Corteo Peak/Southwest Ridge

Corteo Peak via the Southwest Ridge is an easy class 3 and 4 climb.


Take I-5 to just north of Mount Vernon, then go east on SR 20 (North Cascades Highway) to Marblemount. Sign in at Ranger Station and get permit. Continue east for 52 mi on SR 20 to Rainy Pass. Park at the rest area on the south side (4,855 ft).


From the parking lot, follow trail past Lake Ann. Stay on trail 2 mi to Heather Pass (6,080 ft). Continue west and across talus; pass to the south of Lewis Lake. Follow a trail or snow to the east moraine of the Lewis Glacier at approximately 6400 ft. Camp at either Lewis Lake or heather benches north of the moraine.


Follow the top of the moraine to the Lewis Glacier. Ascend southeast bearing left at top to a notch on ridge at 7500 ft. Follow ridgetop W to notch and down climb 400' (dirt or snow) to cirque under Corteo’s West Face. Reach Corteo’s Southwest Ridge at large notch (one-third up from ridge col) via an easy gully. Follow ridge to summit. Climbing is exposed class 3 with a few class 4 moves.


Descend the climbing route.


Seattle to Trailhead 3.5
Trailhead to Camp 2-4 3,900
Camp to Summit 3-5 1,010
Summit to Camp 2-3
Camp to Trailhead 2


Standard alpine equipment.


This climb can be done in one day with a car camp at Rainy Pass. Plan on 10-12 hr.

  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Basic Alpine
  • Seasons: June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Basic Alpine Climb, Strenuous 3, Technical 2
  • Elevation Gain: 8,080 ft
  • 4,910 ft
  • Land Manager: North Cascades National Park
    Stephen Mather Wilderness
  • Parking Permit Required: None
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • USGS Mt Arriva
  • USGS Washington Pass
  • Green Trails Washington Pass No. 50
  • Green Trails Mt Logan No. 49

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