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Mt. of the Holy Cross
Elevation: 14,005 feet
Mileage: 12 miles
Vertical Gain: 5,625 feet
Route: North Ridge

August 10th, 2003

This was my last 14er to climb in the Sawatch Range, wooohooo. Holy Cross is also my favorite peak in the range so I'm glad I saved it for last. It's north face is spectacular and it doesn't look like a big blob of boulders like many of the other Sawatch peaks. Mt. of the Holy Cross gets its name because of the Cross Couloir on its east side. The Cross Couloir consists of a long vertical couloir and a horizontal ledge that when fills with snow, looks like a cross. Holy Cross is not easily seen and the Cross Couloir is best viewed from the top of Notch Mountain. The standard route up the mountain doesn't give a good view of the Cross Couloir but you can peer down it from the summit. Holy Cross is usually done as a backpacking trip due to the fact that you have to climb 970 vertical back over Halfmoon Pass on your return trip. I preferred to dayhike the peak and not have to lug a heavy pack over the pass.

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