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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Copper, Martin, and Fernow, part II
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Roald
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Post Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:25 pm    Copper, Martin, and Fernow, part II
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For a good report on this trip, see Tvashtar’s TR here:  It’s got everything – bear attacks, entomology, videos, the word “agape,” and a four-year old quaffing boogers.  And God-rays piercing the clouds, which is appropriate because we were in the Lake Wobegon village of Holden.  I want to write stories like Tvash when I grow up.

In the meantime, here’s my tale of a leisurely trip to scramble Copper and Fernow:

“Holy crap, Batman!” I grabbed the front dash as the car veered left at the intersection of Field’s Point road.  We were hopelessly late for the ferry to Holden, but with Pat at the helm all was not lost.  The left wheels caught some air as the road twisted right.  Morning joggers jumped into bushes as our car caromed right, then left, then right again into the Fields Point parking area.  Don jumped out and held the boat’s steward at bay, while Pat and I stuffed gear into packs and somersaulted onto the ferry just as it pulled away from the dock.

Or it was something like that.  In our rush, we managed to leave Don’s axe and all our maps in the car.  We also had no money.  I, as a pioneer of the cashless economy, had brought plenty of plastic money.  But out there, away from the Big City, those plastic cards are good only for picking your teeth.


The lack of cash turned into a major problem when we arrived in Holden and realized that the ice cream store opens at 2:00 pm.  I know we had a couple mountains to climb, but ice cream is ice cream.  Luckily, Holden holds a lot of Lutherans.  I sauntered up to the ice cream counter, with money for only one ice cream cone, preparing to beg for two free cones by appealing to Christian charity:

“What would Jesus do?”  This was my ace-in-the-hole line, designed to spring loose some ice cream from the teenager behind the counter.

But she probably would have said, “Jesus would’ve brought some friggin’ money, you loser.  Now get out of here.”

So instead I just told the truth, and she gave me the ice cream anyway.  I love Holden.

Eventually we walked up to Copper Basin and pitched camp with the mosquitos.  Lutherans down in the valley, mosquitos up the in basin.  Who knows what we would find on the mountains.


Other than a short bush thwack at the beginning, the scramble up Copper was quite nice, and it was relaxing to leave the navigating to the two mountain veterans.

We lounged at the top for 2+ hours, identifying a 360-panorama of peaks and deciding via our inaction not to scramble Fernow that same day.


Back at camp a refrigerator-sized boulder from high on Buckskin Mountain rudely decided to join us for dinner.  Don saw it demolish a good-sized tree as it crashed down the mountain.  I saw only the explosion of wood as the rock hit the tree and continued straight toward us.  The rock eventually veered left, following the fall line, but for a few seconds our amigdylas were on full alert, figuring out which way to flee.

The next morning Pat went downvalley to climb Martin Peak, while Don and I lounged around camp and eventually picked our way up Fernow.  The going is easy, and we found an easier boot path on the way back.


Overall, a really nice area and a great trip.
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wildernessed
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 7087 | TRs | Pics
Location: Wenatchee
Post Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:04 pm   
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Overall, a really nice area and a great trip._Roald

Hey you think, very nice as usual ! hockeygrin.gif, great pics, love the route and summit shots. up.gif  up.gif

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I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent_Gandhi
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b00
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Post Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:47 pm   
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how long did it take from holden to the summit and back?
was there anything difficult? class 3?
easy route finding?
what route did you take?
i hope that is not too many questions.
thanks.
:>)
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Roald
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Post Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:57 pm   
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b00 wrote:
how long did it take from holden to the summit and back?
was there anything difficult? class 3?
easy route finding?
what route did you take?
i hope that is not too many questions.
thanks.
:>)

b00 – For either Copper or Fernow, you can summit from Holden in 6 hours, fewer if you want to move fast.  The return would be maybe 5 hours.  The route descriptions I've seen rate both standard routes from Holden as Class 3.  The scrambling on Copper, however, is sustained.  Elsewhere, I've joked about splitting "class 3" into "fun" and "don't take your kids" categories.  Fernow is the fun type of class 3 scrambling (only at the top), whereas Copper is the "nerve-wracking if you take your kids" version of class 3.  This shows up in the registers.  Fernow's register has a lot of entries, including visitors from Holden.  Copper's register is thin - the last ones to sign were in 2006.

Route finding on Fernow is easy.  On Copper, we found a route on the return that avoided a short scramble through the cliff band (this easier route is described with the picture at the top of my TR).  Finding the easiest route on Copper going up would require some luck, or poking around a bit.

Good luck!  smile.gif
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b00
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Post Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:46 pm   
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thank you!
:>)
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touron
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Joined: 15 Sep 2003
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Post Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:57 pm   
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Nice pictures and impressive ice cream mining technique! up.gif  up.gif  hmmm.gif

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Touron is a nougat of Arabic origin made with almonds and honey or sugar, without which it would just not be Christmas in Spain.
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
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Location: Shoreline
Post Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:44 pm   
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Roald, love your storytelling.
I didn't know they had a museum at Holden now; someday I'll have to check it out.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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wildernessed
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
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Location: Wenatchee
Post Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:47 pm   
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up.gif I like it ! I'll have to gather a small posse and try to get out there, but everything takes time hmmm.gif , so many peaks, so little time.

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I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent_Gandhi
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John Morrow
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Post Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:38 am   
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b00 wrote:
how long did it take from holden to the summit and back?
was there anything difficult? class 3?
easy route finding?
what route did you take?
i hope that is not too many questions.
thanks.
:>)

Planning it are ya?  Why am I not surprised?  I love to do the pair, myself.  Perhaps I can find a window when I can actually get out with you and your usual suspects!  Keep me informed if you will.
Sincerely,
John
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John Morrow
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Post Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:40 am   
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wildernessed wrote:
......hmmm: , so many peaks, so little time.

Wisest words on this forum all summer!
J
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silence
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Post Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:27 am   
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entertainin read roald .. and great pix .. as was tvashtarkatena's -- funny stuff you boys

we were up that way .. well holden lake and the pass over the 4th and treated to a grand independence day parade by the friendly folks in the village (twice -- as they did up main street and back again) -- but the ice cream store was closed on sunday when we returned  frown.gif .. anyway met some climbers on the lady headed for copper and fernow that weekend but they got weathered out .. nice to see what they were talkin about .. pat's route up martin  up.gif

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PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. – Bob Dylan
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mntsun
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Joined: 08 Jul 2007
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Location: Squaresville
Post Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:11 am   
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Great work, terrific write-up, great responses to questions  up.gif

I'd love to get in there, was supposed to be there on Weds frown.gif

Someday!
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Go Jo
of the lykkens



Joined: 08 Jun 2003
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Post Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:18 pm   
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I thought your report was great until I noticed you neglect to specify ice cream flavors! What's the point of writing these things if you leave out the details that matter to us?
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cartman
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Post Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:04 pm   
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If this is the bad TR, I don't know if I'm ready for the good one!

Thanks for the beta, going in there to do those in ten days.
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Roald
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Post Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:35 pm   
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the lykkens wrote:
I thought your report was great until I noticed you neglect to specify ice cream flavors! What's the point of writing these things if you leave out the details that matter to us?

Touché.  Thanks for the correction.  It was chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate.  Except there were three types of chocolate.  I kept the best one for myself (I think the name is "Alaska dark chocolate he-man kick-ass hair-on-your-chest ice cream with chunks and gooey stuff inside," or something like that.)  Pat and Don got the whimpy stuff (sumpin' like "Sweet chocolate" and "Mud pie").

I thought of something useful about the routes.  For Copper, it pays to stay low, even losing elevation from Copper Basin (that is, going below 5600 feet), as you traverse N or NW (climber's right) around the toe of Copper's forested east ridge.  Start gaining elevation after getting around the toe of the ridge.

On Fernow, we dropped lower than necessary after crossing the saddle south of Copper Basin.  It is necessary to drop some as you turn right (west) from the saddle, but after getting around a large bump in the ridge you can gain the Fernow's west ridge as you head WNW, then W to the summit.
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