Holy Cross was one 14er that I was equally excited and scared about. I’d heard a lot of stories about people hating it, people getting lost, people having to call search and rescue on the way down, etc. Sometimes you can listen to so many opinions on mountains that you actually form an opinion before ever stepping foot on the mountain. Seriously, it happens, and it sucks. My new rule is to take my research with a grain of salt. I had heard horrible things about this mountain and it ended up being awesome.
I was expecting a beast of a mountain and instead… It was mild! Long, yes. But nothing like what I was expecting. Beautiful hike, fun ridge and impressive summit push!
Our stats: 12 miles round trip, 5600 gain. 9:15 hike time & 55 minutes spent on summit. Weather was great! Warm all day but windy on the ridge and very windy on the way down until we got off of the ridge. Once off the ridge and back to tree line it warmed up quickly and we were actually quite hot.
I hiked Holy Cross with my co-worker. I think we started at 7:30am? We started much later than normal because of the excellent weather outlook for the day. September and October summits are some of the best because of weather! Forecast called for blue skies with ZERO chance of storms. Forecast was on point 😉
You can see our mountain there on the left. That summit? It was huge and relatively flat.
This was taken on the ridge as we headed toward the summit. It looks a lot steeper than it really is. Switch backs and rock scramble lead to you to the summit. Easy Peasy.
Summit! #19 for me A few moments before my Yankee hat flew off into the unknown. Sad day. RIP pink Yankee hat.
And I saved this picture for last. Taken on the gain on the way out. On the way TO the summit you descend 1,000 feet as well as gain 4,600 vertical. On the way BACK from the summit you have to hike back up out of this. 1,000 additional gain to get back to the trail head. This is where a lot of people struggle. And yes, it is a pain to have to gain 1,000 feet after already summiting the mountain. Your legs and lungs are TIRED. But it was not nearly as horrible as people had made it sound. The trip reports on 14ers.com were so dramatic! We powered through it, stopped for a snack afterwards and carried on. It’s worth it to summit this gorgeous mountain 🙂