Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
Date Posted:  06/28/2010
Modified:  06/29/2010
Date Climbed:   06/27/2010
Author:  Mtn_Topper
 North Ridge, Holy Cross  

Sunday June 27 was yet another beautiful day for climbing in Colorado. After having climbed Shavano and Tabeguache the previous weekend, I decided to bookend the Sawatch range by climbing the northern-most 14er, Mount of the Holy Cross. Left Denver at 3:45 AM and arrived at the Tigiwon Road turn off at 5:45 AM. The 8 miles of Tigiwon Road up to the Half Moon Trailhead were in pretty good shape and took me about 30 minutes. I set off on the trail just after 6:20 AM and began the pleasant climb up to Half Moon Pass. The views from the pass were stunning but I guess I hadn't realized that I wouldn't be able to see Holy Cross yet. After another 10-15 minutes of hiking, I rounded the bend toward Holy Cross and was able to behold this stunning peak in all its glory. With the morning light on its face, it was truly one of the most beautiful mountain views I'd ever seen in Colorado. I soon began the descent to East Cross Creek, slightly discouraged by each switchback down knowing I'd have to come up it at the end of the day. The creek was quite full, but with careful foot placement was able to cross without getting my feet wet. From the creek, I began making my way up the North Ridge of Holy Cross. Unfortunately, It was at this point that I realized that I'd failed to put the bladder into my CamelBak and thus only had a bottle of Gatorade in my pack to get me through the hike. I figured I might had to abandon the summit if I started to feel weak or dehydrated. Fortunately, I continued to feel strong on the way up the North Ridge. I wasn't sure what conditions might await me on the ridge, but found the route finding was easy and the the few patches of snow still remaining could be easily avoided. I reached the summit just before 10 AM, spent about 25 minutes eating lunch and chatting with some climbers that had come up the Cross Couloir, and then began my descent. On the immediate descent from the peak, I made the mistake of going too far right and ended up having to do a scarier than necessary talus traverse above a cliff band over Angelica Couloir. I was soon back on the North Ridge and made it down to East Cross Creek without difficultly. Surprisingly, the climb back up to Half Moon Pass was not as arduous as I'd been expecting and was able to make it back to the trailhead by 1 PM. Holy Cross is a great peak for climbing, but don't forget to bring your water.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Do you drive a Delorean?
06/28/2010 16:04
”Left Denver at 6:15 AM and arrived at the Tigiwon Road turn off at 5:45 AM.”

What did you use to power the Flux Capacitor? I‘d watch your back for some Libyans who are looking for their Uranium.


06/28/2010 16:13
Good catch. I wish I could have left Denver at 6:15 and arrived at Tigiwon turn off by 5:45, but sadly I had to wake up much earlier and left at 3:45 not 6:15.

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