Three Fingers - South Peak, October 2001
With the previous day's failure on Mount Shuksan still fresh in my mind and without firm plans for the following day, I allowed myself the luxury of sleeping in. Shortly before noon I became restless and after noticing the morning fog begin to break up I knew I had to do something to help me get past my recent disappointment. So, I packed up my gear and headed for Three Fingers. This was going to be my first solo-overnighter. It would be a full moon that night and I had the mountain all to myself.
It was already later in the afternoon before I reached the trailhead. I moved quickly in order to reach Goat Flats before darkness. I had just enough time to unpack my gear and unwind before the sun dipped below the Olympic Mountains. Sipping whiskey and enjoying the solitude, I fell asleep to jazz on CBC of all stations. I woke up at first light and followed the trail as it weaved around cliffs and onto patches of snow. I found late season conditions and sections of the route that passed over snow needed to be crossed with care. Looking back from Tin Can Gap, the sketchiest bit of travel was the steep snow just to the right of the ridge on the left.
After ascending the final snow field and scrambling over some rocks, I found the two ladders leading up to the lookout. The lookout was well equipped for a forced bivouac. Looking north, one could see Whitehorse Mountain with Mounts Baker and Shuksan beyond it. Three Fingers Mountain - a great outing up an iconic Puget Sound area peak!
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