Holy Cross Ridge GR:721687 (Notch-Halo Ridge Loop)

elevation: 4,216 m.
height gain: 500 m. (from Notch Mountain)
area: Minturn, Colorado, USA
map USGS 1:24,000 Mount of the Holy Cross,CO  39106D4
2016-Sep-05


Ref: 14ers.com
leaving the shelter


Leaving the Notch Mountain Shelter to continue along the scenic Halo Ridge route; the ridge's 13ers are visible on this picture.
THE CLIMB  -Halo Ridge  class 2

Scramble: RT 14.5 (includes Notch Mountain and Mount of the Holy Cross); 5.75 up from Notch Mountain. Holy Cross Ridge (Point 13831) is a ranked centennial 13er, it is the highest peak along the ridge running south-west of Mount of the Holy Cross and it also marks the highpoint on the Halo Ridge route. I typically don't include ridges on my summit log but I was really compelled to include this one; besides, Tim argued that if I added Notch Mountain, which is an unranked 13er, I HAD to include Holy Cross Ridge! Halo Ridge is a commiting route; there is two ranked 13ers and an unranked one to ascend along the way, there is also no sensible escape route off the ridge. Lucky for us, the weather was very stable and we still had plenty of energy to complete the traverse to Mount of the Holy Cross. After a fine break at the Notch Mountain Shelter, we resumed our trek; our objective was still over 3 kilometers away. As the ridge circles the Bowl of Tears, different aspects of Mount of the Holy Cross are revealed. The Bowl of Tears is absolutely stunning and was also the source of much of our humour on this hike; you know: long hike, tired, still so far, boo hoo hoo, crying and filling the bowl with tears..... OK, guess you had to be there.... The numerous lakes of striking blue colours on the south sides of the ridge made me daydream of a tranquil canoe-camping trip; Constantine Lake and the Tuhare Lakes sit in high alpine meadows, they are very inviting. The scenery along this ridge is breathtaking to say the least. We continued mostly on trail segments and talus, up the first highpoint, then the next and so on. The hiking was pleasant, even with the height gain and loses. We took the time to enjoy ourselves, converse and take pictures. We stopped for a quick break at the top of Holy Cross Ridge, which happens the be the last highpoint before reaching Mount of the Holy Cross. I was excited, the summit was close and within reach! This had been a superb traverse; when I looked back at Notch Mountain, I couldn't believe we had travelled such a distance. The hour was getting late, we didn't linger too much and soon resumed our trek. The final stretch to the prized 14er is short, we were both elated!!

surmounting point 13248

Surmounting Point 13248 which is a ranked 13er!

looking back at notch mountain

Looking back at Notch Mountain, The Notch and the shelter.

point 13373 ahead

The following highpoint is unranked Point 13373.

holy cross ridge and mount of the holy cross

Holy Cross Ridge and Mount of the Holy Cross; the cross is barely visible.

lake constantine

Lake Constantine.

the bowl of tears


The Bowl of Tears at the foot of Mount of the Holy Cross has the deepest blue.


tuhare lakes


Tuhare Lakes, to the south, display different blue colours.


fantastic weather


The weather is fantastic allowing us to enjoy the scenery along the way.


looking back from point 13373


The Bowl of Tears, Notch Mountain and Point 13248 from Point 13373.


getting closer


Getting closer to Holy Cross Ridge and Mount of the Holy Cross.


pleasant travel


Pleasant travel with Upper Tuhare Lake below Point 13768.


on the grassy catwalk


The grassy "catwalk" leads to Point 13831 AKA Holy Cross Ridge, the highest peak along the ridge running south-west of Mount of the Holy Cross.


the u-shaped ridge we travelled


The U-shaped ridge we have travelled with The Notch on the far left.


nearing the top of holy cross ridge


Nearing the top of Holy Cross Ridge.


point 13768 to the south


Point 13768 is a ranked 13er along Holy Cross Ridge, south of us.


mount of the holy cross is getting closer


Mount of the Holy Cross is getting closer!


looking back


Looking back towards the Tuhare Lakes again.


the bowl of tears is far now


The Bowl of Tears is far now and the shelter is hard to spot.


second ranked 13er today


Last stretch to the second ranked 13er of the day.


up and over holy cross ridge


Whoo hoo, up and over Holy Cross Ridge!!


mount of the holy cross ahead


La pièce de résistance: 14er extraordinaire, Mount of the Holy Cross.


looking back again


Looking back at Points 13248 and 13373.


Continue on to Mount of the Holy Cross
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