Sunday, December 27, 2015

Mount of the Holy Cross Plan for the summer of 2016

Just before Thanksgiving I had to go home to NC to settle my mom and brothers estate. It was a quick trip with no SOTA possible. I went without Lynn as I just needed to have a few days with my sister and get the paperwork done. My sister and I also discussed my brother's ashes and while we all grew up near the beach my brother was not a big fan so we decided that I would bring his ashes back to Colorado and will bring him up to a 14er.

We selected Mount of the Holy Cross as Jim's summit. I have been researching the approach and trail. This looks to be about as difficult as the Mount Rosa ascent that Steve and I did last year (15 miles with over 5,000 feet of elevation gain) so I think we will break it up into two days.




Mount of the Holy Cross is the northernmost 14,000-foot mountain in the Sawatch Range. It was named for the distinctive cross-shaped snowfield on the northeast face. The mountain was proclaimed "Holy Cross National Monument" by Herbert Hoover on May 11, 1929.

This mountain has been the subject of painters, photographers and even a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, (The Cross of Snow). The first publicly available photograph was published in National Geographic magazine. Thomas Moran depicted the mountain in an oil painting, which now is part of the collection of the Museum of the American West, part of the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, California.

The Cross is visible from the top of Vail Mountain, but was first spotted in 1869 from the top of Grays Peak (another fourteener). The Cross is 1400’ high and 750’ wide – it melts each year to fill the Bowl of Tears Lake directly under the east face of the peak.
Now I just need to figure out the best time to do it. I think it will be when Lynn has her summer break from school so most likely in August.
North Ridge approach and common descent mistake


Great looking mountain
 The only part about this hike that concerns me is the 1000 feet ascent you have to do from that camp ground to get back over the pass and back down to the TH. I have a feeling that is going to be the real challenge.



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