Three Fingered Jack/Mt. Washington

August 17-18, 1991

On Saturday, Aug. 17, three of us climbed Three Fingered Jack by the South Ridge route. An early start got us off the mountain early. By late afternoon, a lightning storm pinned us in our cars. Climbers who had beat a rapid descent off Mt. Washington when the storm hit described watching trees exploding from strikes and bursting into flames (and being quickly extinguished by the driving rain!).

En route to Mt. Washington the next day, Sunday, Aug. 18, we met a lone climber who had turned back early the day before and camped on the ridge. He reported that his four companions had camped at the summit during the storm. We fully expected to find charred bodies on top, but were relieved to discover the climbers ahead of us — they had bivouacked on the ridge after all (but, considering the pyrotechnics, still not a safe camp site). Our climb up the North Ridge was straightforward and fun. Four of our group of six enjoyed Washington's summit for the first time. Ed, whose assistance I greatly appreciated, has been on top by a number of different routes about 35 times!

Climbers were Bill Bankston (Three Fingered Jack), Tricia Clark-McDowell, Ed Lovegren, Forrest McDowell, Rick Strom (all Mt. Washington), Amos Faber (both peaks) and George Jobanek, leader.

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