Holy Cross Mountain

Interesting Facts: 

Named by George Pocaterra in 1900. The mountain was named because of the clearly defined cross which often appears in the spring as the snows are melting off of the east facing slopes. Official name. First ascended in 1937 by Raymond M. Patterson. (info from peakfinder.com

YDS Class: 
3rd Class
Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Yes
Trip Date: 
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Summit Elevation (m): 
2,650

On Saturday, June 09 2007, Wietse, Jeff and I all headed out to Kananaskis country to scramble another mountain. Again, we were 'forced' to choose a front-range peak. We chose Holy Cross because it sounded kind of fun! It was kind of fun - not outstanding, but fun nonetheless.

 

The hike into this mountain is fairly long. We went up the Grass Pass trail past Gunnery Peak on our left. I would recommend sticking more to the left side of the valley, as a matter of fact if you come around the southeast slopes of Holy Cross above tree line you will actually be on a fairly good goat path.

 

We went a bit too low on the way in, but the bonus was that we discovered a very nice waterfall before having to regain our 100 meters back again. :-| We broke through the low cliff band guarding the northeast ridge of Holy Cross near the crest of the ridge and continued up, staying right on the ridge where the most exciting scrambling can be found. You can bypass any of the fun on climber's left but I wouldn't suggest it - you worked hard for all this fun!!

 

 
[A bright yellow resident greets us on the approach trail.]


[Our first good view of the mountain. We should have trended a pretty hard left from here instead of going straight ahead before going left.]

 
[The waterfall we got to see because of getting a bit lost!]

 
[A view ahead from the ridge after ascending steep, grassy slopes above the waterfall. ++]

 
[Wietse and Jeff come up the ridge behind me.]


[Wietse and Jeff get to a cliff band that I just climbed up.]

 
[Looking ahead at another fun part of the ridge.]

 
[A telephoto of Wietse on the ridge.]

 
[Looking from the north ridge over to the summit.]

 

After making the exhilarating traverse to the true summit from the north ridge we quickly dropped back down onto the 'cross' part of the mountain for a nice glissade down. (There were dark clouds threatening us most of the day) The snow was wet but the ride was fast. The trek out was filled with flower pictures and 7 hours after leaving the car we were back.

 


[Vern on the summit of Holy Cross Mountain.]

 
[Wietse and Jeff making their way along the north ridge to the summit.]


[Wietse and Jeff get to the bottom of the summit block. I've descended just a bit because of that dark cloud above us! :-)]


[I went back up to the summit to snap this shot of Wietse and Jeff on the top of Holy Cross Mountain.]


[View from the top looking north west.]


[Looking north to Mount Head.]


[A b&w shot looking west.]


[The dark clouds and snow made for good black and white shots.]


[One more view to the west.]


[A look over at the final ridge section on Holy Cross with Mount Head in the background.]


[Beautiful colors high in the alpine on the way back down.]

Summit Elevation (ft): 
8,695
Elevation Gain (m): 
1200
Round Trip Time: 
7.00
Total Distance (km): 
14.00
Difficulty Notes: 

Some moderate scrambling and loose terrain along with limited route finding make this a moderate scramble.