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

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John Morrow

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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.
 
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LarryBoy

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That looks like really great scrambling on solid rock. Awesome!
 

Kullaberg63

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Mar 6, 2014
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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.
 
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