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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Lightning Peak

Trip is S4, T4, maybe T5 in a couple of spots. Fun routefinding from the east peak to the main summit. Route is flagged/cairned to the ridge, with short sections of snow remaining, and some bushwhacking.

  • Road rough but passable
  • Route starts as well-maintained trail, then a flagged/cairned bootpath to the ridge, with short sections of snow remaining, and some bushwhacking. Most of the party members used ice axes, but none used crampons or spikes.

Party met at Hoodsport PO at 07:30 and formed carpools. One no-show, so six members in two cars, left at 07:45. Arrived at the Copper Creek TH at 08:10 and started hiking at 08:30. 

Route starts up the well-maintained and mostly tree-shaded Copper Creek loop trail. At the apex of the loop, an obvious bootpath continues up the ridge. Bushwhacky in spots but not hard to follow. 

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Up in the gully, we encountered some loose rock and donned helmets, then encountered some snow, which we followed up and lost the bootpath, which forced us to bushwhack  east 200 yards or so to regain the path. It was a warm day and I added snow to my 2-liter Platypus on the ascent and descent; there was no other water above Copper Creek.

We reached the east peak around 12:30.  The crux of the scramble is probably the west ridge of the east peak, which is exposed for 20 feet.

One party member chose to wait there while the rest continued to the summit, which involved some simple routefinding to choose the safest T3/T4 routes.

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Reached the true summit and benchmarks at 13:00, went on out to the end of the ridge (which is lower) where there is a wooden "Lightning Peak" sign, 13:15. We lingered there for about 20-30 minutes. 

We returned to the east peak around 14:00. Descended the bootpath, staying on it past the point of our ascent bushwhack, then once again stayed on a snow patch and lost the path. This time it was a shorter bushwhack back to the path. We reached the loop trail around 15:45, removed helmets. Reached the TH around 17:20. RT time about 8 hrs, 50 minutes, including 20-30 minutes at the "summit" and three or four  10-15 minute breaks.