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North Face

5.8 AI3, Trad, Ice, Alpine, 1500 ft (455 m), 12 pitches, Grade III,  Avg: 2 from 1 vote
FA: Larry Coats & Ross Hardwick (1979)
Colorado > Alpine Rock > Mt of the Holy Cross

Description

Here's a golden oldie from way back in the day, but I don't find an account on MP or Summitpost, so here you go.

The route climbs the obvious couloir that splits the north face of Holy Cross, between the Angelica Couloir and Cross Couloir. The route was climbed in early fall (September) on alpine ice and rock and includes a long chimney pitch where the couloir funnels down mid-face (5.8). The exit we used was the highest, right-trending ramp that provided the steepest ice on the route. This ramp exits onto the summit ridge just below the top of the peak.

Protection

A small (single-set) rock rack plus a half-dozen ice screws provided excellent protection.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Photodiagram of the North Face of Holy Cross Mountain (winter pic borrowed from Summitpost).
[Hide Photo] Photodiagram of the North Face of Holy Cross Mountain (winter pic borrowed from Summitpost).
The first ascent party with friends on the summit - dressed in era-appropriate duds (L to R: Larry Coats, Joe Sharber, Gloria Hardwick, and Ross Hardwick).
[Hide Photo] The first ascent party with friends on the summit - dressed in era-appropriate duds (L to R: Larry Coats, Joe Sharber, Gloria Hardwick, and Ross Hardwick).
Larry Coats leading the final ramp pitch (65 degree ice).
[Hide Photo] Larry Coats leading the final ramp pitch (65 degree ice).
Larry Coats on alpine ice above the chimney pitch.
[Hide Photo] Larry Coats on alpine ice above the chimney pitch.
Ross Hardwick leading the chimney pitch on the first ascent.
[Hide Photo] Ross Hardwick leading the chimney pitch on the first ascent.
Climbing Magazine Basecamp account of first ascent.
[Hide Photo] Climbing Magazine Basecamp account of first ascent.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

George Bell
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Holy Nordwand! Nice addition, Larry. Aug 16, 2016