Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,005 feet
Date Posted:  10/12/2014
Date Climbed:   10/11/2014
Author:  emgordon
 North Ride, Snow Hike   

Frost on all the plants and rocks, even the mud was frozen when I started hiking. Went smoothly until near treeline below the ridge, when the snow started covering the trail. I put on Yaktrax near where the trail gains the ridge, also wearing gaiters as the snow got deeper. Trekking poles very helpful. Some existing boot pack was calf to knee deep, though I definitely stepped in a few thigh deep drifts. The final section, when the trail leaves the ridge traverse and becomes steeper, was quite challenging due to the snow and large rocks. It was close to winter conditions all the way from the ridge to the summit, stayed cold all day and received frozen precipitation at two times in the afternoon. Dark and cloudy for most of the hike as well. See pictures below for some ideas. Also, here are some key timings (ignoring most breaks).

Start temp 32, End temp 43
Start time 5:30, End time 4:30

TH to pass 45 minutes
Pass to first view of Holy Cross 30 minutes
8 or 10 switchbacks down to creek 15 minutes
Creek to tree line 1 hour
Sun finally appeared over ridge at 8:40
Put yaktrax on 15 minutes after tree line
Ridge reached 30 minutes after yaktrax
Started ascending from ridge 1 hour later
First steep section took 30 minutes
Last steep section took 30 minutes

About 90 minutes from summit to tree line
About 30 minutes each for tree line to creek, creek to top of pass, and pass to TH

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5

Comments or Questions

Great info!
10/14/2014 15:40
Thanks for all of the info and pictures! Any beta on what Notch Mountain and Halo Ridge look like? I might try and do one of the routes on the 19th.

Also, I called the National Forest folks and depending on conditions Tigiwon is not scheduled to close until 22 Nov!


10/15/2014 04:56
First, I just noticed I missed the ”g” in the report's title .. oops

I did not hike Notch and Halo, but they looked to have similar patterns of snow coverage to the peak, except Notch maybe a little less.

If you are in shape, I see no reason why you couldn't ascend Notch from the pass, and still have time to turn around and go the standard route if conditions weren't favorable.

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