| Holy Cross - via Halo Ridge
Peaks: Holy Cross (14,005 ft)
Notch Mountain South (13,224 ft)
Date Climbed: 10-17-08
Trailhead: Half Moon (Tigiwon)
Route: Halo Ridge
Total Mileage: 13.5 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 5,357 ft
10-16-08 Walt arrived at the Half Moon Campground late afternoon. We pitched camp and had a relaxing evening by the campfire shooting the breeze.
10-17-08 By 7:00am we were on our way up the Fall Creek/ Notch Mountain Trail. The trail gradually ascends up the Fall Creek drainage. At the base of Notch Mountain the trail steepens and a grundle (30+) of switchbacks begin up to the Notch Mountain Shelter.
A couple of lakes in the upper Fall Creek drainage below the switchbacks.
The elusive pika soaking up some rays!
At the top of the switchbacks you reach the Notch Mountain shelter with a great view of Holy Cross
From the shelter we took a short side detour to the south summit of Notch Mountain. Unfortunaltey we did not have rope and other gear needed to make the descent into the notch and back up to the north summit. From what we could see it looked class 5.
Notch Mountain North (13,237 ft), 13 feet higher than the south summit.
Holy Cross from Notch Mountain south.
From Notch Mountain we hiked back to the shelter and onward to PT. 13,248.
Bowl of Tears.
Looking back on PT13,248.
Route to PT13,373
Route to PT13,831
Upper Tuhare Lake
View of Holy Cross from PT13,831
View from Holy Cross summit to the west.
View from north from Holy Cross Summit. Route in red follows the ridge to the valley bottom, very rocky and somewhat a miserable descent with a little snow.
We descended via the north ridge of Holy Cross and tied into the Half Moon trail, up and over halfmoon pass, and back to Half Moon Campground. We arrived back at the truck at about 5:30pm.
View north into Cross Creek (Patricia Lake) and Halfmoon Pass from Holy Cross Summit. The blue line represents a very rough estimate of where the trail is located.
The descent from Holy Cross was the least enjoyable part of the hike due to a few inches of snow making the rock hopping a bit tedious. If someone hadn't broken trail up already through the snow from the bottom of East Cross Creek, finding the trail below treeline would have been a chore coming down. The trek around Halo Ridge was exceptional and highly recommend it. We took our time and enjoyed the vistas along the way.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):