Holy Cross Ridge. It may not be the most creative name for one of Colorado’s Centennials, but as a ski objective the mountain is definitely inspiring.

Lying a half mile south of the 14er Mount of the Holy Cross, Holy Cross Ridge, 13,831 ft. seems to have earned its named unintentionally. On a map, Holy Cross Ridge is the name assigned to the entire long ridge that runs south from the 14er. There are several ranked sub-summits along the ridge, the highest of which has come to be known as Holy Cross Ridge, the mountain.

Centennial Skiers, east cross creek

Once over Halfmoon Pass and down in East Cross Creek, it was a beautiful skin below Mount of the Holy Cross.

Much like a visit to it’s taller neighbor, some hurdles are involved in skiing Holy Cross Ridge. The Halfmoon Pass trailhead is tough to get to in winter and spring, it’s an eight mile trip via snowmobile, skin, or even bicycle depending on the state of the road. (If you think snowmobile is easiest of the three, just ask me how it went next time you see me.) From there you have to get over Halfmoon Pass, and descend to the valley floor where the actual climb up the mountain begins. That’s not a big deal at the start of the day, but ascending 1000 vertical feet back up to the pass is never a thrilling prospect in the afternoon.

halo ridge, Centennial Skiers

Up in the cirque, an enticing couloir led us up to the summit ridge.

bowl of tears lake, christy mahon

We skinned up the couloir until it made more sense to start kicking steps. Bowl of Tears Lake is down in the valley below.

But that’s part of coming here, and looking back on the day, Christy, Dav, and I, along with Dave Bourassa and Mark Cavaliero, wouldn’t have had it any other way. As the five of us made our way up the valley we passed under the famous Cross Couloir, and skinned across Bowl of Tears Lake to where the cirque opened up and the couloirs on the north side of Holy Cross Ridge came into view. And it was suddenly all worthwhile.

We counted ten different couloirs to ski on the north side of the mountain. Unfortunately we only had time for one, but we all agreed it was a great one.

Give Holy Cross Ridge a visit. You won’t be disappointed.

Centennial Skiers, holy cross ridge

The five of us on the summit, another awesome day in the mountains.

Chris Davenport, Holy Cross Ridge

There were a lot of ski options, but we all agreed that a north facing couloir that began just east of the summit looked best. Dav skis.


mark cavaliero, Centennial Skiers, holy cross ridge

Mark’s turn. Mount of the Holy Cross stands tall in the background.

Dave Bourassa, Centennial Skiers, holy cross ridge

Dave Bourassa in his element.



christy mahon, holy cross ridge

Partway down the couloir, Christy skis.


Dav, already reminiscing. We almost didn't want to leave. "Maybe a good place for a spring basecamp." was the thought.

Dav, already reminiscing. “Maybe a good place for a spring basecamp?” was the thought.

The skintrack-turned-booter from below.

The skintrack-turned-booter from below.

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