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Corbett Ridge and Peak

 
Corbett Ridge and Peak

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.02694°N / 107.73384°W

Object Title: Corbett Ridge and Peak

County: Ouray

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 13100 ft / 3993 m

 

Page By: Liba Kopeckova

Created/Edited: Jun 25, 2017 / Jun 25, 2017

Object ID: 1002228

Hits: 226 

Page Score: 83.1%  - 16 Votes 

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Overview

Whitehouse Mountain
Corbett Peak as seen from US 550 (Corbett Ridge is hiding behind the peak)
Whitehouse Mountain
Whitehouse Mountain, Corbett Ridge and Corbett Peak
Corbett Peak and Ridge
are prominent peaks of the northern San Juan, especially when one is driving south on Colorado 550 towards the towns of Ridgeway and Ouray. The peak is not very high, but offers great views and solitude. The neighboring Whitehouse Mountain appears like a giant next to it - especially when you stand on the summit. The actual summit is a little complicated - there is a summit of the Corbett Peak, which is a little bit lower than the Corbett Ridge. The distance between the  two is minimal, one has to descend into a little saddle and scramble up a ridge, which is just a few feet higher. The final exposure to get onto the highest point is exposed, but with little route finding should not exceed class 2+/3. 
There is no established trail to this peak and off trail navigation is a must. Expect lots of scree unless hiking in the winter or spring when terrain is covered with snow. 

Colorado Rank: 571

Parent Lineage: Whitehouse Mountain

Class: 2+

Other names: Sultan Peak, Chipeta Peak, Unnamed 13100 C

Nearby Mountains: Whitehouse Mountain 13,492 feet  0.52 miles
                            Mount Ridgway 13,468 feet           1.39 miles
                            Teakettle Mountain 13,819 feet      2.37 miles
                            "Coffeepot" 13,568 feet                2.46 miles
                            Cirque Mountain 13,686 feet         2.62 miles
                            Potosi Peak 13,786 feet                2.70 miles
                            "Kismet" 13,694 feet                    3.35 miles
                            Mount Sneffels 14,150 feet        3.56 miles   

 Getting There

Corbett Peak and Whitehouse Mnt.
Corbett Peak and Whitehouse Mnt.
Mount Sneffels
Mount Sneffels
You can either access the peak from Ouray via Dallas Trail - longer approach with more elevation gain, or from Ridgway - provided you have 4WD vehicle and can drive towards backcountry Burn hut. I have done it both ways and enjoyed hiking Dallas Trail towards Burn hut. This trail can be also mountain biked. Whatever access you choose, both trails eventually meet near the Burn Hut on a large meadow where you start you bushwhack experience. 

From the town of Ridgway, drive west towards Telluride. Just before leaving the town take the last street left - south on Amelia street. Drive sought and turn right onto County Road 5. Drive on a graded dirt road (snow plowed year round) for about 5.3 miles onto Miller Mesa, Elk Meadows. There is a large parking area. Passenger cars should park here, high clearance 4WD vehicles can continue to the closer trailhead. 

Continue driving on Forest Road 852 (great views). Follow this road for 3.7 miles to Forest Service boundary, the road does several turns and continue towards Burn Hut and our trailhead for Corbett Ridge. The last section of the road becomes more difficult, it has deep mud holes. Park near a large meadow (the road here is part of the Dallas Trail). 

Route

Corbett Peak - route overview
Corbett Peak - route overview
Corbett Peak from the meadow
Corbett Peak from the meadow
North Northwest Ridge

Round Trip: 8 miles
Elevation: 3,680 feet

From the large meadow parking lot = Dallas Trail - hike south southeast through the grassy meadow to its end. You will enter a forest and loose views of Corbett Peak, orientation here becomes more difficult. There are some game trails which lead northeast of Corbett's north ridge. Once on the ridge move southwest, following game trails and trying to avoid many fallen trees. 
Drop down and intersect a large drainage on the north side of the peak. Cross this open drainage and hike steeply 500 feet to gain the main north northwest ridge at tree line. From here, the walking is easy, on a scree like stuff. I was lucky with snow fields and hiked up in the snow, which was more comfortable. The Corbett Peak is covered with tundra and large flat boulders. This is the false summit. Descend south to the saddle cca 75 feet. The real summit appears very steep and rocky here. Bypass it on the east side, past the cliffs and walk up the real summit. The real summit is only about 10 feet higher. 
Enjoy the views. The Whitehouse Mountain appear like a true giant. The views of Sneffels are spectacular. 


View of Mount Sneffels
View of Mount Sneffels

Whitehouse Mountain
Whitehouse Mountain
Fox
Fox

Cornice along the summit of Corbett
Cornice along the summit of Corbett


Red Tape

There are no fees - parking at the trailheads is free. The mountain lies within Mount Sneffels Wilderness and wilderness rules apply here. The following are prohibited: Entering or being in the area with more than 15 people. Camping within 100 feet of any lake, stream, or National Forest System Trail. Building, maintaining or using a fire within 100 feet of any lake, or stream, or National Forest System Trail, above treeline. Storing equipment, personal property, or supplies for longer than seven days. 

When to Climb

Summer is obviously the easy time with the 4 WD road up Miller Mesa and toward's Burn's hut open. Winter adds more approach length and travel through an avalanche terrain. Always check avalanche terrain prior venturing out. 
Burns hut is one of the back country ski huts and is available for booking - check out San Juan back country huts site here. 

Camping

Wilderness camping is available anywhere. You can car camp near the trailhead. 
Burn Hut is available for rent.

Images

FoxWhitehouse MountainCorbett PeakMount SneffelsCorbett MountainWhitehouse and Corbett PeakCorbett Peak and Whitehouse Mnt.
View of Mount SneffelsCorbett Peak from the meadowWhitehouse MountainCorbett Peak - route overviewBurn HutWhitehouse MountainCornice along the summit of Corbett