Mt. Holy Cross
Cross Couloir Ski - with Alan Palmer
Halo Ridge - with Kristi GPX
North Ridge - Solo
This gallery contains images and commentary from the Cross Couloir ski trip and the Halo Ridge trip.
Here is a summary of the Cross Couloir ski trip.
On 5/25/18 Alan and I drove from Denver to Minturn to ski Mt. of the Holy Cross.
The first leg of our adventure was on Pivot and Mondraker e-bikes courtesy of www.goldenbikeshop.com
We road the bikes 8.4 miles and 2700 vertical from the highway to the Half Moon trail head. Boost!!!
From the trailhead we hiked and skinned over Half Moon Pass to the East Cross Creek campsites. This leg of the trip was roughly 3 miles and 1300 vertical.
The next day we skinned 2 miles/ 3400 vertical up the North Ridge to the summit.
From the summit we skied the Cross Couloir to the Bowl of Tears. After skiing the couloir we skinned, scrambled and hiked a tedious 2 miles down the East Cross Creek drainage back to camp.
At camp we rested and packed up before hiking/skinning back to the TH.
Once at the TH we dusted off the bikes and cruised 8 miles of downhill back to the highway under clear skies and a 3/4 moon. Woot!!! Thanks again www.goldenbikeshop.com !!!
The entire trip (including e-biking) was roughly 27 miles and 8500 vertical over two days.
Cross Couloir Route
Alan Palmer stoked to be riding a Mondraker E-Crusher on the 8 miles to the Trailhead... Boost!!!
Alex enjoying the views on the way to camp.
We spent the night at camp spot #4
The summit comes into view while skinning the North Ridge
The perfect tools for ripping the Cross Couloir
Looking down the rollover from the summit was intimidating.
Alex excited to ski
Looking down the couloir we could see the exit point
Looking back to the top of the couloir after a turn or two
Alan skiing the couloir
Alan skiing the couloir
A view of the Gore Range after exiting the couloir
Alan skiing to the Bowl of Tears
Alex and the Bowl of Tears
Alan skiing back to camp along East Cross Creek
Mt. of the Holy Cross from the East Cross Creek drainage
Alan crosses East Cross Creek on the hike back to the trailhead
The hike in/out from the trailhead had plenty of challenges
Alex and Alan stoked on the hike out.
Halo Ridge Route: Our day started from Half Moon TH at 4:30am. We hiked the Fall Creek Trail to the Notch Mountain Shelter where Halo Ridge begins. Halo Ridge circles the Bowl of Tears to the summit of Holy Cross Ridge and then Mount of the Holy Cross. From the summit of MHC we descended the standard North Ridge route back to the Half Moon TH. Our hike took 10 hours (with about an hour of summit time) and covered 13 miles and 6100 vertical.
Sunrise from Fall Creek Trail
Pano of Mount of the Holy Cross and Holy Cross Ridge from Notch Mountain
Alex, Kristi and the Cross Couloir from Notch Mountain
In 1924 a stone shelter called the Pilgrim's Hut (now Notch Mountain Shelter) was built near the summit of Notch Mountain. In the 1930s, thousands of Christians would come to see the cross, climb the mountain, or dip holy water from the Bowl of Tears Lake below.
Alex on Halo Ridge... eyes PT 13,373
Looking back to Notch Mountain
The description calls the terrain on this route 'tedious' however we found the class 2 scrambling on relatively solid rock to be fun.
Kristi and Upper Tuhare Lake
Pano of Tuhare Lakes
Typical terrain... class 2 scrambling on solid rock.
Alex and Kristi on the summit of Holy Cross Ridge. Mount of the Holy Cross behind us.
Summit of Holy Cross Ridge. The views weren't shabby.
Bowl of Tears and Notch Mountain. You can see the Notch Mountain Shelter if you look closely.
Alex descending from Holy Cross Ridge on the way to Mount of the Holy Cross
The ridge between Holy Cross Ridge and Mount of the Holy Cross
Alex approaches the last hump before the summit of Mount of the Holy Cross
Kristi with Holy Cross Ridge... getting close to the summit of Mount of the Holy Cross
Summit of Mount of the Holy Cross. Holy Cross Ridge in the distance
Descending the standard North Ridge route ( to complete the 13 mile loop
On the way out we needed to climb roughly 1000 feet to the top of Half Moon Pass. I prefer hiking uphill vs. downhill so it wasn't too bad. Last look at Mount of the Holy Cross from the top of the pass.