Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mt. Aix/Twin Sisters Lks/Copper City 7-9/10-10
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mhutch
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Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Posts: 168 | TRs | Pics
mhutch
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PostSun Jul 11, 2010 5:33 pm 
Decided to go up Mt. Aix friday.  It was one of my favorite hikes last year (almost a year to the day) so I figured I'd go back for an overnighter.  Couldn't get out of town until after 9am and made it to the TH around noon, just in time to climb 4000'+ in the heat of the day, nice.  Undeterred, I packed up. Was planning to camp up on the ridge, liquid water is hard to find up there so I decided to haul a full gallon jug of water up plus 2.5L in bladders and a bottle, as that seemed more appealing than melting snow for water.  There was one other vehicle at the TH, the road was in decent shape, not great, but it's better than the Teanaway rd. was before they fixed it.

Hit the trail around 12:30 and kept a good pace with several breaks to hydrate and keep cool.  Creeks that were dry last year at this time were still flowing, there are a few places to get water on the way up/down.  There is a lot more snow this year, it starts at around 6000' (estimate).  At first just on and off, but up higher the trail was mostly snow covered.  Lots of climbing/traversing over steep snowbanks covering sections of the trail, poles or an ice axe would be a good idea. Nothing extremely exposed, but some crossings run out into trees and loose rocks, until the snow melts there could be potential for injury if one slipped in the wrong spots.  I dropped my gallon jug crossing one and it did not have a gentle ride, had to go downhill to get it out of some trees.  Ran into a couple coming down near 7000', they were using ice axes and had enough of all the snow crossings so they turned around.  Shortly after seeing them I was tired of the crossings too, so I looked around and decided to follow a faint goat path heading up over dry ground, this led me right to the Nelson ridge/Aix trail junction.  The upper slopes of the ridge are melted out.

Trail up ridge
Trail up ridge
Snow crossing, there were worse ones
Snow crossing, there were worse ones
Start of goat path up ridge
Start of goat path up ridge
Nelson ridge trail junction
Nelson ridge trail junction

Just past the junction I saw a herd of goats grazing.  Watched them for a while and took a few pics before they noticed me and ran off.

Goats on upper ridge
Goats on upper ridge
mama goat
mama goat
Goat herd on another ridge
Goat herd on another ridge

The last snowbank is after you cross the pass in Nelson ridge and finally see Mt. Aix.  It was steep enough on the east side that I avoided crossing it and walked up to the top then down loose rocks on the other side.  Easy enough to climb up and over on the way back though.  Views really open up on the ridge up Aix.  The scramble route is cairned, some erosion along the bottom section, but it's easy enough to get around.  Some loose rock up higher but plenty of solid holds and couple clear routes to follow...  Soon you see old parts of the lookout and are on top.  Register cap is cracked and there are just scrap pieces of paper in there.  Several entries from this year.  Views are awesome...  There were several nice waterfalls in the various basins around Aix, I could hear them all roaring from the top, pretty cool.

First view of Mt. Aix
First view of Mt. Aix
the scramble route
the scramble route
Falls in Hindoo basin
Falls in Hindoo basin

I decided to head down into the basin east of the summit to camp for the night.  Clouds were rolling in from the west and it was a little breezy.  Hung out for a while watching several more goat herds grazing along the crests of ridges nearby. Sunset was nice, missed the first part of sunrise, but caught some of it, it was cool watching the clouds roll over and break into another clear day.  Trip down was pretty uneventful.  Followed the goat path again to cut off some of the snow crossings, from the first switchback after the Nelson ridge trail jxn just head off trail straight towards Bumping Lk. to pick it up.  A couple inconspicuous cairns were left on the uphill side of the trail for anyone going in the next week or so, snow is melting fast though...



Adams and Goat Rocks pano
Adams and Goat Rocks pano

ALW peaks pano
ALW peaks pano

Clouds and sunbreaks to east
Clouds and sunbreaks to east
Mt. Rainier
Mt. Rainier
Mt. Saint Helens
Mt. Saint Helens
Mt. Adams
Mt. Adams
Glacier Pk. over Mt. Daniel
Glacier Pk. over Mt. Daniel
ALW peaks in pastel
ALW peaks in pastel
Mt. Rainier at sunset
Mt. Rainier at sunset
Mt. Adams and Goat Rocks at sunset
Mt. Adams and Goat Rocks at sunset
Rainier zoom
Rainier zoom

Got back to the car around 11:00, still felt up for hiking some more but didn't want a whole lot more elevation gain.  So I ditched the overnight gear and headed up closed Rd. 1808 to Twin Sisters Lakes.  Mosquitoes were starting to come out down below the first washout, after that it was fine up to the lakes, where there were a few, but they were tolerable.  Another week with this weather and I'm sure they will be much worse.  The ~5 mile road walk was pretty boring, some big trees down at the beginning, there are some nice camps and views of the creek at points.  The water here is crystal clear.

Washed out culvert
Washed out culvert

Got to the end of the road and found the Twin Sisters TH, it was unmarked but I knew that had to be it.  So I went up the trail, it's a decent climb from there up onto the plateau, or at least it feels like it after coming down Aix and walking up the road 5 miles, heh.  Actually ran into 2 others who did the whole road walk in too, surprising.  The plateau is just melting out, bugs were not bad, but they might be by now...  Avalanche lilies blooming.  Went on to the other Twin Sister Lake then came back and hung out on the shore for a while before heading down to the TH and 5 mile road walk back.



Twin Sisters outlet
Twin Sisters outlet
Tumac Mtn. from Twin Sisters trail
Tumac Mtn. from Twin Sisters trail
Mt. Aix from Twin Sisters Lks. trail
Mt. Aix from Twin Sisters Lks. trail
Avalanche lilies
Avalanche lilies
Twin Sisters Lakes TH
Twin Sisters Lakes TH

Passed the sign for Copper City and decided I might as well go since I dunno when I'll be back again.  Was interesting to check out the broken down building and what appears to be an old mining operation or something.  Walked up the road further to see if there was anything else, but gave up after a while and headed back to the road and on down to the TH.

old building
old building
mine site I assume
mine site I assume

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belowfellow
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Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 257 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle
belowfellow
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PostSun Jul 11, 2010 9:09 pm 
nice work up.gif   the clouds made for some exceptional lighting.  great photos.

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"Wilderness is bliss"
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kawisk
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Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 92 | TRs | Pics
kawisk
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PostSun Jul 11, 2010 9:53 pm 
thanks for the report. this one is on my short list.

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kbatku
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Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Posts: 3305 | TRs | Pics
Location: Yaquima
kbatku
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PostSun Jul 11, 2010 10:12 pm 
great report
I haven't been that way since the road washed out. They are SUPPOSED to fix it this fall (heard that before) so watch out for the crowds once they do.  Last time i saw that building it was still standing - oh well... Time marches on.

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