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 Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
 Post Date:  07/06/2009 Modified: 11/13/2010
 Date Climbed:   06/30/2009
 Posted By:  dmccool

 Holy Cross North Ridge   

I drove to Halfmoon TH from Avon, CO - got to the TH around 5:15am.

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The hike up to Halfmoon Pass was dry and pretty easy. Hiking at a moderate pace, I made it to the Pass in just under an hour.

View of Mt. Jackson from Halfmoon Pass

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Looking back at the Gore Range

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The trail coming down toward East Cross Creek was pretty dry, except for a couple washed out sections.

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Holy Cross comes into view

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A closer look at HC

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You'll come to a really cool section of Aspen trees on your way down to the creek

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Crossing a little stepping stone "bridge" just before the Creek

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East Cross Creek was rushing pretty hard. Be careful walking across the make-shift bridge. It's pretty stable, but a little slippery.

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Just above treeline, Holy Cross comes back into view

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Looking toward Notch Mountain

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The trail above 12,500 has broken segments, but is well cairned. Just look closely for markers (they're not all this large)

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Walking up the ridge just below Angelica Couloir. This is the only significant snow I encountered all day. It's packed solid.

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The Rock Shelter on Notch Mountain

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The remaining route up to the summit requires a lot of talus hopping and broken trail segments. Choose the path of least resistence while keeping an eye out for the many cairns.

Summit looking south toward the Maroon Bells

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Looking toward the Gore Range

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On your way down, stay to the right towards Angelica Couloir and the snow field along the ridge. You'll do a lot of talus and boulder hopping.

After re-crossing the Creek, you have to regain the 1,000 feet or so back up to Halfmoon Pass. It's tiring, but if you go slowly it's not too bad. I summited about 10:05 am and made it back to the TH around 2:00 pm.

This is a fantastic hike with great views the entire way. It's my favorite 14er so far. I met some great people along the way and on the summit. A great day overall and 14er #13.



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