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Holy Cross/Notch Mountain

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Dismas 
Gestas 

Holy Cross/Notch Mountain 


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Elevation: 11,300'
Location: 39.47327, -106.47048 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,950
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Loweball on Aug 3, 2011
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Description 

The strikingly beautiful Holy Cross Wilderness area is well known in Colorado. Although Mount of the Holy Cross already has an area listing in the Colorado Alpine Rock section of Mountain Project, this area was added to the Colorado Ice & Mixed section because of the nature of the routes described, as well as the nature of the potential routes around Lake Patricia and the Bowl of Tears.

Holy Cross and the Cross Creek Valley have an approach that requires some personal investment, especially in winter, so you're not going to have a lot of company. This is especially true once you're off the Half Moon Trail and in the Cross Creek drainage. Broadly speaking, Lake Patricia is surrounded on its east and south sides by a discontinuous cliff band ranging from 80 to 300 feet high. The potential for independent one- and two-pitch routes along the band, especially mixed routes, is significant. As you might expect from a Colorado high alpine area, the rock quality here ranges from kitty-litter to bulletproof, and gear is pretty easy to get and solid on any stone you'd really want to climb. The cliff band stays within a few hundred yards of Lake Patricia's shores, so once you're established at the lake, access is really a non-issue. As the season wears on, however, avalanche danger from the slopes above on Notch Mountain becomes a factor.


Getting There 

Take exit 171 off of I-70. Then go south on US 24, and turn right on Tigiwon Road. Take Tigiwon road to Half Moon Trailhead. From the trailhead, Lake Patricia is about four miles in and the summit of Holy Cross about six. Tigiwon Road is closed in winter, extending the approach by about eight miles. So, if you get there after the road closes, go in motorized to the trailhead (which will take you about twenty minutes) or tuck your chin, roll your shoulders, and enjoy those extra 16 round trip miles.


2 Total Routes


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Featured Route For Holy Cross/Notch Mountain
On the first ascent of Gestas.  The upper curtain of Dismas can be seen up and left on the opposite side of the overhang.

Gestas WI5-6 R  CO : CO Ice & Mixed : Holy Cross/Notch Mountain
Gestas, the Bad Thief, takes a line directly up the center of a wide, thin sheet of ice glued to the sweeping rock face on the right of the main flow. The first 100 feet essentially goes from just off vertical to just past vertical in a smooth, tasty arc. Crux is between eighty and a hundred feet, involving delicate moves on slightly overhanging thin ice. On the first ascent, the ice varied between one and three inches thick, trending thinner toward the top. Stubbies bottomed out, and Spectr...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

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