Copeland Mountain lies deep in Rocky Mountain National Park and is a long haul even in summer. Dominic and I first climbed its gentle east ridge one spring from the Wild Basin Trailhead. Though years have since passed, we haven't forgotten the frustrating deadfall posthole-a-thon that we suffered through that day. This time we'll try our luck with Kylie, Michael and Pete from the south via the Allenspark Trailhead and the Finch Lake - Pear Lake Trail.

Exceptional snow conditions allowed us to climb 500+ feet of firm, moderate snow in a minor southeast facing couloir leading to Copeland's broad east ridge. Prepared for a mere slog, crampons and more than 2 ice axes between the 5 of us would have been helpful! From the top of the couloir one mile of talus leads to the summit.

The south side of Mount Meeker as seen from the Allenspark Trail.

Dom having a sandwich at Finch Lake.

Rounding Finch Lake on the north side.

Initial view of Copeland from the Finch Lake - Pear Reservoir Trail.

Nearing Pear Reservoir.

Pear Reservoir and Elk Tooth.

We climbed the big couloir on the right to gain Copeland's east ridge.

The snow gets a bit steep for snowshoes and is surpisingly hard.

Saint Vrain Mountain.

Ice axe shaft holes can be used as hand/finger holds in a pinch.

Having only to 2 axes between us, creativity is required.

We exit climbers left near the top of the couloir.

Moderate snow slopes lead to the east ridge.

Dom & Pete on the east ridge.

Pagoda Mountain (left, in the clouds), Longs Peak and Mount Meeker (right).

Clouds engulf us as we begin the descent.

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