Thursday, December 11, 2014

TBT Hiking Post From Hubby - Three Fingers Hike

It's Thursday!! That means a Throwback Thursday post from Hubby. Today's post is of our hike to Three Fingers! I remember this being a challenging hike. It was long and one traverse was pretty scary, along with the ladders to the lookout. They were intimidating and scary but we did it! :)

Three Fingers 9/28/08

Three Fingers has been at the top of our list for a long time, but we hadn't been able to make it happen until this weekend. Knowing that this would be a long one and wanting to start early, we drove to the TH Sat. night and slept there. We started out at 6 AM Sunday morning using our headlamps. 

As the sun rose, we got our first glimpses of our target. 
Reports are true that this trail is muddy and contains lots of tree roots, making it a slippery mess for much of the first five miles to Goat Flats. You are compensated by the nice setting when you get there. 
In the interest of passing along information that we found useful, there is a pit toilet at Goat Flats. wink.gif After using the facilities, we continued on towards Tin Can Gap. When you reach the gap, the views open up to the summit and glacier below. 
Shortly after, you reach the tricky snow crossing described in other trip reports. People seemed to be taking one of two options: 1) follow the moat above the snow or 2) cross the snow lower than the trail where the crossing is narrower (and less distance to fall if you slip) then scramble back up some rocks to get back on the trail. There didn't seem to be any tracks higher up on the snow crossing, which is where it seems based on TRs that people have crossed in previous years. We followed the moat on the way to the summit and did the snow crossing on the way back. Be careful with both. 

Snow Crossing
After this crossing, there is a second potential snow crossing that is flagged but didn't look inviting to us. Instead, we stayed high and dropped back down a short gully with a rope in it that allowed us to avoid the snow. 
From that point on, it is pretty easy to follow the trail. There is one final part with snow just below the summit, but it doesn't involve the sideways traverses of the other two parts. 
This brings you to just below the summit block. Keep heading upward and you reach the famous ladders. 
On our way up and at the top, we crossed paths with a group of Everett Mountaineers who had stayed the night and were helping to maintain the lookout. Thanks guys! The last of them left just as we got there. We explored the lookout and marveled that people had decided to put one in this spot: 
We then ate lunch, enjoying the views. They are tremendous; I would describe them as more all-encompassing than in-your-face. Here's a pano that didn't turn out great, but gives you a sense of it.
Me and Sharon
We were the first people to reach the lookout, but we knew there was a parade of folks following us and we had a long trip back to the car, so we headed back down a little after lunch. After the long hike back, we reached our car just before 5:30 PM, nearly 12 hours after starting. ~15 miles roundtrip with 4200 ft. elevation gain.


  1. Looks like a tough yet awesome hike! Very cool pics!

  2. Thanks Sherry! The views were amazing! :)

  3. Wow amazing. The snow crossing looks scary!

  4. Thanks Jenny! Yes, the snow crossing was the scariest part for me. The ladders were ok as long as you didn't look down. :p