Frisco Mountain + Rainy Peak + Maple Pass Loop via Rainy Pass / 弗里斯科山

  • Reading time:4 mins read

Frisco Mountain and Rainy Peak by Corteo Peak share a ridgeline above the receding Lyall Glacier. Like Black Peak, both are accessible via Maple Pass Loop Trail by Rainy Pass. Nearby peaks here include Whistler Mountain and Cutthroat Peak.

This way to Frisco Mountain
This way to Frisco Mountain

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Frisco Mountain and Rainy Peak at a Glance

Access: Maple Pass Trailhead
Round Trip: 9.3 miles
Elevation Range: 4840′-7768′
Gear: helmet
Route Info: Dustin Wittmier
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

The Preface

After an incredible trip to Sloan Peak, I drove to Rainy Pass in the evening and slept by the highway. The following day, I pulled into the lot with a dozen or so cars. Folks were up before sunrise and ready to seize the day!

I hadn’t paid much attention to Frisco Mountain and Rainy Peak until this season. But I finally took actual notice from Whistler Mountain two weeks ago. The former is more recognizable with its unique feature.

Rainy Lake Trail
Rainy Lake Trail

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Maple Pass Loop Trail

During high summer, hiking this popular trail early in the day has many perks. One gets to enjoy the solitude until crowds start to arrive. Plus, the place stays cool in the shade before the sun comes up from behind the ridgelines.

This time, I only needed to hike the south trail to my first goal–Frisco Mountain. So I walked down Rainy Lake Trail for a bit and went uphill on the loop trail past the bridge. It was a pleasant stroll in the wee morning hours.

 Ann Lake from Maple Pass Loop Trail
Ann Lake from Maple Pass Loop Trail

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Frisco Mountain Climb

I later left the trail at the top of the ridgeline at 6950′. Then I headed south over Frisco Mountain’s north ridge. The gentle contour lines on the map weren’t precisely so in person. So I ended up bypassing several outcrops from the west.

Soon, cliffs over Point 7480 forced me off the west. Then I went around to the east and dropped to the talus below via a sloping, chossy incline. I later regained the ridge and traversed Frisco Mountain’s east side.

One step closer to Frisco Mountain
One step closer to Frisco Mountain

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Frisco Mountain Summit Views

Before long, I went around the snowfield by the east ridge and scrambled 200′ to the top. The ridgeline was rocky but direct. It was better than coming up from the north, which was also doable from what I’ve read.

I first checked out the distinct Black Peak behind Corteo Peak. Then I turned around to see my next goal–Rainy Peak. There were too many peaks here to name them all. After savoring the views, I went back down the ridge.

North-to-east panoramic view
North-to-east panoramic view

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Rainy Peak Climb

The half-mile joining ridge was rough, plus the occasional krummholz. And as I neared the 7275′ notch, I slowly moved to the south side of the crest. Then I downclimbed a series of vertical ledges to the saddle.

Past the notch, I stayed on the ridgetop for the most part. Soon, I moved up and south of the summit ridge through many tall steps. Then above the crux, I crossed the rocky ridgeline over the two high points to finish.

This way to Rainy Peak
This way to Rainy Peak

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Rainy Peak Summit Views

It was a warm, bluebird day with a tint of wildfire smoke in the skyline. Earlier from Frisco Mountain, I noticed the massive smoke spewing from behind Silver Star Mountain. It seemed strange because I didn’t recall any recent fires.

Between here and Bonanza Peak, I only recognized a handful of peaks, including McGregor Mountain. So it meant more places to explore. But what a fantastic day to be away from the hustle and bustle!

Washington Pass plus Silver Star Mountain
Washington Pass plus Silver Star Mountain

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Outro

Back on Frisco Mountain, I went north below the east ridge to the bench off Point 7480. Then at 6800′, I dropped into the basin with an unnamed pond. From 6200′, I made a rising traverse to meet the loop trail 300′ above.

I kept thinking about the heatwave from two weeks ago en route to the car. Even the high altitude and the trees couldn’t spare us from the immense heat. I later met four hikers and went on my merry way back to the pass.

Finding my way home
Finding my way home

See more trip photos here.

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