General InfoCooper Peak
Trailhead: Monarch Lake
Route:South Buttress Variation from Monarch Lake
Round Trip Mileage: Approximately 21
Climbers: Bryan Bergstrom and Tracy Roach
Date: September 5, 2011
From the Monarch Lake Trailhead, take the Cascade Trail for approximately 3.3 miles until you reach the Buchanan Pass Trail. Follow the Buchanan Pass Trail 2.2 miles until you reach the Gourd Lake/Buchanan Pass Trail junction. Follow the Gourd lake Trail 2.7 miles to the lake.
We skirted around the right side of Gourd Lake into this talus filled gulley:
One of the small ponds below Island Lake. There were some small rainbow trout in here.
Our view of Cooper Peak from the small pond:
Picking the line. I love looking up at mountains, picking a line that I know nothing about and just going.
Our Route. It had an estimated 500' vertical of technical climbing with 1500' of elevation gain.
Our first pitch:
This is where I began the third pitch. From this point we traversed right onto the steeper rock. In between pitches this was a common sight; intermittent sections of 3rd class rock scattered with talus and boulders. The route was surprisingly solid.
Looking down on Island Lake from higher up on the route. I was about 100' from the top of our climb at this point.
This is the top of the South Buttress route, heading to the summit.
A womans place is on top:
We descended the Southwest slopes. This was our view:
Further down with Gourd Lake in the background: