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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-07-04||Route: Halo Ridge
Info: Not to sound like a broken record, but lets be real. When someone here says you should bring mosquito repellent, its for good reason/mandatory. The mosquitos are heavy (anywhere from 20 to 50 trying to land when while tying your shoe) to 12,000 ft. and then moderate to 13,000. If you don‘t bring repellent/or long sleeves and pants you WILL be miserable! (learn from the fool don‘t be the fool) The trail conditions for Halo: muddy with standing running water in the trail in isolated areas below treeline. All snow crossing (3 or 4 very short 10 yard sections) and are soft. You will posthole. Like the previous report mentioned that the crossing toward MOTHC is pretty sturdy. If you do want to find solitude on the MOTHC, Halo Ridge to HCR and back to MOTHC is your best option right now. The North Ridge is pretty much snow free on the trail, just a bunch of gneiss shist, don‘t take it for granite. (geology pun sorry) Also noted in another previous trip report the log at East Cross is very slippery. It is, I would recommend another pair of socks for your pack (again don‘t be the fool, I‘m the fool).
|2015-07-03||Route: North Ridge
Info: 1 - North route is very well maintained and the route is very easy to follow. No need for snow shoes, crampons or other items. 2 - There is a very large population of mosquitos in the wooded areas on both sides of the river crossing. 3 - I would strongly recommend bringing lots of mosquito repellent. 4 - This is a long hike for one day so either bring lots of water and plant or bring your filtration system and you can make water from the river. 5 - The river crossing is manageable but take extra socks encase you dip a foot or two. 6 - I would recommend staying off the snow on the ridge up to the base of the peak as it has a cornice that you can not see until you are on top.
|2015-07-03||Route: North Ridge
Info: Near-summer conditions. The trail is dry and clear of snow until the ridge. Any remaining snow is either off-trail or easily circumvented. No traction required. Mosquitoes are thick and aggressive from the top of Half Moon Pass, into the basin and up to the ridge above treeline. The river crossing is very full. Bring at least one trekking pole and waterproof shoes as the log is floating and unstable. The pool is mid-thigh deep (yes, I fell in). The road is passable by nearly all cars, although there are several places that passenger cars will have to slowly navigate. The last 150ft of the Cross Couloir is melted out.
|2015-07-02||Route: Halo Ridge
Info: Again, tomorrow late I‘ll have a trip report up with pics (link to my blog, actually). I did Halo to North Ridge (clockwise). The Reader‘s Digest version...For Halo you just need poles, sturdy shoes (or ankles), and stamina. Oh, and water. I carried and drank about 4 liters for my 2a.m. to 2p.m. hike. On Halo no need to walk on snow unless you want to--although there is a snow field just below Holy Cross summit that would be hard to avoid (I just walked across it). Same with the North Ridge route--there is a huge snowbank on the ridge itself, but the trail goes beside it, so you have basically summer conditions. And, yes, the mosquitoes are out--especially by East Cross Creek. Someone asked about the Notch Mnt traverse route--I think you would be fine as the snow is disappearing rapidly. Look at my pictures Thu or Fri and see what you think.
|2015-06-29||Route: North Ridge
Info: First of all, thanks to those who worked improving the trial; the many stone steps take away a lot of misery. I don‘t mind getting burned in the sun, but those mosquitoes (described in previous reports) are as bad as can be! They chase you when you walk, and swarm you when you stop. Doesn‘t stop until you get above tree line, which is a big chunk of the route. I put on repellant, but should have brought more. And they don‘t go away in daytime sunlight. Anyway, the conditions: the river is high but still crossable walking on a loose log. Snow is no longer to worry about. You get to walk along a long cornice approaching the top that occasionally covers the path, but just move over a little and your fine. I didn‘t go back by way of the Halo route, but could see a little easy snow to cross (see picture).
|2015-06-29||Route: Cross Couloir
Info: See the previous report - sums it up perfectly. All I have to add is stay away from exposed rocks in the couloir, even if there are steps kicked in near them. The snow around them goes slushy way before everything else.
|2015-06-27||Route: North Ridge
Info: BRING THE BUG SPRAY! Mosquitoes will be all the motivation you need to keep moving on the trail right now. Aside from being constantly snacked on it was pretty good conditions. No spikes, snowshoes etc needed or even useful to summit. Creek is running pretty high at the moment but wasn‘t an issue to cross. I stayed in my boots and used my poles, a lot of people (even ones who brought poles) were going barefoot, both worked whatever you are more comfortable with. Met people on the summit coming up the couliers, not sure how much longer that will be an option as the snow is melting quick. All in all a great day.
|2015-06-27||Route: North Ridge
Info: Very little snow remaining. About half of the summit is snow covered but can be easily avoided. Don‘t forget bug spray, the mosquitoes are relentless. Creek crossing is pretty high but can be done, was very happy to have poles to help cross, if I can make it across without falling in I‘m sure anyone can!
|2015-06-27||Route: Cross Couloir
Info: Ascended the cross couloir and descended halo ridge. Cross couloir is still very filled in. The snow was perfect for kick steps and was softening up near the top around 8:30am. At the bottom, the snow was icy (lack of sunlight early am). Halo ridge was fun. Just used hiking poles to descend the ridge. Plenty of scrambling and talus hopping. No snowshoes required. Used 2 axes on the cross couloir. Get on that cross while it‘s still good! Did not need crampons or micro spikes or an axe at all on the ridge.
|2015-06-22||Route: North Ridge
Info: Climbed the North Ridge in t-shirt, shorts, and running shoes (no need for flotation, I did not use traction but I imagine some people might be more comfortable with microspikes). Left the Half Moon Pass TH at 0818. Summit at 1002. Random, easily by-passable sections of snow up to Half Moon Pass. Descending to East Cross creek still has snow that has slid down from Notch ridge. Mobs of mosquito‘s around East Cross creek until above tree-line. Between 11,000 and 11,800 the trail was nearly entirely snow covered- I made a track that approximates the summer trail. Between 11,800 and 13,000 there is intermittent snow. Above 13,000 to the summit is almost continuous snow, but by-passable by walking off trail. The summit is entirely snow covered. You could easily ski Holy Cross Couloir off the summit. In fact, I saw a lone skier boot-packing up the couloir. The central runnel is about one metre deep. I left the summit at 1100 and the couloir was still frozen. I imagine it would not have corned-up until at least noon.
|2015-06-21||Route: Cross Couloir
Info: Still in, but not what I‘d call a fun ski. Decent sized runnel through entire length. Discontinuous snow below the exit at 12,800‘
|2015-06-21||Route: North Ridge
Info: After a nice early drive from Denver, we arrived at the Half Moon TH at 7am. Tigiwon Road is now open and in good condition for 2-WD. The trail up to Half Moon Pass is in great shape with very little snow cover. The mosquito‘s were a bit of a nuisance in the lower wooded parts of the trail so make sure to pack spray. Snow became more prevalent heading down the pass but managed the entire day without using micro-spikes. The creek crossing was fairly easy with trekking poles but it’s definitely flowing heavy with the recent high temps so watch your step. From the tree-line up to summit, the trail became harder to follow due to the occasional deep snow patch but the large cairns made it manageable to stay on track. The last pitch to the summit had little snow and the majority of the trail is visible for the last 500’-700’. Overall the trail is in good condition, give it another week or two and most of the trail will be completely free of snow. Amazing views all around. Enjoy!
|2015-06-21||Route: Halo Ridge
Info: Ascended the Halo Ridge, descended the North Ridge. Halo Ridge - snow on some of the switchbacks to gain the ridge, but you can avoid most of it by boulder hopping. I used snowshoes for a couple of sections between PT 13373 and PT 13831. Probably wouldn‘t need them in another week. North Ridge - no need for snowshoes. Some snow on the trail, but never enough to need snowshoes. Trekking poles helpful for stream crossing. Bring insect repellent - skeeters are out in force. Added some photos (Captions provide info). No pics of Notch Mtn from the east.
|2015-06-09||Route: Halo Ridge
Info: Notch Mountain and Halo Ridge looking pretty snowy. Savage Peak (13er south of Holy Cross) had tons of snow on the approach 6/9. Tigiwon Road is closed until 6/21 for Elk migration.
|2014-11-09||Route: Halo Ridge
Info: This report is probably useless for 2014 since winter really kicked in the day after we were there. However, maybe it can give a general indication of what it can be like at this time of the year. I‘m guessing it had only snowed about 6" in the two weeks prior. However conditions up high were very tough. There was snow filled in between all the boulders and talus, and once you reach the shelter it‘s pretty much all talus hopping along the ridge line for 2.5 mi. to the summit. To make matters worse because the snow was between rocks it was always soft and never wind blown so you could never count on solid steps on the snow. Traction or snowshoes would have been useless. It took us twice as long to cover the 2.5 mi. ridge as it took to climb the 5 mi. to the shelter. Brutal. Went down the North Ridge route because we wanted to get as far away from Halo Ridge as possible. Half Moon Pass (1k vertical climb) was worth not having to retrace that ridge in the semi-winter conditions. It seems to me that Halo Ridge would be easier in Summer or Winter. However it really is a long route!! Be careful descending the North Ridge route in snow (it was pretty much all snow down to about 11k ft). It‘s very easy to lose the trail. Make sure you find your way to the trail leading E over Half Moon Pass. Veer right below tree line across the fall line. If you don‘t you can end up lost in the valley where dozens of people get lost every summer. Not a good thing in the winter.
|2014-10-24||Route: North Ridge
Info: Minimal snow or other difficulties over notch moutain pass and into East Cross creek camping area. Ran into an inch or two of snow well within the tree line ascending from east cross creek towards the north ridge but it was well-packed and the trail easily established. We lost the trail approx 11,600‘ (which after more in-depth reading I have discovered is a common mistake) and didn‘t find it again until the summit. This made the trip more arduous than it had to be by extending our scrambling time significantly. Be sure to locate the cairns further north and east on the ridge when ascending from the trees rather than advancing too far SW on to the face. TALL BOOTS OR SNOW GAITORS are a necessity unless you are willing to be miserable (I witnessed this in my hiking companion and it nearly drove her to turn around several times). Brought cramp-ons but never used. Not enough snow yet for snow shoes. The snow also makes the trail very difficult to spot in between cairns and hides deep pockets between large rocks that readily swallow your legs. Rock scrambling was preferred in our group and a hiking stick was also a great help in choosing paths. The view from the top was well-worth the arduous trek- beautiful.
|2014-10-18||Route: Halo Ridge
Info: Halo Ridge is snow covered from 11,000 feet up. The snow pack makes for slow going along the ridge. Rockhopping was the name of the game yesterday. Gaiters were a must and traction was brought but not used. We descended the North Ridge and had the same experience as jrs1965‘s report.
|2014-10-18||Route: North Ridge
Info: No issue with Tigiwon Road or the trailhead. Trail had just a few spots of packed snow in the shade on the TH side of Halfmoon Pass. Same conditions on opposite side of the pass. Snow became more consistent on the opposite side of the creek while in the trees but was still packed on the trail. Above treeline the snow was more windblown and sparse leading up to the ridge. While on the ridge much of the leeward side of the trail was covered with the windblown snow while the windward side was bare (see pics). The final pitch had similar conditions with some deeper snow in the pits between the boulders. Traction/spikes and gaiters are a must now. Wintery weather is rolling in the next few days so these trail condition will change quickly...
|2014-10-11||Route: North Ridge
Info: Trail was dry to top of Halfmoon Pass. Snow/ice present in a few places on the other side, as well as starting after the last campsite on the other side of creek. In morning, mud was frozen but melted and slippery in afternoon starting near treeline from the ridge. Snow got more consistent near where trail joins the ridge, and the "post holes" were over knee deep. Traction useful, winds strong and blowing snow at times. Summit covered in a couple feet of snow.
|2014-09-07||Route: North Ridge
Info: Superb hiking conditions throughout the standard route. There were no mosquitoes at the creek (cold weather may have killed them off?), although I didn‘t camp and was just a through-hiker. A rain/graupel storm gathered north of the peak on my ascent, but hearing no thunder and seeing no cloud height build-up, I pressed on, vowing to turn around at the first sound of thunder. On the summit, more graupel fell, but then the skies cleared for a gorgeously clear summit experience. On the descent, rain clouds gathered and rained, but there was no thunder or lightning. I noticed a few aspen leaves changing to yellow (less than 1% of them), and suspect that the next two weekends will have beautiful color.