Copeland Mountain

        by Gordon S. Novak Jr.         July 1, 1991

Copeland Mountain is a massive, rounded mountain that is easily seen from the highway entrance to Wild Basin. I leave by bicycle from our cabin in Meeker Park at 8:15 and ride to the Wild Basin trailhead, leaving there at 8:45 and reaching Ouzel Falls at 10:20. By 11:15 I have reached the top of the burned-out ridge headed toward Ouzel Lake. From here, the route up Mt. Alice via Lion Lakes looks quite snowy. I reach Ouzel Lake at 12:00.
The guidebooks say to leave the trail and cross the stream below Ouzel Lake and bushwhack south through forest up to the top of the ridge. That is what I do, but it's probably bad advice. The route is steeply upward, with lots of large fallen trees with broken branches sticking up to spear the climber. Bushwhacking through this stuff takes its toll. Better to go around the lake to its south side (a bit swampy) and climb to the top of the ridge on rocks from there.

I reach treeline at 14:35. There is one snow crossing on top of the ridge. It looks like it could harbor a crevasse, so I probe with my ice axe; it turns out to be solid. This is one big mountain. At 16:43 my altimeter reads 12,300 and I write in my log book "and the mountain goes on forever." I reach the summit at 17:47. The summit has a rather large semi-circular windbreak made of rocks. McHenry's Peak looks terrible from this vantage point. I leave at 18:25 and get back about 22:30.

Rocky Mountain National Park: The High Peaks