Mount Maude and Seven Fingered Jack - South Shoulder/South Slope, July 2001
Mount Maude and Seven Fingered Jack as seen from Fortress Mountain.

Ben was arriving from San Diego on Saturday morning to escape the temporarily lousy surf down there and spend a weekend climbing in The Cascades. The weather forecast on the west side was once again not too promising, so we headed east in search of drier weather. Getting to the trailhead was relatively uneventful, excluding the fact that I got pulled over for speeding on the Chiwawa Loop Road and was for the first (and probably only) time in my life given a written warning. A good omen! (Photos: SV)

Click thumbnails below to enlarge...
Buck Mountain
View of Buck Mountain (right) from trailhead.

We got to the trailhead around 2:00pm and were greeted by the Eastern Washington warmth, a comfortable breeze and sweeping parking area views.
Wildlife
Fearless wildlife was encountered along the Phelps Creek Trail.
Seven Fingered Jack
We made several creek crossings, the biggest of which was Leroy Creek. We turned uphill and kicked dirt up a steep dusty trail through the forest. Seven Fingered Jack could be seen just as the trail leveled out. We reached the Leroy Creek basin and found that the better camp sites were already occupied. Continuing higher, we encountered the first snow at a level bench. We dug out a flat spot and set up the tent...then dinner, some whiskey and we called it a night.
Snowfield below West Ridge
Ben climbs up the snowfield to gain the West Ridge of Maude. The original plan was to climb the North Face route which involves snow and ice to about 60 degrees. We allowed ourselves to be talked out of our objective by a couple of yahoo's we met on the hike in and so opted for the easier South Slope instead. Sometimes it pays to just go and see for yourself!
On summit
On the summit, looking at the haze to the west. A long nap was in order!
NNE view
The view to the NNE. I think Silver Star Mountain can be seen way in the back almost at the center of the photo.
View down North Face
The North Face. Looking down the intended summit route.
Glissading
Ben takes the quick way down the mountain while showing us some curious glissading technique. We went back to camp and spent the rest of the day doing some serious power lounging.
Ben in couloir
The next morning - Ben nears the top of the narrow colouir leading up to Seven Fingered Jack
Summit of 7FJ
The summit of 7FJ. The North Face of Maude is visible in the background. Phew! That was one heck of a chill weekend in the mountains, eh? Now, about that North Face...
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