North Cascades National Park Black and Corteo Peaks Traverse Aug 21-23, 2007 Retro

John Morrow

May 22, 2015
Another retro trip report killing hours self distancing in the time of Covid. Classic North Cascades National Park backpack and peak scrambles of Black Peak 8970' and Corteo Peak 8090' with Larry, back in the day.

Aug 21: We began the trip in the tail in of a rainy cycle, counting on forecasted clearing overnight. My conscience feels the need to leave some details out, however the trip begins at Rainy Pass on the North Cascades Highway. The crest of Black Peak to Corteo Peak, along the traverse, is also the national park boundary. We made our way on a user path past a well known lake to camp at another higher lake. Fond memories of a fabulous trip with a dear friend.

Starting in last of rain
by John Morrow, on Flickr

rainbow...a good sign
by John Morrow, on Flickr

lifting ceiling
by John Morrow, on Flickr

camp evening
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Aug 22: Started the day with clearing skies overhead and a fantastic undercast below that would later burn off. Took the standard South Route of Black Peak 8970', once attaining to saddle and long ridge with Corteo. South Route actually finishes traversing under the summit block, on east ledges, to finish on an aesthetic NE Ridge (complete NE Buttress a notable technical climb).

starting up
by John Morrow, on Flickr

south saddle of Black Peak
by John Morrow, on Flickr

scrambling begins
by John Morrow, on Flickr

East ledge
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Perfect scrambling
by John Morrow, on Flickr

camp below
by John Morrow, on Flickr

happily photographing
by John Morrow, on Flickr

After a grand break of vistas from the summit, I left Larry back at the saddle for the longish traverse to Corteo Peak 8080'. After the traverse, sometimes on crest sometimes to the south side, I crossed the west basin to reach the long and fun Class 3/4 Southwest Ridge scramble of Corteo. In the picture below cross the basin at the base of the rising rightward snow ramp and turn left up the sw ridge (right skyline rising to the summit).

start of traverse to Corteo
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Last of traverse to Corteo
by John Morrow, on Flickr

On SW Ridge of Corteo
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Long aesthetic scramble
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Goode and Logan
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Back at Black Peak
by John Morrow, on Flickr

self port. on summit
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Descending SW Ridge
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Back to camp, view east at Cascade Crest
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Aug 23: Nothing left to do but enjoy a nice sunrise and increasing light, then pack up and head back out.

Final morning
by John Morrow, on Flickr

heading out
by John Morrow, on Flickr

almost back to trail
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Such a beautiful trip in an area I manage to get to far too infrequently. No Southern Utah trip this Spring for me. Perhaps this summer is time to make new memories in the mountains closer to home!

More pictures here fill in the gaps of the trip story along with some fine scenery:

Lots of info freely available on the webs give away all the details. My conscience is clear.
Last edited:
That looks like really great scrambling on solid rock. Awesome!
Great images. That area is so nice.

I traversed Black some time ago as a day trip from the highway. I think we used ropes and gear and found plenty of choss. Awesome day in the mountains.
  • Like
Reactions: ram
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Tres Westbrook North Cascades National Park - Heather Pass / Maple Pass Loop Backpacking 9
Joey North Cascades National Park in Washington state Trip Planning 7
OwenM Anyone here familiar with North Cascades NP? Trip Planning 9
NorthwestWanderer North Cascades NP : Dee Dee Lakes & the Mcallister Ledge Backpacking 0
NorthwestWanderer North Cascades - Cutthroat/Granite/snowy lakes passes Backpacking 3
NorthwestWanderer Copper Pass, North Cascades (Day Hike + Bear sighting) Hiking & Camping 1
Jimmy Baker Lake, Lake Diablo, North Cascades, Olympics Family Adventure Hiking & Camping 8
westy North Cascades Backpacking 2
andyjaggy North Cascades NP Trip Planning 3
Kullaberg63 Dirty Devil North alt route General Discussion 3
O YNP: Morning Falls north/upstream from Scout/Ouzel pool near Union falls Trip Planning 12
Timber High Sierra - North Lake to South Lake Loop - Layover Day Trip Planning 9
J Pacific Creek or North Buffalo Fork? Teton Wilderness, Thorofare ,etc. Trip Planning 10
kwc Wandering about In Theodore Roosevelt NP (north unit) Hiking & Camping 5
scatman North Ridge of City Creek Canyon - February 4, 2023 Hiking & Camping 17
kwc Round Lake, north central Adirondacks, in the Round Lake Wilderness On The Water 2
Udink North of Arches Hiking & Camping 6
Janice The Wave - and SO MUCH MORE! (Coyote Buttes North, South, White Pocket, Buckskin, Condors, Bighorns...) - Part 1 Hiking & Camping 14
scatman North Pitchstone Trail, Headwaters of Ouzel Creek, Bechler River and Mr. Bubbles(?) - Yellowstone National Park - September 13, 2021 Backpacking 36
K North To Alaska - The Aleutians and More Everything Else 3
Chuck the Mauler Sierra North Lake / South Lake "loop" questions Trip Planning 10
Bob Morris North Inlet Trail Trip Planning 3
scatman North Summit, Mount Olympus - July 3, 2021 Hiking & Camping 12
BJett Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness Area. North Carolina. Backpacking 0
RyanP North Fork Bull Lake Creek Trip Planning 35
BackpackingtheSierras Republic Pass Trail North Absaroka into Yellowstone Cache Creek and Lamar River Trip Planning 1
scatman North Summit, Mount Olympus - October 17, 2020 Hiking & Camping 16
U Favorite sites in Glacier in North Fork, Lake McDonald or Cole/Nyack? Looking at mid july Trip Planning 2
Bob Grand Canyon North Rim wildfire Trip Planning 4
U Glacier North Circle Loop Mid July - Looking for an alternative back-up plan for a 3-4 nighter Trip Planning 0
Mikjik86 FULL Video Part 2 Backpacking Glacier National Park "North Circle Route" Backpacking 0
Dhuff3243 North Fork Robbers Roost and Blarney canyon Trip Planning 0
Mikjik86 Backpacking Glacier National Park (Part 2 Preview) "North Circle Route" Montana, August 2019 Backpacking 2
J Lake Mead Natl Recreation Area North Shore scramble fun. Nov. 28-30, 2019 Hiking & Camping 5
Mikjik86 Backpacking Glacier National Park - North Circle Route Part 1 Preview Video. Backpacking 1
Chuck the Mauler North Lake - South Lake questions Trip Planning 4
Yvonne Kolob Terrace exploration: from Hop Valley to North Gate Peaks, May 2019 Hiking & Camping 7
BJett Linville Gorge Wilderness Area - North Carolina Backpacking 18
Janice Opportunity to provide input on policies for Coyote Buttes North ("The Wave") and nearby areas General Discussion 27
TimeOutside Searching for a 5-ish day trek within 5 to 6 hours of North Dallas Trip Planning 3
DrNed Shift in Magnetic North General Discussion 4
McKee80 Glacier NP, part 2. North Fork, Sept 2018 Backpacking 11
Titans Pharaoh Lake Wilderness - Brilliant Fall Foliage, Pond and Lake Reflections- Adirondacks, North Eastern US Hiking & Camping 20
regehr Mill B North Fork Hiking & Camping 6
msteudel Boulder Mountain North Slope UT: Donkey Res. to Lost Lake? Trip Planning 1
jar155 North Erickson Lake, Uinta Mountains (off trail approach) Backpacking 9
Outdoors24 Things to do north of Durango CO Trip Planning 0
SKLund North Dune Mountain Hiking & Camping 9
KevinBoyer South Lake to North Lake Sierra Nevada Trip Planning 4
Mountain Wanderer Hello from North Idaho! Noobs: Introduce yourself! 4

Similar threads