Holy Cross Area, 9/2005

We approached Holy Cross from the south side - up the Jeep Road that goes to Holy Cross Village. Roach commented that this road was "all but impassible" so I figured 1.5 miles up the road wouldn't be a traffic hazard. Wrong. That sort of description is taken as a challenge by the serious 4-wheeler types who were grinding very slowly up what could loosely be called a "road" at just over walking speed. As we came up to the crux of the route - a stream crossing with fixed iron rods in the rocks to which they could attach the front winch, there was literally a traffic jam of about 15 jeeps waiting their turn to cross this creek. get a life dudes. We kept walking, missing the turn and getting a short look at Holy Cross Village for our efforts (couple run down cabins, old mining equipment, that sort of thing). We realized the error and headed back to the real trail and up to our camp site for the evening. It was Labor Day weekend, but we planned Saturday in to camp, and Sunday as a long day on Holy Cross, with a hike out. Weather by mid-Saturday was pretty lousy, occasional rain showers, but not much thunder and lightening. At least the hiker population was prety light. Next day had a nice sunrise, although the weather was still a bit iffy.

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From the camp site, we had to descend a bit and then work our way up to the Holy Cross Ridge. The going wasn't bad, a little scrambling, and then we were faced with 5, count em, 5, mini-peaks to get to the summit. This itself isn't too bad either, but it was entirely talus. Not scree really, the rocks were decent sized, and didn't move much, but it was talus, all the time, and slow going

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A few more shots to demonstrate the eternal nature of the talus fields

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The Holy Cross summit was less than spectacular, but it sits on the west side of a horse shoe shaped ridge, which opens to the north. On the east side a miner once built a cabin with one helluva view. We continued along the horse shoe for the south end of it until we could drop down to the valley and head back to camp.

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Well, pick our way back down to the valley and then back to camp... All told we spent about 8 straight hours picking our way along the talus fields. yeah, it gets old after the first 4 or 5 hours.

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We got back to camp as the day was getting late, and we were quite tired, but we were also 95% out of food. Major bummer, it was a beautiful evening, Monday was a holiday anyway, and should have just packed that one extra dinner and a little oatmeal to spend the last night out. But we didn't feel like freezing on an empty stomach all night, so we packed up and walked out. The road seemed much, MUCH longer on the way out than the way in, but at least, in the dark, there were no 4-wheelers!

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