Copper Mountain Weekend

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Our little group gets to the top of Copper several times in a great weekend.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

 

Dylan, Mariel, and I were gunning for the Copper Traverse, while John and Tamara did laps on Copper.

Our group made great time up 9220, enjoying the sunshine and views. But despite a very cold start, the day was warming quickly.

 

Early skin track

There was a slight breeze on top, but all and all it felt very much like Spring. In February.

 

The face

Sawtooth view. Just to the left of this we could clearly see Mt. Borah.

From the top of 9220, we skied down to the saddle to the north (behind the camera). Getting a few turns on this gentle ridge before we got to the saddle was important because both Dylan and I were on skis that we had never before turned.

Good views

Here's looking back up at the saddle.

Good views

And then we were down what I now call FD Bowl. Powder at the top, chowder at the bottom.

From there, I missed the exit to gain the next basin, so we ended up climbing a fairly heinous ridge to right above where we had started. This little diversion took lots of energy and time, and it had gotten really warm, so when we topped out we bailed on the traverse and did some shady tree skiing back to Banner Creek summit. Not quite the day we planned, but in consideration of the sudden heat, probably the safe one.

So after burgers at Bridge Street and a good night's sleep, the predicted 1/2 inch of snow turned out to be more like 3". So we were off again the next morning with big smiles (and tired legs).
Tracks
It was 1° as we rolled out of Stanley, so as expected, there was a firm, supportable crust under some really nice powder. The crust sits on many inches of softer snow, so it should be interesting when we get more on top of that mix.
Tracks
Fortunately, some clouds rolled in to keep the sun off the snow. Because when the sun poked through, the temperature would jump about 20°. Hard to dress right, but we were having fun. Tracks
Near the top of Copper,the wind chill was noticeable, so a little sun occasionally was a good thing. Tracks
Then on top, the wind died completely. Tracks
It was nice to NOT be in a hurry. The views were outstanding. Tracks

The skiing was fun, if a a little strange. Like John says, there was a film of fresh on yesterday's hard crust.

 

John's trip report

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