corteo peak - 8080' - SW ridge class 3
My friend AJ and his girlfriend joined me for a beautiful fall hike and scramble up Cortero Peak via its SW ridge. We started at the Rainy Pass trailhead and hiked the busy trail to Maple Pass. From the pass, we descended west off the northern end of the pass and began traversing to Horsefly Pass. From there, we made a gently rising traverse below the imposing east face of Corteo Peak and crossed the southeast ridge at about the 6900 foot contour. We then made a tedious traverse across the south slopes until we reached a point low on the southwest ridge at 7400 feet elevation, just above the lowest point that connects this ridge with the 7480 foot point just a bit to the west. We did a decent amount of class 3 scrambling to ascend to this point on the ridge, some of which was on loose rock, but the terrain was manageable. From where we met the ridge, it was a beautiful solid class 3 scramble, albiet exposed in some places to the summit. Due to our late start, we had a late afternoon summit time, so we had to hurry to make it back! It got dark on us just as we were halfway back to Rainy Pass from Maple Pass. The larches were at their peak and spectacular.