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Routes in Holy Cross/Notch Mountain

Dismas WI4-5 M3-4
Gestas WI5-6 R
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Elevation: 11,300 ft
GPS: 39.473, -106.47 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 2,457 total · 28/month
Shared By: Loweball on Aug 3, 2011
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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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.

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