Three Fingered Jack

April 24, 1999

Warm temperatures and a cloudless sky never spoiled a ski trip. Although we were never exactly sure whether we were on the Pacific Crest Trail or not, the perfect conditions made route finding a simple matter. Our group ascended the nearly six miles so quickly that we decided to change our objective. Instead of skiing to the corner of South Ridge, we skied west and then north to enter the treeless southwest couloir below the pinnacle of Jack, looming above us. Attaching skins, our party climbed the last 500 feet to reach the upper saddle of the ridge. We could go no further on skis as the steep snow covered ridge became quite narrow and led us not much further until the way would be blocked by the first gendarme. After taking a leisurely lunch at the saddle the group followed its tracks back down the mountain. By early afternoon the snow had become a bit soft but the downhill skiing was still quite satisfying. The open forest and meadows became too enticing, so eventually we left our original tracks to ski a free line down the mountain back to our car. The descent took barely more than two hours. Skiers were Liz Conibear, Doug Quirk, Liz Mitchell and Steve Goins (leader).


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