Copperstain Mountain

elevation: 2,608 m.
height gain: 950 m.
area: Parson,BC
map 82 N/3-N/6

Ref: Aaron Cameron and Matt Gunn's Hikes around Invermere & the Columbia River Valley.
outfitter's cabin

The cabin is about half an hour from the trailhead.
Scramble: RT 10.0; 4.5 up. With an unstable forecast everywhere, I thought it was wise to plan a straightforward trip close to home. Although Copperstain Mountain is some distance away, granting over 25 kilometers of hiking, there's a good approach trail and the ascent is a "no brainer". We left early and drove to the trailhead. We quickly made our way to the outfitter's cabin; just past there, we reached the old footings for the bridge which no longer exists. Slightly beyond, we found a good place to ford the creek; the crossing was frigid but otherwise quite manageable. We picked up the trail on the other side and enjoyed a pleasant plod through delightful terrain all the way to the old yurt site where a biffy still stands. We encountered several snow patches along the way but the trail was never hard to find. Instead of hiking to the Grizzly Col, as described in the guide book, we opted to try a direct route up the southern ridge. After crossing the first of the two small wooden bridges at the yurt hollow, we started climbing along the creek on its north side. We soon gained height, leaving the creek well below us. The terrain on the south ridge is surprisingly easy to negotiate; we travelled through the forest with minimal bushwhacking while maintaining a direct ascent.  We came across a small drainage before treeline, this is a good place to fill water bottles and take a good break. From there, the ascent is sustained but never too steep. The grassy ground offers good footing almost all the way to the top. We had fresh snow and low cloud cover but it was mild and the wind was calm; we reached the summit in good spirit and hung out for a while before backtracking. All and all, this was a fabulous day out in our local mountains.

no more bridge

The bridge over Baird Creek is washed out.

fording the creek

Fording the creek.

good trail

Following a good trail in open terrain.

throwing snowballs

Throwing snowballs in a pond.

still some snow

Some sections are still snow covered.

trail easily followed

The trail is easily discernable despite the snow, there's also red markers on trees here and there.

crossing a drainage

Crossing a drainage.

wide meadow

Walking among willows in a wide meadow.

our objective ahead

Our objective ahead.

typical terrain

Typical terrain on the southern ridge.

agreeable bushwhacking

Agreeable bushwhacking.

very straightforward

The ascent is very straightforward.

grizzly col

Looking towards Grizzly Col.

fresh snow

Some fresh snow along the way.

at the summit

At the summit.

fab's enjoying a beer

Fabrice is enjoying a beer at the top.

looking east

Looking east, Moonraker and Dogtooth Peaks are at the far left.

view over bald mountain

The obstructed view of Glacier National Park's giants over Bald Mountain.

view south

View south along Baird Creek and our approach.

alpine flowers

Alpine flowers are as hardy as can be.

heading down

Heading down.

yurt hollow

The biffy at the yurt hollow.

several ponds

Several ponds along the way.

fording the creek again

Fording the creek once again.
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