Holy Cross Mountain, South End
Kananaskis, Alberta
December 7, 2002

This was a weak attempt to bag Holy Cross Mountain from the south ridge. I say weak attempt since December is short on daylight for a long scramble.

We parked left of Gunnery Mountain at a drainage and started up the wooded slope. Having studied the south end of the mountain and its cliff bands I had an idea of where we wanted to go. Once in the trees, however, we couldn’t get our bearings but fortunately we broke out of the trees into a gully. We had no difficulty in reaching the first high point (2478 m) on the south end of the mountain.

After that, travel became much more difficult. There was a slightly higher point to the north but we couldn’t reach it using the connecting ridge. We had to drop down about 80 m below the ridge to continue. Nor were we able to ascend the other high point.

We continued traversing, mostly below the ridge, until we knew we had to turn back because of the lack of daylight.

Although we didn’t make it to Holy Cross Mountain (we did return to climb it using the popular east ascent) or even the south summit, the south end of Holy Cross has some fascinating rock formations that made it worthwhile.


Hiking up the gully


Interesting crystals


We passed by this rock fin at the top of the gully.


On the first high point. Holy Cross is on the far left.


Looking west, Junction Hill in the foreground


Looking back along the ridge


Holy Cross Mountain is still far away


We were forced to drop down to the rock blade (mouse over).


Serrated knife edge ridge leads to Holy Cross Mountain


Checking out a chute


Heading back to the rock fin. Gunnery Mountain behind.


Another look at the rock fin


Back in the woods


82 J/7 Mount Head

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