The calendar flipped to October and snow in the high country was all but non-existent, save for a dusting. Tanner and I decided to head out on a Saturday afternoon for a sub 24 hour trip to the alpine.
On our way to the north flank of Notch Mountain and Half Moon Pass.
The air was crisp and the sky was slowly turning grey. We rounded the bend of Half Moon and looked into the expanse of the Cross Creek valley below.
First look to Mount of the Holy Cross
Feeling a bit ambitious, we took a more difficult off-trail route to the waterfall on East Cross Creek.
We’ve both been getting in the mood to scramble lately. Class three to four climbs on some enormous boulders made the day a little more scenic and challenging in order to reach Patricia.
More difficult than it looks
We found camp at the foot of Patricia and spent the evening looking up to find snow falling down on us. The scene was serene. Not enough to accumulate, but small flakes; peacefully blanketing the air to a cool silence.
Lake Patricia and Mount of the Holy Cross (14,009′)
After leaving our post at Patricia, we were rock hopping again to reach the northern shoulder of Holy Cross.
Upon reaching the standard route to the summit, we dropped our overnight supplies out of the packs and continued up to the peak. So far it had been a mellow traffic day for a weekend 14er summit.
Notch Mountain, the shelter and Bowl of Tears as seen from the summit of Mount of the Holy Cross
A glimpse into the main artery of Holy Cross Wilderness – Cross Creek.
Looking back to the freshly dusted summit
We were off the summit before 1100, beginning the step descent back to East Cross Creek.
I was fully satisfied to squeeze in one more backpacking trip to the mountains; the last of the season. Bittersweet that it had ended so soon, even if it did take place in the month of October. With one more desert trip in the works, the acquiring of new backcountry ski gear and planning a Wilderness wandering in Alaska for next summer, prospects don’t look to get dull anytime soon.