Great hike with my girlfriend. Edit: Ex-girlfriend.
Erin and I used an awesome loop hike to summit Holy Cross and the centennial summit of Holy Cross Ridge (we'll be back for the bicentennials :-D).
We used Holy Cross's standard route. At daybreak we watched a rare, early-morning shower roll in over Mount Jackson and across Cross Creek. We sat in the rain about 200' below the summit for around half an hour before we resumed our climb. Then we carefully descended on wet rock to the saddle with Holy Cross Ridge, gaining our second summit quickly. We descended to the *gorgeous* Tuhare Lakes and used the lush Fall Creek Trail to return to the Halfmoon Trailhead. A trip report is available here.
Start time 5:30am finish time 7:30pm. Needless to say this was a very long and challenging day. First climbing the Cross Couloir in about the worst conditions. There was almost no snow and alot of loose rock, dirt and runoff. The finish of the couloir was very dramatic as the summit was right there in front of us. We then opted to take the Halo ridge down. Thank god for the shelter as it saved us from a nasty afternoon thunderstorm. After this increidbly long day we stopped at the first restaurant we came to in Minturn. It's the one furthest south of Minturn. The worst Mexican food I've ever had. Just thought I'd try to save the next person from this mistake.
Great climb up Angelica couloir with some very interesting thin and mixed sections, not to mention a large boulder that thought we were bowling pins!!
My first 14er ... a beautiful area.
Started at the Fall Creek TH at 8:15 a.m. Ascended the Notch Mountain Trail to the Notch Mountain Shelter. The views of the Cross are as spectacular as they say from this perch. The rest of the really long route from here is obvious. I arrived on the summit of Holy Cross at 1:15 p.m. Then continued down the standard North Ridge Route of Holy Cross back to the car by 5:00 p.m.; a wonderful loop route. I would only attempt this route if you are positive the weather will be exceptional all day. Attempting this route in late July and August would be too risky for you will above tree-line and exposed to the elements such as lightning and wind for at least 4-5 hours, maybe more. There are good escape routes on this ridge but they deposit you way away from anything. Also, don't forget your sunscreen.
Total distance 15 miles, Total vertical 5,700-ft.
I started from Lake Patricia at 6:15 and climbed Angelica Couloir. I made the summit by 8:45 and then descended via Teardrop gully down to Bowl of Tears. I made it back to camp at Lake Patricia by 11:45. It was a great loop hike and the only people I saw all day were on the summit.
Wow!! Did the whole 15 mile loop.
Beautiful surroundings & mountain. Had quite the adventure getting up (& down!!) this mountain. Check out my trip report.
This was one of the best trips ever. Great views in a great setting. I got my friend Frank to make his first ever "alpine start" and we had the summit to ourselves for almost two hours. He took advantage of the solitude by taking a very long nap at the top.
Notes: This hike ranks near the top of my list in overall scenery, but it’s not an easy hike.
The trail starts out easy and after about an hour I was at Half Moon Pass (11,640). Then I started the downhill climb into East Cross Creek Valley to 10,670’. The downclimb into the valley was very scenic. I could see a couple of lakes and waterfalls with Holy Cross in the background. I couldn’t see the actual cross since I was on the wrong side of the peak, and it also melts out by the end of July anyway. The peak was very impressive with the cliffs on its north face.
Once at the creek the uphill started up to the summit. At about 11,000’ the trail really started to climb. It was a strong climbers trail to gain the ridge at 12,800’. Once on the ridge the terrain flattens out a bit and I had a great view of the summit. The last 500 feet to the summit was quite a climb and required a lot of boulder hopping.
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and there were only three people on the summit. I sat there for an hour and a half it must have been in the mid-fifties and the views from the top were awesome. I would say some of the best views of any fourteener to this date. I had my first good view of the rugged Gore Range to the North. Fourteener-less but a very challenging mountain range.
Overall this is for stronger hikers. But for those who want a great view of a beautiful valley the hike to Half Moon Pass is for anyone. You would have to downclimb the trail a bit to get the overall views of this valley. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. September is a great time of year to hike.
One day with friends. Excellent route on a beautiful sunny day.
My wife, Alexis, Drew Morton, and I had a great time. About 9 hours up and down. A woman turned up missing on this day, but never heard anything else about her. Does anyone know anything?
Mike Bur and I wanted some class 3 so we hiked the Halo Ridge clockwise from Halfmoon Pass, over Notch Mountain, past the well built hut, over several 13ers and finally Holy Cross. The notch was about an hour of fun scrambling. Total time was 8:40 with good weather. No snow at all in the cross.
I have to say that this was the toughest climb of the 30 or so 14'er I've climbed. The day started before sunrise with threatening skies. I thought about turning back but kept going. The clouds formed a line from the southwest to the northeast. The line moved east as I climbed Halfmoon Pass. By the time I was over the pass, the weather was clear. It had already snowed by late August so there was snow above timberline. I stayed about 45 minutes at East Cross Creek getting water etc. When I reached timberline, the wind had started blowing. It was constant and hard. I continued with the wind in my face and finally made the summit at about 1 pm. I hadn't eaten anything so I didn't throw up anything. But I tried. I took a couple of pictures and started down. I slipped on one of those snow covered rocks and bent my toes up to my shin. It was painful but I wasn't injured. Later, a rock rocked when I stepped on it and I went down like a sack of potatoes. I hurt my thigh and my forehead. I broke a lens out of my sun glasses. I was not injured although my thigh hurt like hell. I spent about half an hour finding the lens that fell behind a rock and landed in some snow. It wasn't broken, thank goodness as the snow and bright sun made sun glasses an absolute necessity. The rest of the trip was uneventful except for the fact the sun went down as I started up Halfmoon Pass and it was completely dark by the time I was three-quarters of the way up. I fumbled in the dark (I didn't pack a light naturally) and finally made it to the top. I knew if I could reach the top of Halfmoon Pass I'd be OK since I knew there was a full moon out so the east side of the Pass would be in the light.
This is the only climb I've been on that I never saw another human.
I always have "Wendy's Chili" after a climb so after I reached my PU I made a b-line to Vail for Chili. Got my chili at the drive up since the dining room was closed and had to eat it in the auto. It tasted good.
Holy Smokes! What an incredible mountain. We did the hike in one day and although a long day it was a very enjoyable day spent with my 2 hiking companions. I've only been hiking in Colorado since 1989 but this is one of the prettiest places I have been to in Colorado with the exception of the San Juans.
We had a great day weather wise, the smoke from the fires had started to clear out giving us pretty good views from the summit.
The mountain will always have a special place in my heart not only for the magnificant beauty of the mountain and the area but because of the special person who shared this with me.
I hope to return to climb the mountain again and would also like to return in order to hike to Patricia Lake and The Bowl of Tears. Would also like to visit other areas in the Holy Cross Wilderness.
A memorable day on a memorable mountain. What a beauty!
On trail by 8am, back at Halfmoon Trailhead by 4pm. A long day, but worth every second of it. The smoke from the fires hindered views, but it was still beautiful!!
A long day but due to the heat I thought it was better as a day hike rather than backpack! Did it again at the end of the month - July 27th.
Summited with my two dogs. A long hard hike but very scenic!
Fourth day, third mountain.