After not having been on a trip with Sergio for the past 2 years, we finally linked up again for a great weekend of alpine scambling.
We left Seattle Friday afternoon and headed up HWY 20 to Rainy Pass TH with plans to climb Corteo Peak on Saturday. We arrived at the TH at around 10PM, and shared a few beers before retiring for the night.
We awoke at 6AM and began our trudge up to Heather Pass. The trail has intermittent patches of snow, but it will be entirely melted out within 2 weeks. From Heather Pass, we dropped down 600' to the NW, passing Lewis Lake, before heading up the Lewis "Glacier". We had no trouble finding the obvious 7500' notch that we would use to cross over to the Woody Creek drainage. From the notch, we lost ~400' before crossing the basin and contouring up towards the SW Ridge of Corteo.
We heard reports of exposed class 3-4 on the SW Ridge, but instead we found it to be not very exposed class 2-3. We were glad we didn't lug a rope with us.
The ridge scramble was quite enjoyable, with great views to Goode, McGregor, and beyond. Before we knew it we were on the summit basking in the Summer sun.
After spending about an hour on the summit lounging around, we decided to try the E Face descent, which is more direct and could save us a lot of time. The upper portion of the E Face is class 3-4, but it is short lived. After about 200' of elevation loss, the face becomes class 3. At this point, we did a descending traverse to the South connecting a series of ledges and ramps. We tried to get onto the glacier two or three times before finally finding a nice ramp on the extreme skier's right at the bottom of the E Face. From here, we glissaded down into the basin at the head of Maple Creek. We then contoured up via Horsefly Pass and gained Pt 6870 before dropping back to Heather Pass to find the trail again. What a great day in the mountains!
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