Alpine Scramble - Copper & Iron Mountains (Mount Rainier)


Alpine Scramble - Copper & Iron Mountains (Mount Rainier)

Snow scramble to two great peaks on the west side of Rainier for the price of one. This trip is well suited for current year Scramble Course students.

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  • Technical 3, Strenuous 3
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 13.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,800 ft

Meet at the South Renton Park and Ride at 5:30 AM. Meet at the south end of the lot right across Grady Way from the Mac Donald’s.

Copper and Iron Peaks are two of the many scramble summits on the southwest side of Mount Rainier.  These two peaks can approached from the west, south or southeast.  The description on the "route/place" link below describes the south route.  We will approach from the west via the West Side Road (TH 2800’), Tahoma Creek, across the Tahoma Creek Suspension Bridge and then follow the Wonderland trail south to the saddle between the peaks. From the saddle we summit each peak.  Here is a link to a printable map of the area. 

 Our elevation gain and distance will be a bit less than via the south route.  I would rate this trip a 3 strenuous, 3 technical. There will be snow on the route starting from somewhere in the vicinity of the suspension bridge.

Full Disclosure:

The west side road is blocked about 0.3 miles before it’s normal end due to a washout.  That will necessitate a bit of scrambling right from the get-go.  Also, we will hike up alongside Tahoma Creek for about ½ mile until the trail in the woods resumes.  This section might be a bit of sand/rock scramble as a result of a lahar last August, (glacier outburst caused flood). Read about it and see a cool video via here and here.  I checked with the park service, whose statements are always VERY conservative and have concluded that from a “scrambling” perspective, the route is safe.  Here is exactly what they said:  Tahoma Creek Trail is still not a trail we recommend nor maintain for visitors due to ongoing lahar risk.
Please research this issue and decide for yourself whether you will be okay taking this route.





Copper & Iron Mountains (Mount Rainier)

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

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