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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Copper & Iron Mountains (Mount Rainier)

Two peaks for the price of one.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The officially unmaintained Tahoma Creek Trail has lots of blowdowns and one good 30 foot exposed washout just before the suspension bridge.  Be very careful in that section.  In 2016, on our wet day, it was fine.  In the future, if it gets worse, you might want to run a safety line, for which there are good anchors.

Approached via the Tahoma Creek Trail off the Westside road.  Probably about the same distance as Kautz Creek, but more interesting, adventurous (unmaintained trail) and lonely.  Hit snow shortly after crossing the Tahoma Creek suspension bridge.  On the assents to the two peaks, the snow was firm, but soft enough to sink ice axes in deeply.
In summiting Iron, the map shows two bumps on the Iron side of the saddle.  Those are real.  You must go below them and south about 100’.  Its actually easiest to not hike all the way to the saddle, but instead traverse south before reaching it.
In summiting Copper, we had a clear steep snow finger in the SW gully we were able to ascend.  On the descent, we protectedly bashed our way through the trees just to the descenders left and found the summer trail to be occasionally clear.