Route: North Slopes
Posted On: 2019-10-07, By: Chicago Transplant
Info: The north gully is still very full of snow, and the apron blocks easy access to the lower flanks of the gully or slopes above. The snow is ice hard and even the very small low angle section I crossed was difficult to gain traction on. Above this I went up a small loose gully/ramp system to bypass the lower cliff. The north slopes above this were a mix of loose rock, 3rd class dirt/mud and a few steep class 3 (maybe a few spots of 4) rock bands that had enough solid rock to feel safer than the dirt. I don't recommend this route in these conditions, and probably should have turned around. The south side of the ridge has much more enjoyable terrain and the summit pitch is solid, fun, exposed class 3. I recommend waiting for spring snow and climbing with axe/crampons or exploring the south gully route (1800' of talus) from Bear Creek - which is the Pierre Lakes approach. FYI, there is a better approach to bypass 12903 than the talus gully others have used. Where the Moon Lake trail crosses the creek in a meadow at ~10,400, head up the Moon Lake trail on the east side of the creek, leaving it and going up the grass/open tree gully higher up near around 10,700 or so. We found a switchbacking trail even higher up this gully that led to the PT12903/PT11865 saddle. Contour grass and talus to the base of the gully that crosses PT12903's east ridge that accesses this peak. 1: Overview from approach 2: Looking down my gully/ramp to access the mountain 3: Looking down the north slopes 4: The south side of the ridge
Route: East Ridge from Copper Creek
Posted On: 2017-07-04, By: TakeMeToYourSummit
Info: Inspired by the one TR on this site - my friend & I set out to tackle this 13er via Copper Creek & as a snow climb up higher. We left the Snowmass Creek trail just shy of 4 miles in. The water is running rather high currently. I set a rope on my 1st crossing around sunrise (LNT - I intend to remove the rope - if it is still there - later this summer after the water levels drop, until then use it with caution please!). A bit of bushwhacking in places & a fairly solid game trail / light use trail in other places. We went up the south side of Copper on ascent & down the north; with mixed results on both. Above treeline the terrain was a mixture of talus, solid slabs, & a few snow patches. The couloir was in great shape with solid snow all the way to the ridge. We veered out of the couloir near the top - avoiding the first couple of towers along the ridge. With good route finding the climbing up here can be kept to class 3 & 4. Two bumps up top appear to be similar in height; we found the summit register on the further one (closer to Clark). So Nolan climbed this back in '92 & Kevin and Sarah were the last two to sign it last fall. The moves between the 2 points are the most exposed of the route. Fun glissades down the couloir & one of the next pitches got us back to treeline. More bushwhacking & linking game trails got us back to the creek crossing. I can't emphasize this enough - use the rope AT YOUR OWN RISK! Overall a worthy 13er if you are looking for something different in the Snowmass area. Expect 13+ miles & 4600+' of vertical gain.