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[TR] COPPER MOUNTAIN (7142') - South Ridge 07/16/2022

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Trip: COPPER MOUNTAIN (7142') - South Ridge

Trip Date: 07/16/2022

Trip Report:

COPPER MOUNTAIN (7142') – Copper Ridge Trail Approach – JULY 16-17, 2022 (Sat, Sun).

This climb is typically done September or October when most of the snow is gone and the trail is clear.  I decided to go early.

Saturday:  It was raining on the way to the trailhead but had started to clear up with sun breaks by the start of the trip.  I headed out from the trailhead (3100’) at 8:45am.  The trail was in excellent condition up to 4600’.  At 4600’ the snow started.  There was snow all the way up and over Hannegan Pass and most of the way to Boundary Camp arriving at 11:45am.  I started up the Copper Ridge Trail.  I started hitting pretty solid snow at around 5000’.  I reached the Copper Mountain Lookout at 5:00pm.  The lookout was closed up tight.  There is a compost toilet down the ridge a little bit from the lookout that is melted out from the snow.  I settled into camp at 6:00pm at the saddle turn for the ridge to Copper Mountain. 

Sunday:  It was windy with clouds blowing over the saddle most of the night.  It was cloudy with decent visibility when I left camp for the summit at 6:15am.  I reached the summit at 9:00am.  There was no view to be had as clouds covered all the surrounding peaks.  I headed down to camp arriving at 12:00.  I headed out from camp at 12:45 arriving back to Boundary Camp at 4:30pm and back to the trailhead at 7:30pm.  It was drizzling rain all the way from Hannegan Pass to the trailhead.   With all the snow travel, the trip was long and a good workout with lots of climbing.  Looking through the summit register, I was surprised how few climb this peak every year.


Some Tips and Notes:

1.       I started hitting snow at 4600’.  I would say 75% of the trip was on snow.

2.       The snow was fairly soft.  I didn’t bring crampons.  I used mountaineering boots only and it work well.

3.       I had plenty of water options almost the entire way up due to the snow melting on Saturday.  Sunday the water options were less due to the temperature drop.

4.       There is still a lot of snow at elevation.  It is going to take a long heat wave to melt the snow off the trail completely this year. 

5.       Boundary Camp is 50% under snow.  Silesia Camp is 90% under snow.  Egg Lake Camp is 60% under snow and the lake is 90% snow covered.  Copper Lake Camp is 90% snow covered and the lake is 90% under snow. 

6.       The ridge to Copper Mountain is a lot longer than it looks.  There is a lot of up and down.  There is some 3rd class and even a little bit of 4th class to navigate along the ridge. 


Travel Time for reference:

Saturday:  Trailhead to Lookout to saddle turn camp - 9 hours.

Sunday:  Camp to Summit  to Trailhead - 13 hours.   

Total Mileage:  about 26 miles

Total Elevation Gain: around 8000’


Gear used:   Trekking Poles & Ice Axe


View up the valley to Hannegan Pass and Ruth Mountain.


View from Boundary Camp area looking back toward Hannegan Pass.


Some big beautiful trees along the way.


Ridge to Copper Lookout & Copper Mountain Ridge.


Egg Lake Camp.


View from Copper Ridge.


Marmot checking out the view.


Copper Lookout.


Mount Redoubt in the distance, on my "to climb" list this summer.


Copper Lake Camp.


Copper Mountain Ridge.


Rock section along upper Copper Mountain Ridge.


Copper Mountain Summit.  Great view of the inside of a cloud.





Gear Notes:
Trekking Poles & Ice Axe.

Approach Notes:
Hannegan Pass to Copper Ridge Trail. Lots of snow above 4600'
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Cool, thanks for posting. I've wanted to go out that way but never made the effort, nice work.

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