definitely saved a lot of time up and down.
When we left the snow and turned up to the left we were greeted by some steep loose trail sections that were hard to follow. For the most part we scrambled up the larger rocks and it was a fun final approach to the summit.
Julie making here way up the last slope.
Looking down on the bowl of tears from the summit.
Notchtop shelter in the distance.
And the summit shot!
There were 3 people up top when we arrived and more on the way. It took us 3 hours and 15 minutes from camp. We took some pictures, talked to some people, ate, and headed down to break camp. Looking down the cornice back at halfmoon pass knowing we had to climb up that with full packs in a bit was not a welcome thought.
Once we packed up and headed out we were at the top of the pass in 1 hour. It was SOOOOO much easier then people have made it sound. There were 9 steep switchbacks and then the steady inclined traverse and then the top. Not a problem. From there we headed down and were at the car in 35 minutes. Later that night we hiked up the old Dillon reservoir trail and watched Frisco's fireworks. Good way to end the day!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

HC Nice Day!
07/06/2009 03:56
Nice TR - looks like y‘all had a beautiful couple of days and fantastic experience! Thanks for sharing your journey




Great Photos
07/06/2009 15:40


great TR
07/06/2009 15:54
Awesome photos, good work


Tigiwon road condition
07/06/2009 20:14
I was just wondering if my Taurus sedan will have enough clearance to make it the 8 miles to the trailhead. Sounds like your trip went very well.


07/06/2009 22:41
we went up there on the first in a honda accord; if that helps

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