Passes - Copeland Pass
|Track Condition||4||Poor sections.|
|Exposure||3||Tape or rope advised|
|Length||West 550m Nose:700m East: 510m|
|Vertical||West: 250m Nose:270m East: 250m|
Copeland Pass was first navigated by William Raeburn Copeland, after whom it is named in 1893. It was rediscovers in the 1930's and used extensively by Frank Walford in the 1940's during rescue attempts in the valley.
Today it has 3 variations:1) the Nose - this is the original route, 2) Western - also gives access the the iconic Sublime point climbing routes and 3) Eastern a rather vague descent down a series of small gullies connecting to a ledge which gives eventually access to Lindeman Pass. ll 3 variations give access to Lindeman Pass.
- Sublime Point Rd, Leura
- Lindeman Pass
GRADING has been averaged at 5. Nose - 4, Western - 5, Eastern - 6
NAVIGATION has been averaged at 4. Nose - 3, Western - 4, Eastern - 5
Copeland Pass is located at the end of Sublime Point. It starts just before the bridge (534 638; 33°44'15.0"S 150°20'19.2"E) which leads to the lookout.
Descend from the brigde on the track that leads down the nose of Sublime Point. Following this track is straight forward and assistance for the descent of the more difficult sections has been provided in 3 places. The first is a rope down a simple climb. The second is another rope through a cave. The third is a rope and spikes down another climb.
Down and around from this 3rd rope is a junction (534 637; 33°44'17.3"S, 150°20'17.8"E). The left track leads to the eastern and nose descent routes. The right track leads to the Climbers track and the western descent.
The descent of the nose:
This is the easiest ascent or descent of the pass. It contains a few scrambles / climbs that some walkers may need assistance on. The track is easy to follow but can be slippery underfoot in places. The track brings you out in Lindeman Pass at the point where it turns from one side of Sublime Point to the other (534 633; 33°44'29.0"S, 150°20'16.3"E). It is marked by a small cairn.
The Eastern Descent:
This is by far the hardest. The track is hard to discern, it is steep and slippery. After climbing down the nose track through the righthand of two slots (534 637) the track goes off to the left (534 637; 33°44'18.5"S, 150°20'18.2"E). From here it sidles back toward Sublime point for 50m. Then heads down through a series of steep gullies. The track is indistinct at this point. Try and keep away from the cliffs on your left. The gullies eventually give out to a cliff which is not passable. The Lindeman track is not far below. Turn left and follow the ledge along the top of the cliff for about 100m. This section has a better track. It eventually bends to the right and descends through some denser vegetation including blackberries. A large fallen tree is at the end of the denseness. Follow the track beside it down to the Lindeman Pass. You are then at the end of the last landslide on Lindeman Pass just before the ferny section (56S 253575E 6263781N; 33°44'14.9"S, 150°20'24.3"E).
The Western Descent:
The Western descent is short and steep. From the junction mentioned above, descend to the climbers track. The track leaves this track opposite the first few climbs (534 637; 33°44'16.5"S, 150°20'16.7"E). The track is a little indistinct in parts but easy enough to follow.
There are 2 variations of this descent. The junction is at 534 637. a) continues down from junction point to the lower cliff line then heads right on that level. It joins variation b at 533 638. b) turns right from the junction and heads accross under the cliff line and then down a gully to join variation a at the lower junction.
The track then brings you out on Lindeman Pass (533 638; 33°44'13.8"S, 150°20'13.7"E) which is marked with a large cairn.
When ascending by this route, the lower junction is hard to see and by default you will continue on b). See the photo below of the junction. b) goes up the gully on the left, a) climbs up around the tree. After going around the tree the track skirts the top of a small cliff line. From there it is straight forward. On b) if you come too high too soon you are faced with a tricky little climb. This can be avoided by dropping down a little and sidling the bottom of the cliff and picking up an easy gully.