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Trip Report    

Copper Mountain/East Ridge (Olympics)

Date: Sunday, June 14, 2015

Party members:
2 leaders and 7 scramble and basic climbing course students.

Clear and warm 70’s

Beginning at about 8:00am from the upper Mount Ellinor trailhead we hiked the old road bed west to intersect with the lower Mount Ellinor trail. Followed the lower trail up a short distance and turned west onto a historical trail leading toward Mount Rose. Reached Bear Camp (40 min. from TH), then headed northwest on an abandoned trail, crossing over the Rose-Elizabeth ridge, and continued northerly to the trail end at a large fir blow down, turned right and ascended slope 100 feet to ridge. (45 min from Bear Camp), then descended to the 4,040+ foot saddle east of Copper Mountain looking north into the Hamma Hamma River watershed (some minor brush).

Ascent Route:
From the saddle ascend westerly in open timber and some brush (cedar) until above timberline (about 45 min. from the saddle). Continued up East Ridge on heather, rock and scree snow slopes to just below the east summit of Copper. Scrambled over and down rock step (Class 2, 10 feet high), then climbed through and over cedar and other brush for 20 feet (we set up a fixed line up and over the rock step and through the brush. 30m rope.) to open ridge. Continued toward the gap between the east peak and west peak (true summit), avoiding the more difficult gap area by descending 200-300 feet to the south on scree and heather, then making an ascending traverse to the ridge crest at the notch. This is the notch reached from Wagonwheel Lake on the standard route. From the notch, finding wide ledges and steps trending south (left) scramble up to the summit (Class 2). About 4 hours and 45 minutes to the summit from the trailhead.

Descent Route:
Retraced our ascent route. The fixed line was placed for the exposed brush and rock step near the east summit as an option. Reached the trailhead at 4:40pm.