Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Copper Peak & Mount Fernow

Fairly straight forward climb with beautiful views. Having excellent scramble skills seems more important than technical rock skills for this one.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Our trip was constrained by  the schedules of the Lady of the Lake boats and Holden Bus pick-up times.  The Holden Bus was operating only on M, F and W.   We used Scott Rice's Peakbagger's down route  for guidance and it worked well for the most part.  This is a report just for Copper Peak as I did not join the others for Mt Fernow.  Screenshot_20210630-075224_Drive.jpg

It was to be a super hot weekend in Seattle and in the mountains so we downgraded our mountain plans from Sinister to Copper Peak and Mt Fernow.  After catching the 11:15am Lady of the Lake from Field's Point, we arrived at Lucerne at 1:15pm to catch the Holden Bus at 1:30pm.  51278911371_5daa782dfa_o.jpgAfter making the necessary adjustments, we crossed Railroad Creek on a bridge and departed Holden around 2:45pm.  Boy, was it hot!51279083863_3b48ddc49d_o.jpgWe were careful to find the bypass trail that would take us to the Copper Creek Trail.  We now start up the forested Copper Creek Trail that will take us to our destination for the night, Copper Basin at 5600'.51278912071_9788ff2280_o.jpgThe going was rough due to the heat, but thankful most of the trail is in the trees and several streams cross the trail where we can rest and cool off.  We're near the 5600' basin around 5:45pm. 51279937145_665a05d852_o.jpg Before reaching the largest and flattest portion of the basin, we leave the trail and drop about 150' looking for a log that we've read about that can take us across Copper Creek.  Too bad it's completely submerged in  fast running water.  We check downstream and find nothing so we head upstream to the wider basin and are able to cross there.   Water is so cold!  We then head back downstream, on the west side of Copper Creek and camp near the submerged log.  51279084918_03e35fed29_o.jpgNext morning we're off at 4:30am.  We want to beat the heat and some may want to attempt Mt Fernow on the same day.    We're in the burned area almost immediately and it's steep.  We bumped into Mountaineer, Eileen K at Lucerne so she joined us for the night.  But she was soon off solo at her much faster pace.  51278165517_ebbd6ce970_o.jpgLooking back at the burned area we just passed through.  Buckskin Mtn above.51279085128_73284f0b41_o.jpgSoon the East Face is visible in the morning light and we can see our route.    Although not really needed, I stop to put on crampons while others wait till further up.51279498373_f1bb1898b3_o.jpgTaking a break while the temps are still comfortable - 5:30am.51279697039_47bfb09073_o.jpgArriving below the SE glacier.  We're able to avoid the few crevasses we see and will go across those slabs.

Inked51278226657_4614214436_o (1)_LI.jpgHeading for the slabs.51279998395_2fbd905f4f_o.jpg

Off the glacier at about 7400'.  The NE Ridge is clearly in sight.  The summit is behind that pyramid shaped peak.Inked51279146938_0265314617_o_LI.jpgThe crampons go off at about 8200' and it's all rock scrambling from here.  Andrea does a great job leading the way.51279147243_7f47fc8f7b_o.jpg51279705004_091cef1433_o.jpgOn top of the NE Ridge  with the summit in view.51279705304_78a788d89b_o.jpgOne of the more exposed class 4 moves on the ridge.  We brought a rope, but did not use.51278981306_314e4e3d1b_o.jpgGetting closer.51279706084_c249a3e2f7_o.jpgSummit success at 10:15am and what stunning views on this clear day.  Glacier Peak looming large.51278545470_c6225d59d3_o.jpgBonanza and Martin in your face.48.1751°N, 120.8037°W (10).jpgHolden below.51279707134_1480255afa_o.jpgMt Fernow just across with Rainier peaking out in the distance.51278545715_efd0d0e80a_o.jpgThe temperature was very pleasant on the summit so we stayed for about 45minutes before departing.   Slowly we head down the ridge.51278983171_29ea93d771_o.jpg

Back on snow and back to our camp 10 hrs later.  Definitely a leisurely day for us, but that's how we like it.51280007245_aa05389b5e_o.jpgThe next day, co-leader Sharon C and the 2 others went to summit Mt Fernow.  I decided to stay in camp since I had done it before.  What a luxury that was.  51277692138_58d243e7fa_o.jpgOn Monday we departed camp early to catch the 10:45am bus to Lucerne.   We again went up river to cross.51278236942_6c105cdb36_o.jpgIt was quick getting back to Holden where we waited a hour for the bus and then waited at Lucerne for the Lady Express which was half hour late.  Some swam in the lake and we reunited with Eileen in Holden who had gone to do Martin on Sunday.  51278237837_c15d764bff_o.jpg Back at Field's Point around 2:30pm.  Hot, hot, hot!  108 in Seattle that day, a record breaker.  Think we had it better in the mountains than being in Seattle.  Great trip with some of my favorite mountain peeps and Bulger #82 for me.51279692333_8a537125fb_o.jpg

My GAIA read  9.72 miles/5967' gain for Copper Peak.

Rochelle's GAIA read 15.2 miles/9478' gain for Copper and Fernow.