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Logbear
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 10:13 am 
Back on September 8th, a helicopter carrying 4 passengers crashed and ended up upside down in Copper Lake (the one near Big 4 Mountain that drains into Williamson Creek). This was apparently the second load of 4 passengers because 9 people total had to be rescued/removed by SnoHawk10. Since the helicopter crashed during landing at 8:28 PM with 4 people on board, I assume they were going to spend the night. Copper Lake is part USFS land and part Wa State Parks land. It's not clear just where this camp/helicopter landing spot was located. https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/345438 https://myeverettnews.com/2023/09/15/everett-monitoring-water-quality-following-helicopter-crash-above-city-water-supply/

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes

KascadeFlat
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Schroder
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 10:19 am 
looking north at Copper Lake
looking north at Copper Lake
They land on the south shore- about the only viable LZ. They've been doing this for a number of years now and setting up a big camp there. It's barely out of the Morning Star NRCA.

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Logbear
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 11:31 am 
Thanks Schroder. I would have thought that being in the Everett watershed, helicopters wouldn't be allowed. Oh well. I wonder if any kind of permit/reservation is required, or is it just first come first served. I suppose if someone flew in to Copper Lake and found the site occupied, they could just fly to one of the other 6 lakes in the Mountain Loop area where helicopter camping is common. No roads, no trails, no permits, no reservations, no problem. All you need is money

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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Schroder
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 11:36 am 
Logbear wrote:
they could just fly to one of the other 6 lakes in the Mountain Loop area where helicopter camping is common
What are the others? This is all new to me except I've known about Copper Lake for a while now.

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KascadeFlat
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 12:13 pm 
For anyone interested, Copper Lake on Google Maps shows the LZ on the south shore. I had heard about this incident through LE friends and I am amazed it hasn't been more widely publicized. First I have learned about the practice of helicopter camping at Copper Lake. Note to self: If I ever brave the trek in there I'm going to do it in weather that is not friendly to whirly birds. agree.gif

For a good time call: 1-800-SLD-ALDR.
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Logbear
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 12:37 pm 
Schroder wrote:
Logbear wrote:
they could just fly to one of the other 6 lakes in the Mountain Loop area where helicopter camping is common
What are the others? This is all new to me except I've known about Copper Lake for a while now.
Right off the bat: North Lake Pass Lake Independence Lake Windom Lake Helena Lake I can't think of 6th right now, but these lakes, and some others too, were common destinations for fishing when HiLine helicopters flew out of Darrington back in the 80's. They had lots of pictures of the lakes you could fly to in the old sporting goods store in Darrington. If it wasn't in a Wilderness Area, they would fly you there. I drove up the Deer Creek rd a few days ago to the Lake Kelcema TH. The road was barely passable. Probably not passable now after this rain. But a helicopter could land right in the parking lot of the TH. Who needs the road?

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 12:55 pm 
I can't think of where one would land a Heli at North lake, there is really only one flat area in the trees that makes a good camp spot. I don't agree with rich-lazy people flying into wilderness areas, if you can't get there on your own two legs then don't go, although I admit it would be tempting, especially Helena lake which I have so far failed to reach. As for Deer creek road to Kelcema lake the road only has one pretty bad spot that we went out with no problem with a Subaru, my Suburban and Escape and last year even with my Celica with very little clearance although I scraped bottom. One just has to hit it at the right spot and speed going up, going down is easy.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Bowregard
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 1:03 pm 
Wow, Pass and Independence Lake are no more than a mile walk with very little elevation gain. I can't imagine anybody wanting to take a helicopter to go fishing there (and I was there in the 80's). North Lake used to hold some good fish and is at least a bit of effort to get to. I guess if I was running a business to fly people in I wouldn't question why they want to go.

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Tom
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 1:03 pm 
Personally I don't have a problem with it. I would consider it once I can no longer get there on my own, or go with a loved one that might not be able to otherwise. The crash is unfortunate. sh## happens.

jaysway, runup
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Logbear
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 1:49 pm 
Chief Joseph wrote:
As for Deer creek road to Kelcema lake the road only has one pretty bad spot that we went out with no problem with a Subaru, my Suburban and Escape and last year even with my Celica with very little clearance although I scraped bottom. One just has to hit it at the right spot and speed going up, going down is easy.
I went up the Deer Creek rd. twice last week. On the 19th I found this sign after the bad place in the road. At the TH was a Forest Service Fire Truck. Ford truck with duals. 2WD I believe. I was impressed.
I took my wife for a drive on the 20th and the sign was gone. I small front wheel drive car was stuck at this spot but was able to back out on his own. I offered the couple a ride but they declined. I made it through with my Subaru. It was worse the second day. I wouldn't do it again unless I had a really good reason. The picture doesn't do it justice. The road is worse than it looks.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes

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Logbear
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 2:04 pm 
Bowregard wrote:
Pass and Independence Lake are no more than a mile walk with very little elevation gain.
I know. Crazy huh? Some time ago, I tried to find the trail that goes past pass lake and drops to the east. I remember Pass Lake being more of a swamp. But they used to fly in there. But then again you can't drive up the Coal Lake Rd. right now, so none of these lakes are accessible to us peons.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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Logbear
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 2:18 pm 
Tom wrote:
Personally I don't have a problem with it. I would consider it once I can no longer get there on my own, or go with a loved one that might not be able to otherwise.
I agree completely. I won't ever get to Copper Lake on my own. If I went on a once-in-a-lifetime dream trip of helicopter sightseeing followed by camping at Copper Lake only to find Copper Lake already occupied, what would I do then? Go to another lake? Go back to the airport? Ask for my money back?

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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altasnob
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 2:31 pm 
So there is now a helicopter along with a bunch of fuel and other toxic substances at the bottom of Copper Lake? Humans, first they stick fish in lakes where fish don't belong, next they stick helicopters in there. All in a public watershed. Listen to Washington State brag about how pristine this area is. Not anymore. There are tons of places you can heli into in Canada if you don't want to (or can't) hike.

Anne Elk
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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 2:57 pm 
Good thing I made it to North lake in July, hopefully it will be open next year. @ Logbear, I agree that spot is pretty bad, but if one is a good driver it is still doable. I have mixed feeling about whether they should fix it, keeps traffic down. I only went to Kelcema lake once this year as the fishing action has dropped way off.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Logbear
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PostTue Sep 26, 2023 3:55 pm 
Here are some nice pictures of helicopters. Can anyone identify where they are? https://www.destinationdarrington.com/index.php/summer-recreation/scenic-helicopt https://www.atomichelicopters.com/charters

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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