Holy Cross Ridge – 13,831 ft.
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.
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.
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.