Daily Archives: June 8, 2010

Landscape: Holy Cross Clouds

We slept soundly in our mansion-tent-for-three perched atop Half Moon Pass despite windy and snowy conditions. After spending a night in a tent in a storm, it’s always exciting to take that first peek outside in the morning. We woke up at 4 o’clock to find that the windy-snowy part of things had settled down, leaving behind a slightly ominous-looking grey sky. Clouds hovered over the terrain we covered the previous day, giving us that literal above-the-clouds sensation. Love it.

By the time we psyched ourselves up on cups of tea and dug our skis out of the snowdrifts, the sky looked much more inviting with its lavender light and (possibly?) clouds clearing. Mount of the Holy Cross? Onward, ho!

The ski descent down Half Moon Pass proved to be the most technical part of the day, as we decided not to ski the Cross Couloir once we reached the peak’s summit (see last post). This 1,000-foot drop was rocky and cliffed in sections until we finally bottomed-out at East Cross Creek. From there, we had a 3,000-plus-foot climb to summit Mount of the Holy Cross.

I kept looking over my shoulder and up and the sky to see what the weather was going to do. It was one of those difficult days when you wouldn’t know if it was going to hail…

…or suddenly become sunny. Sometime on our ski descent down the regular Mount of the Holy Cross North Ridge route, the sun started peeking through. By the time we got back down to the creek, we were shedding layers. The big blue sky broke open, and we had a beautiful view of Holy Cross as we stomped back up Half Moon Pass and then skied home.