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Ascent of Copper Peak on 2017-08-27

Climber: Julie Myer

Others in Party:Kevin H
Date:Sunday, August 27, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Copper Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:8964 ft / 2732 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a carryover from Phelps Creek Basin to Holden to climb Seven Finger Jack, Fernow, & Copper. 4 days, 12,500+ feet gain, 23+ miles. The car shuttling was tough between the trailhead and Fields Point Ferry Landing on Chelan, but well worth not having to go out and back. We took 3.25 hours to reach Leroy Basin and another 1.5 hours to reach the summit of 7FJ. A climbers trail could be followed almost the entire way to the top, marked with cairns as we reached the final summit block area. From there we descended west using the easiest going gulley, switching if it became too steep or loose; and working our way down to intersect Sean Albert’s GPS track and saddle, and continued into the far side of the basin below. We camped in the basin at the bottom of the water/ravine across from the saddle we had just come down. Crampons and ice axe were necessary to descend to this area. From the creek bottom we ascended to its right side to reach an upper basin. There’s a deposit of grayish loose scree we went up to gain a leftward trending bench that continued up towards Fernow. The scrambling here was wonderful! Solid moderate rock…fun! As we reached the saddle south of Fernow we could see the key hole and gulley we needed to go up and through. From there we traversed on ledges to the east, following cairns, and scrambled looser, but still good rock to the summit. We descended down to the saddle in the east ridge of Fernow and into Copper Basin. We camped at 5800’ just before the creek starts to really drop. There were several camp sites and an easy log to cross for the next morning’s ascent of Copper. Brush and burned out areas forced us into a creek that we ascended and gained the glacier, passing on the left side of the buttress. We exited the glacier at approximately 7300’ and worked our way up to the ridge. Going up the ramp to the right seemed to be the easiest. Once on the ridge we ascended directly up to the last snow field (used crampons and ice axe on an intermediate snowfield that we bypassed on the east when we descended). The rock was exposed 4th and low 5th to the upper east ridge of copper. On our descent we followed the ridge down further east for an easier exit. We descended our route down the mountain to the glacier and instead of going down the creek took more of a direct line back to camp. 11.5 hour day! Next morning we hiked out to Holden (2 hours). What a fun little village! We had a good cup of coffee and witnessed their final testing of a water suppression system for the entire town that has been 5 years in the making.
Summary Total Data
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons



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