Mount of the Holy Cross is named for the white cross created from a snowfield on its northeast face.
While we didn’t see the cross from our campsite or during our ascent, we checked 14er # 46 (me), #45 (Dasani), and #2 (Aspen) off the list!
After backpacking into the East Cross Creek Campground, we did our usual alpine start at oh-dark-thirty and started the slog up the trail in pitch dark.
This was a great mountaineering experience for Tom (“Aspen”) since our other 14er together has been Quandary in winter conditions starting well after sunrise.
Dasani and I have commented multiple times about how much longer a hike or climb seems on the outbound leg compared to the inbound leg. I think a lot of that has to do with the hours of plodding along mindlessly in the dark staring at the small patch of ground highlighted by your headlamp – you just don’t realize the miles that you’re putting down. During solo ascents I always listen to an audiobook (except when wandering through grizzly country in Glacier National Park) and the miles really fly by!

Morning Reflection

Morning Reflection
It’s not a great shot, but it’s a cool vantage point.


Sunrise Starburst

Sunrise Starburst
Watching the sun rise as we make our way up Mount of the Holy Cross


The Objective

The Objective is the summit of Mount Of The Holy Cross
A long way to go


Once we finished the southbound ridgeline and headed up the final ascent towards the summit, we chose to stray from the standard route to find some spicier scrambling in the massive boulders.


Pick Your Poison

Pick Your Poison
We ditched the standard route to find some fun scrambling among the boulders.


Overhang

Overhang
Perspective of the size of these boulders on Mount Of The Holy Cross


More great alpine experience for Aspen, learning to routefind, choose hand and footholds, and figure out alternates when the chosen route doesn’t pan out.
So much more fun than following the trail!


Tapping The Top

Tapping The Top of Mount Of The Holy Cross
Tom touches the summit marker


Summit Marker

Summit Marker
The deodetic marker at the Mount of the Holy Cross summit


Awesome Views

Awesome Views from the summit of Mount Of The Holy Cross
It’s pretty amazing out there


Congrats

Congrats
Knucke-bump at the top


Also Happy

Also Happy
A rare photo of me on a 14er


45? 54?

45? 54? Not sure what number Mount Of The Holy Cross is.
I think Dasani is saying #45, just backwards


While we were relaxing at the summit, we saw a Pine Marten hunting pikas not too far from us. It would stop, listen, then jump and pounce through the snow like a fox. We never did see it get a meal, but apparently this is a rare sighting so we counted ourselves quite lucky to watch it in action.
Yet another gorgeous day in the mountains – just part of why we choose to live in Colorado!


Pine Marten

Pine Marten on Mount Of The Holy Cross
It was very cool to see this Pine Marten hunting pikas under the snowpack at 14,000 feet!


Mount of the Holy Cross 360


A 360 video from the summit of Mount of the Holy Cross



Leave a Reply