East Face Direct

Page Type
Washington, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hard Scramble
Time Required:
A long day
Class 3 (Class 4 if not smart)

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East Face Direct
Created On: Mar 11, 2004
Last Edited On: Apr 27, 2004


For the approach to this climb (the approach to camp at Holden village), see the approach options on the Main Page. Climbs of this peak generally begin from the town or from the designated camp one mile west of town.

Route Description

This is the way we went up the mountain. We went down via the Southeast "Glacier" Route.

From Holden village, hike west a few hundred yards to the trail (road) that crosses the creek to the mine ruins SW of town. (From the campground, hike east to the trail across the creek.) At the SE corner of the ruins near a watertower (may be gone), hike into woods and contour around the lower flank of Copper's NE Ridge. We came upon an old sluiceway in the creek. I can't remember what elevation it was at. At any rate, the forest is pretty open through here. Turn south and follow the creek a couple hundred feet above it to where the forest ends at an immense swathe of brush. To go through that would be insane. So, if you're not insane, you will have to go around it. The only viable way around will be to go above it. Fortunately, at about 4,600 ft there is a heather slope/terrace between the brush and the walls of the NE Ridge. Continue south on the terrace for about 0.6 miles to where the basin opens up and a view can be had of the summit above. It's still way up there. You will see rock bands, snow bands, head bands, rubber bands; every kind of band you can imagine. The idea is to pick your way up through all these. The direction is straight up deviating only to surmount obstacles. At the final snowfield below the summit, the prudent (easiest) finish is to gain the blocky upper NE Ridge near the right end of the snow. Make an arc up and left over blocks to the cramped summit. The route is Class 3 but can easily be Class 4 (or harder) if you're not smart about it. This would especially be plausible if it's a whiteout up there. Give yourself six hours from Holden. You can return the same way but the better option might be to descend via the Southeast Glacier Route. The difficulty of this descent would be finding the correct notch to through a spur ridge coming off the east side of summit. This notch leads to the glacier.

Essential Gear

Ice Axe
Crampons (best to have but might not use)
Short section of rope
Rappel gear
Minimal rock climbing rack (for emergency purposes mainly)
Bug spray
Can of whup ass

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.