Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mount of the Holy Cross

While Dan was buying and testing out new shoes this weekend, I was hiking just southwest of Vail on Mount of the Holy Cross with Tim and Adam. We drove to the trailhead Saturday afternoon, as it is three and a half hours from Boulder. We set up camp and had a leisurely evening before waking at 4am to tackle this 12-mile, 5600 ft elevation gain giant.

Fortunately, the weather was beautiful and we had a great hike up to the summit. My favorite part was the tons of pikas we saw once we got above the treeline. They're so cute, but unbelievably fast, so getting a picture was very difficult (and proved impossible for me).

We reached the summit after nearly five and a half hours of hiking. Clouds were beginning to form, so we tried to make a quick exit. We scrambled down 1,500 ft of scree and another 1500 ft of trail before making it to the hardest part of the hike--- 900 ft elevation gain after 9 miles of hiking. Just after starting our ascent, we heard nasty thunder fairly close by so we booked it up to Halfmoon Pass and then on the last 1.7 miles to the car. We got a little rained on, but it wasn't too bad. Once we got back in the car and on the road, it was pouring all the way to Vail Pass, so we considered ourselves very lucky.

A great day, a great hike, a beautiful 14er and great company! Click here to see all pics.

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