Shrine Mountain (unranked) 11,894'
(4.2 miles, 700')
Mt of the Holy Cross 14,005'
Holy Cross Ridge 13,831'
5420' gain; 13.25 miles
|Reflections on a small pond|
|Backside of some Tenmile Peaks|
|4-shot Panorama of some Gores|
|"Mudstone Knob" in its entirity. I estimate the height of the knob on top to be 15'.|
We quickly scampered over to the rock formation I was eyeying last time I was up there. Attempting to climb the West face, I was turned around multiple times. It's a lot of ledges and overhangs, covered with guano and bat urine. I eventually climbed back down and we scampered up an easier class 4ish chimney to the North. I immediately scampered over to the prominant point. This thing was a little freaky- the rock is crumbly "mudstone" and I felt like it could (will?) all come crumbling down at any time. Fortunately, the nearby smaller column gave us a nice point to stem our way up the first 8 feet and then it was a couple of easy but exposed C3 moves to gain the top.
|"Mudstone Knob". We went up a C4 chimney on the left|
|Moon over the rocks|
|Sunset over the Northern Sawatch. Holy Cross to the left.|
|Sunset clouds over the Tenmile Range|
|You think this would look pretty in the Winter?|
|Looking up at the notch in Notch Mountain|
|Some lakes SW of Notch Mountain's summit|
|Scott atop UN 13,248'|
|Navigating the frightening "catwalk" section. :)|
|Summit of MotHC from Holy Cross Ridge. Many people on top|
|When Canyon Goddessing, you should also remove your pants|
|Lake Patricia from high above|
Much has been made about the re-ascent of Halfmoon Pass on the way out. I thought it was pretty tiring, as we had hiked nearly 7 hours at that point. Scott temporarily got angry, hulking out and throwing some rocks into the bushes. It's steep at first, but eventually it levels out and you have a steady, shallow climb to the top, with great views.
The experience of finally climbing Mt. of the Holy Cross was pretty cool. The scenery was great, especially for a Sawatch 14er. The route was interesting and physically demanding. The history and legacy of this mountain is interesting. And despite being an almost 3-hour drive from Denver, it was surprisingly crowded. Still, if you can stomach the long hike, Mount of the Holy Cross provides a unique and rewarding experience. The atypical summit and rugged landscape, along with a plethora of alpine lakes and tarns, adds variety to a range that can be lacking in it. I feel like Holy Cross is an instant classic, and a peak I'll be returning to again in the future.