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[TR] Corteo Peak (8080') - SW Ridge 08/06/2022

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Trip: Corteo Peak (8080') - SW Ridge

Trip Date: 08/06/2022

Trip Report:

Corteo Peak (8080') – Rainy Pass  Approach – August 6-7, 2022 (Sat, Sun)

Another perfect weather weekend for climbing.  Temp was right around 80 both days.  I had limited time for a climb and this one fit the timeslot perfect. 

Saturday: I started from Rainy Pass at 6:30pm.  I headed up Trail 740 to Heather Pass.  I crossed over Heather Pass on my way to Lewis Lake.  The boulder field crossing on the way to Lewis Lake was somewhat unstable with fresh looking debris.  Looks like a large rock slide came down through the area some time this year.  I arrived at a level area above Lewis Lake at 8:45pm and setup camp. 

Sunday:  I was up and moving at 6:15am.  I headed for the moraine ridge above Lewis Glacier.  I headed up and to the left for the 7500’ notch to the West Basin.  I reached the crossover notch at 8:15am and headed down the gully.  I reach the Southwest Ridge Notch (7400’) at 9:15am.  The ridge from there on up was nice Class 3-4 rock.  Some loose sections but overall pretty solid.  I reached the summit at 10:00 am.  I cut out an old tattered, sun bleached, rappel sling that was begging for a fatality and then headed back to camp.  I made it back to camp at 12:45pm.  I was back at Heather Pass at 2:30pm and back to Rainy Pass at 3:30pm.

This was a fun climb with some exposed class 3-4 rock on the ridge.  Not too much climbing, not too much distance.  I’d say the hardest part was the 400’ gully down into the West Basin.

I decided to try out a homemade bug repellant made with several supposedly bug repelling essential oils on this trip.  I applied some at the start but the mosquitoes didn’t seem to care, I applied more and more thinking maybe I’m not using enough.  I put a bunch of time into researching the bug repelling essential oils so I want to be sure.  After being swarmed by mosquitoes for most of the trip, I finally decided that most of the supposed bug repelling essential oils don’t work worth a shit.  I pulled out the 34% Deet Ultramarathon bug lotion and lathered it on.  The mosquitoes wanted nothing to do with me after that, it was a night and day difference.  The next test will be some Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus repellant with high PMD, if that doesn’t work, it will be Deet until the day I die. 


Some Tips and Notes:

1.       There is a good supply of water at the lake and the steams going in and out.  The only water once over the notch is down low in the West Basin or melting snow. 

2.       The bugs are out in force, bring serious bug repellant.

3.       The gully down into the West Basin is fairly steep loose rock most of the way.  I found it easier going up than down.

4.       The boulder field crossing to Lewis Lake is less loose down low.

5.       The trip can be done in one long day going light, but the camping in the area is nice.

6.       The snow going up the Lewis Glacier and the snow in the West Basin was fine climbing up and down with just boots .  A couple sections were firm enough for crampons.       


Travel Time for reference:

Saturday:  Trailhead to Lewis Lake Camp (6060’) – 2:15 hours.

Sunday:  Camp to Summit to Camp to Trailhead – 9:15 hours.   

Total Mileage:   around 12-14 miles

Total Elevation Gain: around 4800’


Gear used:   Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, Helmet.


Not a lot of people at the start.


View across the boulder field to Lewis Lake and Black Peak.


7500' Crossover Notch to the West Basin.


Looking back across the West Basin and the Crossover Gully from the SW Ridge Notch (7400').


Looking down the SW Ridge from the Summit.


View along the SW Ridge, Goode & Logan in the distance.  



Gear Notes:
 Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, Helmet. Crampons could be used in a couple sections.

Approach Notes:
Rainy Pass to Trail 740 to Heather Pass to Lewis Lake
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The hits keep coming.  Did you ride up there on a crotch rocket? Yeah the essential oils don't work on the New Age Hippy skeeters.  It probably just smelled like BBQ sauce to them.

Thanks for the TR!

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14 hours ago, olyclimber said:

Did you ride up there on a crotch rocket?

At first I didn't notice the bike in the photo and thought you were referring to the pace he set @olyclimber  :lmao:

  • LMAO 1

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I rode up to the start on a sport touring bike.  It makes the drive in a lot more entertaining, especially with all the twists and turns on 20.  I think the homemade bug juice was actually attracting more bugs than repelling, I was like a giant fly trap.  At least it smelled good.  

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