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Holy Cross/Notch Mountain

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Holy Cross/Notch Mountain Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 11,300'
Location: 39.47327, -106.47048 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 2,001
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Loweball on Aug 3, 2011
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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.

Climbing Season

Weather station 11.3 miles from here

2 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Holy Cross/Notch Mountain
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian Childress on the first ascent of Dismas.  Th...

Dismas WI4-5 M3-4  Colorado : CO Ice & Mixed : Holy Cross/Notch Mountain
Dismas, and its sister route to the right, Gestas, were put up in October 1997, after local school teacher Brian Childress spied the top of the flow from a mile away while fishing the Cross Creek Valley. The claim of first ascent here is taken with a measure of caution, however, because the flow is so prominent and obvious from Lake Patricia and the North Ridge of Holy Cross that I fully expect Ferguson and/or Wilford to pipe up and explain how they did the first ascent with leashless alpine ha...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

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